[Editor's note: Ahead of Respect's Control takeover this Friday at Avalon, we asked co-founder Rob "Machete" Gonzalez to give us a playlist of 16 tracks representing each of Respect's 16 years of bringing the best talent in drum and bass to Los Angeles. Here's what he delivered.]
"Can't Punish Me" - Dom & Roland (Moving Shadow, 1999)
Dominic Angas created an instant classic with this track, destroying dance floors and punishing those who still may have wondered why Roland never turned up at the DJ gigs. Dom & Roland headlined our Respect 4-year anniversary back in March of 2003 and played numerous times after, never failing to take our crowd on a musical journey of mental proportions.
"Nasty Ways" - Dillinja (Valve, 2000)
As nasty as the title suggests, this tune circulated on dubplate for some time before its official release. Dillinja has never played Respect but his music remains very influential to us and the scene at large.
"Up All Night" - John B (Metalheadz, 2001)
John B played this massive tune on dubplate the first time he played for Respect in August of 2000. This track has always reminded me of the Miami Winter Music Conference in what I feel was its D&B heyday (1999-2003), and still defines and reminds me of that entire era.
"Shake Your Body" - Shy FX & T Power (Ebony, 2002)
This song is so different from everything coming out at that time. I remember I had just received the vinyl in the mail and made our resident DJ Noface close his set at Respect with it that very same night because I was so excited that I needed to hear the track out loud at our club. Both Shy FX and T Power have each played Respect separately one time.
"Lyric on My Lip" - Roni Size & MC Tali (Full Cycle, 2003)
Roni and Tali delivered a funky roller with such catchy vocals, every dance floor would erupt into a veritable D&B karaoke when it was played. Tali performed at Respect with I-Kamanchi in August of 2003 and sang this live for a very appreciative crowd. A recording of that live set is available to hear via our website player.
"True Romance" - dBridge & Vegas (Metalheadz, 2004)
One of their first big tracks post-Bad Company, and this one was as melodic as it was deep and menacing. Great for double-drops, this one was DJ-friendly and still gets a huge response. I am thankful for having dBridge play Respect nearly every year since its release.
"Messiah" - Konflict (Renegade Hardware, 2005)
Kemal and Rob Data, aka Konflict, are no longer producing together, but their collaborative efforts propelled the neuro genre of D&B to another level. This track was played on dubplate for years until finally getting its official release after much red tape and controversy. "Messiah" begins with an unmistakable hair-raising intro heard many times at Respect and around the world.
"Sidewinder" (Hochi & Infiltrata Rmx) - Photek (Photek Productions, 2006)
Everyone was blown away when Hochi and his L.A. partner Infiltrata came out with this remix of Photek's 'Sidewinder' track. So good from start to finish, another sign that U.S.-based D&B producers were coming into their own. Infiltrata headlined Respect many times before making the transition to becoming the artist 12th Planet.
"If We Ever" - High Contrast (Hospital, 2007)
"If We Ever" captured an elegance and beauty not heard in D&B for some time. This track is a throwback to the early days of amens and piano riffs that would give you chills before the drop even came. HC played Respect once back in March of 2003 and that set is available to hear on our website player.
"Machete" - DJ Hazard (Playaz, 2008)
A favorite tune of mine for obvious reasons, this was the go-to anthem for many big DJ's and seemed to set off a new era for the jump-up genre of D&B. DJ Hazard has yet to play America, but I hope to someday get him on our Respect stage.
"Timewarp" - Sub Focus (Ram, 2009)
Nick Douwma began his rise through the ranks of drum & bass with his first few releases, but it was "Timewarp," released on his self-titled Ram Records LP, that really cemented its place in DJ sets across the world. Just when we think the dust is settling on this track, someone else drops it at just the right moment and the whole place explodes with energy.
"Stand Up" feat. Dynamite MC - Friction vs Camo & Krooked (Shogun Audio, 2010)
A huge collab track featuring the very talented Dynamite MC. Definitely one of the biggest tunes of 2010, played often at our club night. Did I mention, this tune is HUGE!?!
"Marka" - Dub Phizix and Skeptical feat. Strategy (Exit, 2011)
This track's unique rhythm and structure served up an unforgettable half-time track to the bass music massive, hungry for something different in the post-dubstep era.
"Elevate This Sound" - Calyx & TeeBee (Ram, 2012)
Everything about this track is inspiring, from the title, to its namesake vocal, and down to the amazing production values of Torgeir Byrknes and Larry Cons. The first release on their Ram Records LP, All or Nothing, finally shined a well-deserved light on this amazing production team. Calyx & TeeBee at Respect in November of 2012 holds the crown for best-attended night of D&B at the Dragonfly with over 700-plus packed into the venue.
"1000 Soul Songs" - Die & Jenna G (Gutter Funk, 2013)
One of my favorite tracks from 2013 by far, DJ Die and Jenna G put the gutter funk back in D&B with this soulful release. DJ Die performed at Respect with I-Kamanchi, but Jenna G has yet to bless our stage.
"Want My Love" - Metrik (Hospital, 2014)
Metrik's Universal Language LP on Hospital Records made waves in drum & bass upon its release, and this track was the clear standout featuring vocals by Elisabeth Troy. Metrik played at Respect alongside Nu:Logic (Nu:Tone and Logistics) for our Hospital night in August of 2013.
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"Twenty Questions" - Ivy Lab (Critical Music, 2015)
One of the great tunes of 2015 so far, this track evokes the best of liquid, soulful drum & bass produced by a trio consisting of Sabre, Stray and Halogenix. One of my favorite soulful tracks from this year; I look forward to hearing more from the Ivy Lab and hope Respect or someone can bring them to L.A. very soon!