Kicking off a mix series has to be done right—you can't do these things in half measures—so who better to kick off our Complex Sessions series than the Spartan man himself, Spooky.
After cutting his teeth on Mystic FM and Heat FM in 2002, Spooky soon joined Slew Dem in 2004 alongside legendary grime figures such as Tempa T, Chronik and Esco (R.I.P). Since then, he's been diligently honing his craft. The first time we heard his own sonic creation committed to vinyl was the infamous "Joyride" in 2005, a dancehall classic flipped into a grime banger for the ages, and though his sound may be sleeker than it was back then, he's lost none of that raw power.
Recently, Spooky has lent his production skills to a staggering number of grime projects, including—but not limited to—Capo Lee's Why Not? mixtape, President T's Greatest To Ever Touch Down LP, as well as releasing his own productions and making an absolute tonne of radio appearances. We managed to talk the grime historian and dancefloor rattler into putting together the first of many Complex UK mixes. As we all know, Spooky goes all out, and at 85 tracks he's set the bar unreasonably high.
Tell us a bit about your selections in this mix.
It's basically a whole heap of warped creations I've been knocking out since 2005. Some of these have even seen a revival recently, which I've been loving. I left so much out, though, so maybe a Part 2 might have to be on the cards. It's that deep!
What was the one track you absolutely had to include?
"Spartan", for sure. But I've got around four of my own different versions so you've just gotta slap those headphones on, crank the volume up, press play, zone out, and find out which ones I slapped in there.
Any tracks that narrowly missed the cut?
Too many to mention! Seriously. I left out quite a good batch of vocals, collabs, remixes, and bootlegs. But it's still 80-plus tracks long [laughs].
What's the first single or album you ever bought?
I was legit still in primary school. I remember picking up a Pinky & Perky 7" vinyl and UB40's "Cant Help Falling In Love" on 7" vinyl from Woolworths. The good ol' days!
What's the last physical record you bought?
I've just had the Ramsey + Fen & MJ Cole remix of Kym Mazelle's "Quality" drop through my door today. I've been after that for a while.
What do you want to see happen, musically, over the next 12 months?
Musically, I wanna see more new instrumentals get more love this year. It's been quite vocal-based, which I'm obviously a big supporter of, but I'm a producer myself, so, you know.
What trend or scene absolutely needs to die right now?
Ankle swingers with the socks exposed, and the dead-out shoes to match. Allow it, man!
1) Spooky - Fiesta
2) Spooky - Bashment Woooo
3) Spooky - Playground V.I.P
4) Spooky - Destiny
5) Spooky - Melting Iceberg
6) Sticky - Killa Kutz (Spooky Refix)
7) Lana Del Ray x MK - Blue Jeans (Spooky Booty)
8) Spooky - Slim's Dub
9) President T feat. Milli Major - I Don't Care Bout The Law
10) Spooky & Boylan - Peckham To Hackney
11) Spooky - Joyride
12) Spooky x Blacks - Gassed
13) Spooky - Code 9 V.I.P
14) Rocks - Why Not? Freestyle
15) Mr Snowman - Pink Elephants (Spooky Remix)
16) Spooky - Crabby Patty
17) Spooky - Amira V.I.P
18) Davinche - Eyes On U (Spooky Remix)
19) Mosca - Bax (Spooky's Refix)
20) Spooky - Gladiator R.I.P
21) Preditah - Nosy Parker (Spooky & Neon Beats R.I.P)
22) Spooky - Pulse 007
23) Spooky & Co - Pulse 007 Rally
24) *Teaser* Spooky - Rhythm & Slags 2
25) Slackk - Shogun Assassin (Spooky Remix)
26) Spooky - Cold Calling [Finn - Keep Calling Spooky Refix]
27) Spyro & Spooky - Secret Agents
28) Spooky - Glanny Dover [The 'Danny Glover' Revamp]
29) Spooky - Raw Sewage
30) Spooky - Trance Navigator
31) Spooky - Pulse 8 Rethink
32) Wiley - Eskimo (Spooky's Beat Boss Remix)
33) Spooky - Twisted Future
34) Capo Lee x Spooky - Don't Have Keys
35) Spooky - Amerie's Love
36) Jammz - 128 Bars
37) *Teaser* Spooky - Benjamins
38) Spooky - Devil's Rejects
39) Blacks feat. Jendor & Slickman Party - Work
40) Spooky - Lick Shots
41) Spooky - I Need A Girl
42) Spooky - Buddah Finger Take 2
43) Spooky - SnowForest
44) Novelist - SnowForest Dubplate
45) Spooky - Electric Spartan
46) Spooky - Unchained Slaves
47) Capo Lee x Spooky - Shell On Demand
48) Spooky - Over Capacity
49) Sticky - Golly Gosh (Spooky Remix)
50) Faze Miyake - Take Off (Spooky Refix)
51) Spooky - Baby
52) Dizzee Rascal - Go (Spooky Refix)
53) Addministro - Alert (Spooky's Red Alert Remix)
54) Spooky - Cheque 1-2 V.I.P
55) Spooky - Dead Man Walking
56) Lemzly Dale - State Of War (Spooky Remix)
57) Spooky - Golden Finger
58) Capo Lee x Spooky - C.A.P.O
59) Spooky - The Lion Awakes
60) President T feat. XP - Don't Give A Monkeys
61) Spooky - Trippy Trina
62) Mic Ty - 96 Bars Of Shells
63) K1 - Armed Robbery (Spooky's V.I.P Refix)
64) Spooky - Bun Fire
65) Spooky - Dragon Village
66) Spooky - Faithless
67) Spooky - Eski Hoe
68) Masro - Utter Madnezz (Spooky Remix)
69) Wiley - Step 16
70) Preditah - Vinyls (Spooky Refix)
71) Spooky - Waiting 2015
72) Macabre Unit - Take Time (Spooky Refix)
73) Spooky meets Floetry - Say Yes
74) Nasty Jack - Jack On The Wave
75) Spooky - Cherry
76) D Power & Big Narstie - Ride Your Buzz (Spooky Remix)
77) Spooky - Murder She Wrote
78) Spooky - Murderer 2: The Return
79) Spooky & Trends - G.R.I.M.E
80) Trends - Green Forest (Spooky Remix)
81) Lenkemz x Killjoy - Wesley Snipes (Spooky Remix)
82) Skepta - Bad Boy (Spooky Remix)
83) Drone - Skengman Mode (Spooky Remix)
84) MssingNo - XE2 (Spooky V.I.P)
85) Spooky - Spartan In The Trap