The songs that speak to the vinyl-loving purist’s heart 

Darius Syrossian
Darius Syrossian

After his colossal ‘Hanns Trippy’ smashed Ibiza’s Do Not Sleep parties all summer, why shouldn’t the song’s architect and party’s chief resident expand together?  Darius Syrossian’s tune debuted recently as the first-ever release from the freshly minted Do Not Sleep imprint. Run by the masterminds of the edgy underground White Isle party, the real life DJ/producer lives up to the label/event’s namesake. 

It’s clear how much music means to Darius Syrossian. He spent 15 years selling vinyl in record shops before producing, DJing, running a record label and hosting on radio. That makes him how old? Everyone in dance music is under 25, we say.

Having released his own music on labels such as Get Physical, Hot Creations, VIVa MUSiC and 8 Bit, he seems to relish delving into every opportunity that comes his way. What records have made Darius’ extensive life soundtrack? The raver-for-life shares them now. P.S. He’s older than 25.  

01. Joey Beltram ‘Energy Flash’ 
One of the biggest tracks to influence me when I started going to raves back in early ‘90s was Energy Flash’. It was one of the first tracks to pioneer that now famous hoover sound, which became so big coming out of the Belgian and Dutch hardcore rave scene. This was one of the tracks that had more depth than your average rave track; it was hypnotizing. It made me look for more music like this. It wasn't only the sounds – it was the groove and the hypnotic elements.” 


02. Neal Howard ‘The Gathering’ 
‘The Gathering’ probably influenced me the same way as Energy Flash’. It wasn't as much of a big hit but, for me, it was huge. The emotion I get from this track even though its not really an emotive track is what is so beautiful about it. It’s that big room warehouse sound, in an underground way! This was so ahead of its time it can still be played -- and I do play it, and 20-year-old kids ask me what it is all the time. To think it was made in 1998 is incredible! From the 909s to the way the drum fills roll before the drops… it’s very Orbital-esque. 

03. Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel - ‘White Lines’ 
Just a few days ago at my gig on New Year’s Eve at the strike of midnight, it wasn't a house or techno record that I dropped, it was this – one of the first ever vinyl I bought with my pocket money when I was a kid. I still actually have the original vinyl! Since then I’ve bought it on re-issue to play. It never gets old and is an all-time classic that will stay original forever. When I was a kid it was this music I heard which got me to realize I don't just like electronic music, I love it. 

04. Ruffneck feat. Yavahn ‘Everybody Be Somebody’ 
In 1996 when I was working at Global Beat, a promo copy of this came in and it was one of the first records that managed to combine that unique groove of the US house sound and also the darker sounds and repetitive percussion of darker genres. This has inspired me as a lot of my music has that groove of the early U.S. sound, but also darker elements. I still play this to this day and it doesn't sound old at all. 

05. Liberty City ‘Some Lovin’ 
Again, this is another record with that unquestionable locked down groove that the US sound was so well known for in the ‘90s. There’s so much soul, but it’s still very tough with a killer kick drum. The vocal is great, but even if you play a dub of this, it sounds deadly on a loud sound system. 

06. Ollie & Jerry ‘There’s No Stopping Us’ 
When I was a kid, my uncle would listen to a lot of 80s electro and lots of 80s music that was heavily synthesized. He would have them on cassette and I remember this track. After moving to the UK I found it on vinyl, way before I bought decks or had even been introduced to house and techno. I think this was the first time I heard electronic music with a tough beat and a lot of those drum fills are the type I use in my productions. The drum programming in all this kind of music influenced me a lot. 

07. Talking Heads - ‘Once In A Lifetime’ 
What an awesome track, from how the synths are used to the way the baseline works alongside The Who track. When you look at the year it was made, it’s so ahead of its time. Again, listening to this stuff as a kid made me realize how much I love music and the feeling it gave me is what made me search for more. 

08. Dave Clarke - Southside’ 
When I used to work in my record shop Global Beat I was always really excited when I came by a promo of a record that managed to cross two genres really well. This was one of the first good examples of techno and disco coming together; its almost like early Daft Punk stuff. I actually heard this before I heard the first Daft Punk album, but that same year, 1996, I went to see Daft Punk and they actually played for only £600! Apparently they were so good they got booked to play again the same week and now I think they are quarter of a million for a live performance or something like that. Although they pioneered that sound, Dave Clarke should get credit for ‘Southside for also being one of the first to drop something on this crossover tip in the same year. 

09. Armand Van Helden Presents Deep Creed ‘94  - ‘Can You Feel It’ (Shell Toe Mix) 
Armand Van Helden is probably the biggest influence on me. All his productions in the ‘90s were so simple, yet so unique and you could tell an Armand Van Helden production a mile off! Be it an original track or a remix, his drum patterns were deadly. He managed to get so much funk into his music, yet keep it dark and heavy! This is just one example, but I could give at least 15 or more examples of Armand productions that have influenced me. The guy is a legend."

10. Todd Edwards ‘Saved My Life’ 
This is one of those mid-‘90s songs I would hear when going to a club night called Hard Times in the UK, which focused on the American house sound. They featured DJs like Terry Hunter, Kenny Dope and Louie Vega (Masters at Work), Danny Tenaglia and Kerri Chandler. remember all other nights would be hamming out cheesy, uplifting rave anthems, and it wasn't for me. I liked that deep, low-slung groove of this stuff, the soulfulness and the drums.