This week Islington Assembly Hall plays host to Tom Jenkinson of Squarepusher’s second project Shobaleader One. In celebration of him rounding up an incredible line-up (he’s joined by Lafawndah & Steve Davis DJing) here’s five tunes that were on the stereo when they created their debut album D’Demonstrator.
Marcus Miller – Scoop
I bought this in 1997, having heard a snippet of it on the radio. It’s a typical fusion scenario where you have some entertaining shredding, some ok writing and some wack instrumentation. But MM’s playing cannot be defeated even by a naff 90’s production aesthetic -the man is a bass machine of the highest order. There’s an amazing vocal-like intonation to his performance on this piece. Well wizard!
Godflesh – Christbait Rising
The Streetcleaner album was a big thing for me and a couple of characters I was in a band with in 1990. I was into Earache bands such as Napalm Death but this stood out partly because they used programmed drums instead of a drummer. Replacing flesh and blood with a cheap drum machine only made it feel me more apocalyptic in my book. Seriously bleak!
Dizzee Rascal – I Luv U
I remember hearing this in a club in San Francisco for the first time. When the drums kicked in it really smashed me round the head. The whole thing sounded like dynamite. When I got home I was hearing it coming out of every car stereo too. It’s one of those tunes that it doesn’t matter where your hear it, it always slams! Massive!
Herbie Hancock – I Thought It Was You
This was from when Herbie first got his hands on a vocoder. Predictably it sounds totally sublime in his hands, as most things do. A little cheesy yes, but no more than a pleasant tang of fromage in a kitchen full of all sorts of other appetising foodstuffs. Right now it’s easy to hate the vocoder and processed vocals generally because of the association with total bullshit music but remember it’s not the fault of the instrument but the person using it! Trippy!
Destiny’s Child – Now That’s She’s Gone
This one and Say My Name … what can I say? So good. The way it opens up is really sweet. The production is pretty much as good as it gets. And the bassline is a masterpiece in its own right. Say My Name is amazing as well -the bridge between the verse and chorus is nothing short of total techno! Proper smooth!