The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Getting Hypnotised: John Robb Finds The Funk In Unusual Places
Julian Marszalek , July 12th, 2017 08:35

How did it take us nearly a decade to ask Brother John Robb for his Baker's Dozen choices? The Membranes frontman sits down with Julian Marszalek to discuss 13 favourite records where over the years he's dug out the most funk

James_brown___funky_drummer__1499795635_resize_460x400

James Brown – 'Funky Drummer'
You have to have James Brown in this list; he invented funk. It's a different style of music and nobody had heard anything like it before. There's an African feel to his music and whether it's on purpose or whether he felt it, I don't know. I've been to Africa a few times and James Brown and Bob Marley are viewed as gods out there. There's some great Nigerian music out there that's been influenced by James Brown and it's utterly fantastic. It's like taking coals to Newcastle and then taking them back again.

James Brown has that connection back to Africa and his music is all built on rhythm. A lot of music is built on melody but James Brown is built on rhythm. Even his vocals are rhythmic. And every grunt that he makes is a fuck grunt, and that's great. And it's amazing to hear that when it's played on the radio because it's so primal. It's sex on the radio.


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.