The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

The Quest For The Grail: Rat Scabies Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , March 7th, 2018 12:49

The former Damned drummer tells Ben Graham about seeing bands at the Orchid Ballroom in Purley, the appeal of repetition and variety in music, and how The Damned nearly got their own Monkees-style TV show

Portishead_1520357057_resize_460x400

Portishead- Dummy
It's an unstoppable record. I nicked my copy so I never had a sleeve for it, so I never got any of the song titles or anything like that. But again it's a very complete record. It's one of the few albums that I can just leave on and it can play all the way through and you don't go oh, not this track again, I hate this song. Everything on it sounds like it was recorded in somebody's bedroom. I've never even looked up how they actually did do it, but I just love that the machines and the loops they used were pretty much standard for the dance crowd, and things like where I would have said oh, not that beat again, everybody's heard that loop, you know, actually they turned round and said ah, but if we do it like this it sounds really good. And the production on it is amazing. Some of the things that are going on with the timings on the compressors and the noise gates, on that level there's plenty to listen to, as well as the songs being great. The dynamics and the editing in and out and the mixes are really quite something else. I wonder sometimes if it's only because I've made records myself that I get how much work must've gone into that to make it happen. But at the same time it still sounds like it was done in a bedroom. But again, they're very minimalist in what they use. They pick their shots. When they do something they make sure it's in the right way and in the right place. There's nothing in there that clouds the water or gets in the way of the vocals or loses the bass. It's always relevant.


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.