The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Heart Beats: Stuart A Staples On The Music That Inspired Arrythmia
Luke Turner , June 27th, 2018 09:07

From Linton Kwesi Johnson to Laurie Anderson, Kendrick Lamar to Robert Wyatt, Miles Davis and Insecure Men - Tindersticks vocalist Stuart A Staples selects the music that shaped his brilliant new solo album, Arrythmia

Linton_kwesi_johnson___dread__beat_an__blood__1530033241_resize_460x400

Linton Kwesi Johnson – Dread, Beat an' Blood
I'm including this because I felt its surprising effect on the writing of 'A New Real' in some of the vocal rhythms. I feel him living in something like this:

"To feel love / once buried, once lost / recovered and polished / shining and precious, cherished / I feel love…"

I feel a closeness to UK reggae from my youth - LKJ is a powerful, authentic voice, (Dennis Bovell's production ain't bad either) and he was there (and still is) to articulate the struggle. I wouldn't pretend to understand the Jamaican experience in the UK in the late 70s and early 80s though living in Hyson Green and Forest Fields then in Nottingham opened my eyes and ears to living within different cultures to the one I was raised in – the coal mining communities were not renowned for being multicultural. The affinity between punk and reggae and the rise of 2tone and The Specials broke down the race barriers of our parents, went a long way to change the attitudes of a generation in fact. Still, whenever I hear LKJ I believe every syllable he speaks – Sounds so easy to say but it is the hardest thing in the world.


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.