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You can get the lowdown on an artist’s current happenings and read plenty of juicy gossip about them at way too many other places on the interweb; but we’re not having any of that here. Instead, The Count-Off aims to reveal a never-before-seen side of the top dance music names on our radar, by inviting them to share five songs, four things, three albums, two people and one wish.

There’s about a week and a few days left of sitting around whilst twiddling our thumbs until Delta Heavy drops their debut LP, Paradise Lost. It’s a nail-biting event for those who have shadowed the London-based duo since day one, watching them scoot into the uppermost echelons of drum & bass. The sigh of relief is so close, we can already feel it leaving our bodies, but there’s still a small stretch to go before RAM Records is ready to make the 14-track opus available for public consumption (you could be like us and keep slamming the play button on this monstrosity we premiered last month while you wait for it to come).

To make the idle hanging around less painful, we hit up the Delta Heavy guys to have them go down their list for us. They’ve always been so damn good to us, so make sure to show them some love when they drop into Beyond SoCal next month.

5 songs I wish I’d made:

1. Todd Terje “Inspector Norse”

Made using only one vintage synthesizer, this gem is an instant mood lifter. You can’t help but love how happy it is.

2. Blur “Coffee & TV”

We are both big fans of blur. Their entire discography is brilliant, but this is definitely one of the peaks of their career. The video, starring the missing milk cartoon, had a massive influence on what we try to achieve with our videos.

3. Sub Focus “Timewarp”

One of our favourite producers and one of the most iconic drum and bass tunes of recent years. This still gets played every weekend by so many DJs, and sounds as good now as when it first came out.

4. Brian Eno “An Ending” (Ascent)

Such an emotional piece of music by the master of soundscapes. Some people don’t get this but we love how it makes your mind wander and [you] lose yourself. It was inspirational when writing tunes like “Apollo” and “The World Is Yours.”

5. Michael Jackson “The Way You Make Me Feel”

This will get everyone dancing, no matter where it is played and who’s listening.  A timeless classic with an infectious groove.

4 things I’m happy I did:

1. Took our love of music and DJing to the next level by producing and turning it in to our dream career.

2. First show at EDC Vegas 2012

By far the most exhilarating show we’ve ever done. We were in [such] a rush to get there on time and to prepare ourselves, that there was no time for the anticipation to build. We didn’t realize how many people would be there, and we’ll never forget looking out into the crowd and being unable to see where the mass of people going nuts ended.

3. Si: Skydive & AJ Hackett Cable Car Bungee Jump in Queenstown, NZ

During a trip to New Zealand while I was studying, I conquered my fear of heights head-on by jumping out of a plane and bungee jumping on consecutive days. One of my proudest moments to date.

4. Ben: Debut show in Tokyo recently

We made our Japan debut recently at the legendary Womb, and the whole trip encapsulated why I am so grateful to do this for a living. Tokyo is an incredible place, and I loved everything about it: the food, the shopping, the architecture, the culture. The show itself was also unforgettable—a perfect weekend.

3 albums everyone should own:

Weezer – Blue Album

This reminds me so much of my teenage years being in a band. It’s very raw and sounds like it was recorded in someone’s garage, which for me, only adds to the authenticity. Epic melodies with silly lyrics about nothing. “Say It Ain’t So,” “My Name Is Jonas” and “Only in Dreams” are peaks, but all 10 tracks feel like anthems for the ‘90s American teenager.

Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole 

This was one of the albums that got me into dance music. These guys produce sounds in such a unique way, they don’t resemble anyone else. They have been constant innovators in the electronic music scene, and they have made inspired collaborations with vocalists like Noel Gallagher for “Setting Sun” on this album.

Beastie Boys – Hello Nasty

The two faces of the group—on one hand, a rap trio inspired by everything from funk, jazz and rock to samba, electro and world music, and on the other, a messy grunge band—all added to the mass of furious energy they had onstage and made them one of my favourite acts I’ve ever seen live. The diversity and evolution of their sound through their discography is inspiring, along with the constant, relentless energy and interplay of their rhyming is what made the Beasties so unique. Hello Nasty was probably their peak of success, and it sucks that we won’t get to hear more new music from them.

2 people I wish I could hang out with:

1. Hans Zimmer

The master of soundtracks—period—with probably the best job in music there is. Interstellar, Inception, the Batman trilogy, True Romance.

2. Silvio Dante from the Sopranos

The ultimate consigliere: killer one-liners, loyal to the grave, and a bonus—an absurd toupee.

1 thing I wish everyone knew:

Life is better when you’re not a dick.

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