Aim is DJ and producer Andy Turner. His obsession for music is clear and his ability to merge so many styles into a coherent whole is perhaps what impresses most: jazz (his dad was a jazz drummer), rap and hip-hop, to ethereal chilled-out blissful tunes. Intelligent and witty sampling adds to the overall feel of this unique sound.
”A keen ear for the right rapper and a demon song writing ability has seen Aim make a real difference in modern British music - showing that vision and skill can be fully appreciated in a market place that is filled with plastic” (Mark Rae)
Andy Turner was born in Barrow In Furness, Cumbria. Influenced from an early age by his dad's music – being taken along to gigs and to his dad's instrument shop. By 1989 Andy had set up his own record shop focusing on up-tempo breakbeat and he was dabbling on the decks himself too. He spent a brief time as a drummer in an indie band but soon signed to Grand Central Records in the summer of 1995.
Some of his early successes include 'Concentrate', a Hacienda basement classic from the 'Pacific North West EP', the 'Soul Dive ' 12”, 'Original Stuntmaster' and 'Loop Dreams' 12”.
There followed a somewhat obsessive affair with hip-hop as his only listening material. ‘I immersed myself in hip hop for two years and didn’t listen to anything else…’ but he has more recently embraced a more eclectic mixture ‘it’s only the last couple of years that I’ve been listening to music as a whole again. I don’t see there being any problem listening to the Beta Band or Diamond D. It’s all good music to me…..I’ve heard all the hip hop now that’s going to influence me. I’m getting into different stuff now - everything from Pet Sounds to The White Stripes.’
The first album ‘Cold Water Music’
is introduced by a Barry White
style voice over violin
s and chilled drum
s. The title tune ‘Cold Water Music’ is dreamy and ethereal for the first couple of bars but soon picks up with sample
d male and female vocals over an urgent rhythm. Its one of those progressive
tunes, something that ties “electronic music” to the very roots of classical music – the addition of another voice every four bars or so – like a Theme and Variations
. “The Force” introduces the hip-hop style that permeate
s the Aim sound – quite a different sound to the previous track. We are transferred to another sound again with “Sail” – a beautiful
chilled melody over a wonderfully craft
ed chord sequence. “Downstate” is funky
and fast, and “Ain’t got no time to waste” is a fabulous mix of rap and horns
– the trumpet in the refrain compliment
ing the hard vocals. ‘Fat City’ – a little ditty
of samples and jazz melody. ‘True to Hip Hop’ – is what it says really – an exemplification
of the style that obviously influences more than any other. ‘Demonique’ use vocals (sample?) in the style of Orff
's Carmina Burana
, interspersed with scratching and rap. ‘Tree, a Lock and a Cloud’ is reminiscent of Seventies chilled soul with female vocals in harmony and a mute
d trumpet. ‘Journey to the End of the Night’ introduced by a wailing female vocal and Cello
drums building up the tempo until the rhythm kicks in. “From Here to Fame” concludes the album with a cool jazzy piano
line topped by chilled rap.
‘Hinterland’ the second album continues in a similar vein but with notable progression. ‘Girl who Fell through the Ice’ features the blissful vocals of Kate Rogers over an “empty” backing for the verse and strings and bells in the chorus. ‘No Restriction’ features ‘Souls of Mischief’ with a very funky expressive rap backed by a loop on synthesiser and drums. ‘Fall Break’ is reminiscent of Bluegrass – a violin loop (sample) is built up with additional strings, piano and hip-hop vocals. ‘Guimar’ sounds like pure jazz guitar in the style of Django Reinhardt. ‘Good Disease’ features the vocals of Stephen Jones – this guy has an incredibly dreamy voice, which along with the muted trumpet, scratchy descant recorder and the vocals talking of “summer breeze” creates a blissful atmosphere. ‘Linctus’ again utilises trumpet and also saxophone over a constant crescendo and decrescendo of flutes and other wind instruments.
The ability to merge vastly different styles is something that doesn’t always work well in practice, but this is a rare exception. If you love hip-hop or rap, you will love this. If you love “chilled out grooves” you will love this. If you like jazz, you will enjoy this. If you just like good, well crafted melodies, you will adore this. Believe me, it's worth a listen…..
- Statik Sound System - Amazed by You (Cup of Tea) 1997
- Lil' Kim - Crush on You (East West) 1998
- Deadbeats - Got it Going on (20:20 D-Vision) 1999
- Rae & Christian feat YZ - Now I Lay (Grand central) 1999
- Lemn - Advise for the Living (Yo' mama) 1999
- St Etienne - How we used to Live (Mantra) 1999/ 2000
- Mucho Macho - Easy Living (Wiiija) 1999/2000
- Raissa - How Long do I Get (Polydor) 2000
- The Controls - Shere Khan (Smile) 2000
- Archive - Cloud in the Sky (Independiente) 2000
- Down to the Bone - Right on Baby, yeah (Internal Bass) 2000
- Freddy Fresh- All About The Groove (Eye Q) 2000
- Midnight Special - Midnight Special (Out Of The Loop) 2000
- Eyedentity - Heavy Interference (Blue Room) 2000
- Texas - Once in a Lifetime (Mercury) 2001
- Thunderbugs- Isn’t It Time You Were Mine (Epic) 2001
- Ian Brown - Love Like a Fountain (Polydor) 2001