Moon Music #002: Nu:Tone

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Moon Music returns…

The premise is simple: for reasons unknown we’ve dispatched a major league artist on a lunar mission for an indefinite period of time. Because we’re not completely heartless we’ve offered them five moments of sonic solace. Plus, just like the desert island discs concept we’ve ripped off, they’re able to take one object and one book.

This week we’ve sent Hospital’s Nu:Tone to the moon. We figured he’d be cool with it. What with him wearing a spacesuit on the cover of his debut album Brave Nu World and all.

“Space travel isn’t a concept I’m unfamiliar with, no!” laughs Nu:Tone (real name Dan Gresham)  whose chosen moon tome would be a massive puzzle book to keep his brain busy. “We decided to hire the astronaut suit for me to wear in the middle of summer while walking around Cambridge. Japanese tourists came up and took photos and asked for my autograph! Was it a real space suit? No. But it was a very expensive replica. It’s been used in various films and TV adverts. It’s pretty convincing.”

What isn’t quite so convincing is Nu:Tone’s ability to handle this off-planetary isolation. He admits to enjoying his own company… But as a family man, he’s not sure just how much lonesome moon roaming he can do before going too crazy…

“I’d miss my family massively!” he sighs. “Can I take them as my object?”

Reluctantly we concede his request.  This isn’t real life, after all. Real life is much more exciting… Nu:Tone is currently working on a follow up to his 2011 album Words & Pictures. And once he’s done that, he’ll be working on another Nu:Logic project with his brother Logistics. Quenching our thirst until then, Hospital have put together a massive playlist of killer Nu:Tone remixes. We forgot how many there are. And how diverse they are: from Steve Aoki & Afrojack to Adele to Beardyman to Emeli Sande, Dan can lend his sound to anyone.

Music has that amazing ability to take you back to a place and time to transport you.

“I can’t think of a remix where I’ve looked back with hindsight and wanted to keep it for myself,” he reflects. “I find when I do remixes I come up with ideas that are different to those I’d have when writing an original track. I don’t know what the deal is what that, I guess it’s more liberating and that’s part of the fun. Remix parts start you off on a different direction that you might not ever consider yourself. And that’s where different ideas will crop up.”

Meanwhile back on the moon we wanted to know how he went about his music selections…

“I went through my playlists of things I listen to at home and looked for things that were important to me, would work well in space and just stuff I truly love,” he explains. “Music has that amazing ability to take you back to a place and time to transport you. If I’m stuck on the moon, music that’s evocative is a must!”

Amen. Ready for take off?

George Duke – Feel 

This already sounds like it was recorded in outer space. I can’t imagine a better soundtrack for a moon walk really.  I first heard this tune in 1994, and it’s been a cornerstone of my record collection ever since.  I was into rare groove and jazz for a long time before I got into D&B, and this single tune ticks so many of my boxes.  It has so many screw-face moments over the course of five and a half minutes, but then that’s often the case with George Duke’s music.


Mr Fingers – Can You Feel It 

It doesn’t get much more seminal than this – Larry Heard pretty much set the blueprint for house music (and arguably dance) music.  It sounds so raw, but warm and wholesome at the same time.  This tune really marks the point at which disco morphed into house, and a whole new way of looking at music was born.

Sun Palace – Rude Movements 

Bit of a leftfield selection this one, but it sounds to me like another perfect track for an afternoon on the moon.  It’s probably one of the most self-indulgent pieces of music I own – the synth player goes completely off-piste halfway through, but that’s part of its charm.  I love the way everything fades down, and all your left with is a pretty wonky sounding synth with a bit too much reverb, noodling all over the place.


Universal – Groove Therapy


Slowly moving closer to the present day…!  This was one of my favourite Good Looking 12’s from this era, the production sounded so crisp at the time, and in fact even sounds pretty tight today.  The whole Good Looking sound was so hugely influential for a long time, I think it’s a side of classic D&B that is sometimes overlooked these days, which is a pity.  Uplifting vibes never go wrong… Especially on the moon.


Detroit Swindle – Woman 

I’m loving everything these guys are putting out at the moment, and none more so than this track.  It combines so many of my musical passions in one tune, but everything gels so perfectly.  I’m painfully aware how hip deep house is at the moment, but this tune manages to be really deep whilst also putting a smile on your face – something that a lot of deep house fails to do and something I’ll definitely need on the moon.  I think one of the things that really draws me to this track (and to most of Detroit Swindle’s output) is their choice in samples – I’m a sucker for a great sample!