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Baker's Dozen

We Like To Dig The Roots: Coldcut's Favourite Albums
Lottie Brazier , May 24th, 2017 08:03

As Ninja Tune founders and Coldcut men Matt Black and Jonathan More release a new Adrian Sherwood-produced new LP they talk Lottie Brazier through the records that sparked their lifetime of eclectic music-making

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Culture – Harder Than The Rest
MB: When I DJ, I tend to jump from one song to the other and I think it's quite hard sometimes – in order to give this coherence, I'd follow Deadly Headley with Culture, another reggae record. Not particularly dubbed out, but very much a Jamaican icon if you like. So they're both reggae, but they're really branches of the tree pointing in different directions. Harder Than The Rest is probably my favourite of the great reggae albums of the 70s. I went to see them a few years ago and it was a very joyful celebration with everyone, knowing the songs and singing along. It's something with some real soul and "sunshine hymns", I call them. I even used to play it to my dad, and he got quite into it. There are really good messages in there, like "This world is like a mirror, reflecting what you do / and if you smile at it, it'll smile right back at you." It might sound cliché, but if you're a moody git like I am it's quite a good thing to bear in mind.
When I was listening to this album earlier, I did end up noticing that the lyrics on this album are quite politically conscious but in a way that's more specific to a particular community.
MB: Exactly, and that's part of the allure of Jamaican music - that it is very real, and comes straight from the community. While we're rushing headlong into this fusion with technology and the machine, actually we're still humans and we still want the human quality – the touch and smell and closeness. And I aim to hang on to that culture.


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