Bomb the Bass
With his 1987 debut single "Beat Dis," Bomb the Bass' Tim Simenon took the gleeful cut 'n' paste hip-hop aesthetic of DJs such as Steinski and Grandmaster Flash and transplanted it into an English acid house context. Over funky hip-house breaks, Simenon crafted a mad patchwork of samples from sources as disparate as Public Enemy and the "Thunderbirds" theme. Along with a few white labels from Coldcut, "Beat Dis" ushered in a fresh new sound, and its enormous commercial impact almost equaled the artistic influence it wielded over next-generation producers. Subsequent albums, especially the stoned-out Unknown Territory (1991), were even more obvious precursors to trip-hop, and outside productions for Neneh Cherry and Bjork kept Simenon on the charts. He returned under the BTB name in 1995 with Clear; that album's gritty textures, blasts of noise and rock textures were a direct precedent for the big beat that would follow a few years later. While it appears that Simenon has since put his Bomb the Bass name to sleep, the influence of his handful of party-rocking records can be heard daily. It's difficult to imagine trip-hop and big beat existing without Bomb the Bass, and every time you hear a house producer throw in a breakbeat, you're hearing an echo of "Beat Dis."