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Baker's Dozen

A Flash Of White Heat: John Stanier Of Battles' Favourite Albums
Kiran Acharya , September 17th, 2015 08:40

With Battles' new LP La Di Da Di out, the drummer with the highest cymbal in rock takes a journey through hardcore, hip-hop and baroque and reveals his 'never-leave-home-without-it security blanket record' for Kiran Acharya

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Mobb Deep - The Infamous
Early-to-mid 90s New York hip-hop was an exciting period. The production on this is bananas, and still sounds amazing in 2015. Right around this time, after Wu-Tang, the beats got slower, grimier and darker. Hearing 'Shook Ones Pt. II' blasting out of someone's car five blocks away was a nightly occurrence. This was everywhere. Everywhere. This is their second record. There was one before which I haven't ever heard. This is their first real record, which came out on Loud. It came out of nowhere and was like a bomb going off.

New York in 1995 was better than 1985, but it still was pretty damn grimy. It was awesome but there was a lot of crime and drugs. Nowadays I hate New York. I can't stand it. You have to be like a multi, multi, multi millionaire to even live in Manhattan. Even if I was a multimillionaire I don't think I'd want to live there because all the people suck! It's still the centre of a lot of stuff, but it's a city of people that just complain. When I moved there in the late '80s there were people complaining that it wasn't like it was in the '70s. The last twenty years have quadrupled that complaint. That complaint has become more legitimate.

My two bandmates [Ian Williams and Dave Konopka] don't share my opinion - I'm the grouchy older New Yorker guy who just bitches and moans about how New York sucks now. They moved there in the early 2000s when it had long sucked already. I still have a place there, but I've been in Berlin more for almost four years.


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