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RPM: Stephen Titmus

Stephen Titmus is a DJ, record collector and all-round music nerd. With 20 years experience behind the decks he’s played everything from UK Garage raves to night-long sets at spots like Brilliant Corners. His latest project sees him collaborating with jazz musician, Dan Marston, as Real Love Seeker – a group that combines London broken beat with live instrumentation.

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Each week we will be taking a dip into the crates and minds of some of the digging scenes most prolific collectors.

🤔 Who should be on the next RPM feature?

What were your earliest musical influences?

“My parents have an incredible record collection. They came up in 1970’s East London – which was an amazing place for soul and funk music. As such, artists like Roy Ayers, The Jones Girls and Phyllis Hyman were bigger than The Beatles in my childhood home. I was lucky enough to inherit their collection when they switched to CDs. I still play a lot of their music out now at places like Brilliant Corners. Pirate radio was also a huge influence on my musical taste. Kiss FM, Mission FM, Deja Vu and Rinse introduced me to house, garage – which has remained a life-long love. “

Name one institution that changed your life musically and why…

“It’s almost a cliche, but Plastic People reconfigured the way I understand music. Hearing Theo Parrish playing John Coltrane next to Larry Heard felt like falling into a new dimension. Floating Points’ Your A Melody’ night was also a game changer. Hearing the soul music played loud on that system charged the music with a brilliant new energy. One regret is that I only made it to Co-Op a handful of times. I love that broken beat vibe. I’ve been trying to revisit that energy with a Real Love Seeker – a new production project with my friend, Dan Marston.”

Name one friend that is the ultimate fiend for the wax…

“Miche is a next level record nerd. On the times we’ve played together he’s pulled out great music that’s completely new to me. Two memorable nights were the Pharoah Sanders night we did together after he passed, and an all-night Stevie Wonder special at Spiritland. A special one from the Stevie gig was The East St. Louis Gospelettes’ cover of ‘Have A Talk With God.’ SERIOUS! “

You’ve just been dumped… What’s on the turntable?

“Townsend, Townsend, Townsend & Rogers ‘It’s Too Late To Be Nice To Her Now’.

This is an incredible raw soul track driven by deep regret. The group were led by Ed Townsend and his three sons. The lyrics are as cold as it gets. Fun fact: David Townsend from the group went onto form Surface, who were an ace boogie act. I picked this one up from Andrew Ashong – who might have the best taste in music in London. I dropped it in my latest NTS mix on heartbreak and try to play it anytime I can.”

Name a song to soundtrack the sunshine….

“Leo’s Sunshipp – Give Me The Sunshine

Perhaps an obvious one, but sometimes you need to go route 1. This is a stone-cold funk classic that never goes out of fashion. Sounds great in 40 degree or the depths of winter.”

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