Mella Dee Digs Through His Record Box

Looking back on some of his formative loves...

Mella Dee has always been steeped in club culture's more underground aspects.

Renowned for his lengthy, genre-hopping sets, Doncaster born Ryan Aitchison can flip between four on the floor techno to UKG, future soul, and more.

Using his Warehouse Music imprint to showcase some of these underground voices, Mella Dee believes in clubbing as a means to experience something new, to have your preconceptions challenged.

Of course, there's also a physical side: dress to sweat at a Mella Dee show, because his take on clubbing aims right for the body.

With the producer steering the next Warehouse Music drop – the stellar, outrageous funky 'Donny's Groove' – we invited him to pick through his record bag…

– – –

Robert Hood is a huge influence for me, both under his own name and under the Floorplan guise. The way he approaches the idea of minimal is something I love, the main focus is always the groove, and there's always so much soul in there which is majorly important for me.

I could've picked any of his tracks for this, but decided to go with this as its something I've played in my sets for a long time and I can't see that ever changing.

– – –

When I was first going out in Doncaster we had one bar that was basically worth going to… most of my mates worked there and we got a good education on a lot of stuff that came out of the Hacienda and the scene that surrounded it.

That whole sound had a big influence on me, seeing people like Mike Pickering, Graeme Park, Peter Hook etc playing the stuff that was played in the club was really something looking back, and this track has always been one of my favourite things to come from those times.

– – –

Happy Hardcore was one of the first things I really loved music-wise from being about eight years old or so and stealing my older sister's tapes. It's not for everyone – and there's tonnes of shit out there – but it's played a huge part in my love of dance music, and I think it's a big part of why I'm so fond of big vocals in tracks.

This is fully pushing it on the cheesy side of stuff, but I literally used to listen to this on repeat and I don't feel any shame in saying I still love it to this day. Full on hands in the air and embrace it without thinking to hard if it's cool or not, it was the sound of working class towns like Doncaster when i was growing up so I've got to represent that.

– – –

Northern Soul was always there from the very start for me, my dad used to go to different all-nighters like the the infamous Wigan Casino so he's always played that music and what your parents play is always going to have an affect on you going forward.

Growing up with the sounds of the original club/dance music culture obviously means I was destined to spend a lot of my life in the clubs and that's something I'm always thankful for and it means that the soulful side of music means a lot to me and shows how important the connection of Detroit/Chicago has always been even if I never realised when I was younger.

It's impossible to not do a little two-step when these sounds bound out the speakers.

– – –

Bumpy, chunky, funky and very much a UK thing. Garage in all its forms has been a huge influence for me, the raw vibe of Uk culture and the melting pot that we are shines through. I've always been more partial to 4/4 sounds and I think that comes from the general fact that as a northerner we tend to go out ready to get down.

This one is a serious classic from Ordinary People, an early release on Stickys Social Circles label and it still stands heads and shoulders above a lot of other stuff… so what better way to showcase that UK flavour than this one!

– – –

Mella Dee will release 'Donny's Groove' on May 11th via Warehouse Music – ticket LINK.

Join us on Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

Buy Clash Magazine

Join the Clash mailing list for up to the minute music, fashion and film news.