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The Wiseguys

As someone who has a number two single in the British charts goes, Touche is very down to earth. The young mastermind behind The Wiseguys doesn't walk around proclaiming his apparent greatness or make his handlers sit on the phone all day arranging coke and hooker binges. He doesn't even throw a tantrum at the airport when customs agents half-wittedly refer to him by his legal name, Theo Keating.

"I'm just part of that generation where hip-hop came out of America and hit Europe capturing the imagination of kids around the world," Touche says. "I took it onboard wholesale. It was almost like I had found my own home. It was where I fit. It was so different from everything else that had come before it. It was so different from band culture. It was much more creative. It gave me a chance to express myself without having loads of training and expensive equipment and instruments."

It was at this point of reference, more than any other perhaps, that caught the ear of the Dust Brothers, the acclaimed sonic architects behind the Beastie Boys' genre-wrecking Paul's Boutique and the tribal chiefs at Ideal Records. Although Mike Simpson and John King approached Touche while he was courting substantial offers from several major labels, they immediately struck a chord with the astute DJ.

"When I sat down and talked to them, I discovered there was a lot of common ground there," Touche says of his first meeting with the Dust Brothers. "They're white kids who grew up listening to hip-hop. They're into old beats and old music, as well as the latest creative hip-hop. Their points of reference in '60s and '70s are very much the same as mine, which is why I think they got my stuff right away. We sat there talking for ages. We could have talked for days. That was so much of an advantage that they run the label and that they get the product. They weren't just any old A&R men giving me lip service."

Having already conquered Britain with "Ooh, La, La," engaged in transcendental turntable battles with Norman Cook (aka Fatboy Slim) at Manumission in Ibiza, and turned Australian club kids on their heads, Touche is now ready to drop his skills American style.

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