The first Friend Within track to be released. I can’t remember if this was the first tune I made as Friend Within though. I do remember creating about 10 tracks in a really short period of time and not really knowing if they were any good or not as I had nothing else to compare them to. It turned out that every one of them got signed and one of them was The Renegade.
Another early tune that appeared on the same EP as The Renegade. I listen back to these tracks from 2013 and think ‘how the hell did I make these tunes?’. There are so many great ideas and levels of rawness that I struggle to replicate now. ‘The Scene’ is probably the best example of that in my opinion. I was churning out these tracks weekly and I didn’t even have to go through 20 versions of them to get them finished!
You know when people use that phrase ‘no introduction needed’? Well that certainly applies here. The original of this by Wildchild was the first 12” I ever bought back in 1995 and I’ve loved it ever since. I was looking for a track to create a bootleg of and this one seemed perfect as it was a bit of a forgotten gem and the vocal is isolated in the track making it dead easy to sample. This tune pretty much made my career as Friend Within and I’m really proud that it has made the original 1995 version appear on ‘Classic House’ compilations where it belongs.
Bondax – Giving It All (Friend Within Remix)
I started getting remix offers after the first bunch of releases and this was one of my proudest. I think it was the first remix I ever submitted where the label didn’t ask for any changes at all. Unheard of! To make an A&R person speechless is quite a feat 😉
Shadow Child & Tymer – 23
Now this is one some of you may not know is me as I put this out under the name Tymer. The reason I didn’t put it out as Friend Within is very convoluted. This started as a totally different style of track that Simon (Shadow Child) and I had been working on for a few months back and forth. When he put out String Thing I said that we just HAVE to make something like that. We kept the same vocal-chant sample in the breakdown and this tune is the result.
Disclosure signed the EP with The Renegade on it and that led to me supporting them on their first tour of the UK. I got to hang out with them loads on tour as well as various guest singers they had. There was one singer called Sam Smith who I remember being really good. Not sure if they went on to any success… That tour led on to a studio session with me and Guy (Howard forgot about it!) at their little studio above their parents’ auction house. Guy played me 5 ideas he had already started and every one of them was frickin’ amazing! The first one he played we ended up working on more and it turned into The Mechanism.
London Grammar – Metal & Dust (Friend Within Remix)
Thinking of this remix always makes me laugh as it originally got rejected and didn’t come out on the UK release of Metal & Dust. When it came out in the USA the label heard it and loved it and put it out. Turned out to be a big remix for me. It’s quite bass-house heavy which I don’t really dabble in much now.
I remember making an early demo of this and playing it to my wife. She doesn’t really take much notice of what I play her (probably because a lot of it is rubbish), but a few weeks later she said to me out of the blue, ‘what happened with that Disco song you made? It was good.’ That immediately made me think I need to finish that song! About 12 months later it was played on Eastenders. Always listen to your wife.
Friendly Fires x Friend Within – ‘Offline’
Friendly Fires are a band I’ve always loved. Their first album came out around the time my wife and I met and we would play it all the time before a night out. They got in touch off the back of ‘The Truth’ as they had a vibey, Disco demo that they wanted someone to have a look over. That demo had me hooked straight away and all I felt it needed was a chunky beat. Job done. It was a pleasure to support them on their recent tour too. They’re such lovely guys, and absolutely awesome live.
The first single off my forthcoming album, ‘Hope’. It has been a secret weapon of mine since 2019, but it is now time to unleash it to the world where it belongs… Enjoy!