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The doorway to electronic music looks different from person to person. Throughout this ongoing series, we’re looking to pinpoint the wide awakening moment when artists first stumbled upon that “one” pivotal record that would change the course of their lives forever.

The uphill trek to global prominence has seemingly been a breeze for Daley Padley. Since cannonballing straight into the scene a half-decade ago, the Leeds-based lad has kept himself busy toe-tagging house heads under his Hot Since 82 moniker. With an ability to dish out heaters on demand—either through his own doing or from his buzzing Knee Deep in Sound imprint—the guy doesn’t seem to have a cool-down setting.

Hot is heading over to EDC Mexico at the end of the month, and those who are planning to catch him in the act can thank a classic cut from the early ‘90s for making it all possible. Let’s revisit the past and find out where it all began for the young, impressionable Padley.

What’s the first track that put you onto dance music—the one that really resonated with you and became your “eye-opening experience,” if you will?
This is such a tough question—mainly because l got into dance music when l was about seven, eight years old, and that’s some time ago now.

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up with my parents being music heads and having older siblings that are also mad about their music, so I’ve always had this crazy mixture of music around me.

I got the dance buzz from my father, who’s always loved his house music and disco. If you’re asking me about that “one” particular record, then it’s probably something from the Prodigy or the KLF; maybe it’s the KLF “What Time Is Love.” These bring back so many amazing memories, too. When you’re young and naïve, [you] think the world is a better place than we actually live in today.

Describe your initial listen: How did you come across it, where were you in terms of both location and in your life at the time, how did it make you feel, etc?
I can remember when my father (who was, at this time, divorcing my mother) moved into a new house, and he bought this crazy new hi-fi system. I remember it so well because it had a CD player. And yes, CD players were all the rage then. [Laughs] My dad had bought a bunch of new CD comps, and one of them was called The Ultimate Rave.

I remember the cover; it was purple with some weird ‘80s vibe on it. Man, this was such a good mix. It’s this CD that was the total game-changer for me. I wish l still had it. I’ve searched a few times on eBay but found nothing. This is where l found records from the Prodigy, the KLF and the Shamen.

Obviously, the doorway to different genres and artists swung open after this point. Where did you gravitate to next, and why?
At this point, dance music was in such a real strong place in the UK, just like it’s always been. But l had an older brother, too, and he was hugely into dance music. Then there was the whole MTV explosion here, so before l knew it, l was totally surrounded by this crazy new music at such a young age. I used this as a platform to start collecting my own music and making my own mixtapes. I’ve always been a junkie.

The way the dance community interacts with their music is different from any other scene. How did it affect the way you started to ingest or seek out new music from then on?
At a young age, l would always wait for Sunday to arrive so l could listen to the UK Top 40 radio show, where l would record all my favorite tunes onto my tape cassette. We didn’t have much money around, so this was the best way for us to own the music we loved.

When l began DJing, it was still all vinyl, so you had to know so much about your craft: the artists who were producing cool shit, the cool labels, etc. Finding sick record shops was also a craft. You couldn’t walk into any old store and just pick anything up; you had to spend hours and hours to really find those gems. It also helped by staying loyal to that particular store so the owner knew your face and maybe, just maybe, he would hold back some tasty white label for you. THE BEST DAYS.

Do you occasionally revisit that “one” record? How does the listening experience compare now versus the first time?
I’m always revisiting that era—like everyday—and right now the old-school sound is back in fashion. l see and hear more people sampling old records to recapture that old-school vibe. It was such a strong era in dance music.

Have you ever considered doing your own interpretation of the track? If so, what direction would you want to take it, and why?
I always say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Every now and again, l hear a remix or bootleg from this era and go, “Damn, that’s good”—but only every now and again. It’s better these days to be fresh and bring new music and techniques forward. We have so much technology now.

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