I am first and foremost an indie music fan, and I think about 90% of my listening is held within the constraints of the indie genre. As a teenager, I started to look slightly outwards and began listening to John Kennedy’s X-Posure Radio X show. At 10 PM one night, he played a track that blew my mind.
John Kennedy is a regular DJ on the predominantly indie radio station, Radio X. He plays a bit of everything, but most importantly, it is brand new. Every indie artist in Britain worth their salt has had tracks played on John Kennedy’s show, and for many such as The Futureheads, The XX, and Kate Nash, John Kennedy was their first radio play.
I had listened a few times and was becoming used to hearing fresh exciting indie music. I was expecting it when I turned on my radio. But instead of hearing jangly guitars, my ears pricked up to the sound of warm 80s synthesizers and a repeated sound I have never been able to place but is something like the rainforest. I had no idea what would come next, and I was not disappointed by a saxophone riff which I still think could be the most beautiful repeated four bars in music history.
We are teased with the riff once, and then twice, before the beat kicks in hard. What follows is five and a half minutes of dance music perfection, and if that won’t make you want to get up and dance, then nothing will.
Hearing 808 State’s masterpiece has changed my approach to music forever, opening my mind up to a world of house music, and set me on a journey. Down the raving motorways of Bicep, the strips of Maribou State, and the quiet side roads of Laurence Guy. Although John Kennedy was not playing anything released recently, I am certain that he opened the eyes of hundreds of indie music fans that night.