Tom Baker – a nocturnal life
With releases on Wiggle, Brique Rouge and Wrong Recordings, Tom’s low- slung bass-driven take on the underground sound has powered some of the world’s best festivals, clubs and parties.
Tom’s early ear was subliminally tuned in the late 80’s when Tom discovered the London acid house scene. He’s been a true convert to the cause ever since, not just as a soldier of the underground, but one of the scene’s true green berets.
A humble C90 cassette tape, mailed into Mixmag’s bedroom DJ competition in 1994 offered ample evidence of his taste in music and mixing skills. He beat over a thousand hopefuls to first place, enough to win him gigs at a string of high profile events. Seminal London clubs such as The Gallery at Turnmills, Bagley’s Film Studios and Ministry of Sound all booked him, but it was the crowd reaction to his innovative and eclectic sets that secured his reputation.
By 2000 there was a residency at Sound Architecture in Rotterdam and a non-stop itinerary of bookings all over Europe. Tom’s record box soon found its way around Asia and all over the Americas, and internet broadcasting via Pulse Radio with Natalie C helped him reach an even broader audience. The show ran every week for five years, played host to a talent roster that reads like a who’s who of the London scene, and included broadcasting live from the Winter Music Conference in Miami.
But big clubs and headline gigs are not Tom’s only accolade. His underground credentials have been honed through countless warehouse parties where those in the know vote with their feet. Uncompromisingly selective, Tom digs ever deeper for the real dance floor gems. That’s why the dance music glitterati from Fabric in London to Sonar in Vancouver have good reason to remember his name.
And underground legends such as Terry Francis and Asad Rizvi have conferred their own marque of distinction on Tom’s productions. His early collaborations with Lawrence Mohamed were signed to Wiggle, Wrong and Brique Rouge – seminal labels that have established tech-house as a global phenomenon through a succession of world-class releases.
Hear Tom in action behind the decks and you’ll find yourself immersed in a soundscape that’s impossible to ignore. His sets are always heartfelt, ever enticing and sometimes just downright filthy. Meet him at the bar you’ll be wowed by his knowledge, enthusiasm, warmth and wicked sense of humour. Book him to play and you’re assured of much more than tried and tested floor-fillers with all the usual drops and hooks. You’ll be teased by sounds that are the distillation of a thousand nights of sweat-drenched walls. (Words c/o Martyn Rochester, Kerfuffle)