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Baker's Dozen

Soul-Searching Frequencies: Eugene Hütz Of Gogol Bordello's Favourite LPs
Julian Marszalek , August 15th, 2013 06:58

Following the release of their new album Pura Vida Conspiracy, Gogol Bordello's frontman trawls his records collection to pick out his top 13


Manu Chao – Clandestino
This is definitely one of my top albums all time. When that album came out I was already a long-standing fan of Mano Negra, Manu’s previous band. I love him for probably the same reasons I love Simon & Garfunkel, actually. It was like a post-punk Simon & Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water. Of course it doesn’t have those kind of harmonies but the vibration of it, for me, is quite similar. In fact, I sometimes listen to those albums back to back.

On that album Manu invents something that needed to come to the service. It’s like gonzo and beatnik and spontaneous but it has hooks that you can’t deny and its melodic sense glues it all together. It sounds like an invitation or a ticket to a spontaneous and fun trip around South America. This is one of the strange things I read about Manu – that his sound is so worldly, but to me I hear only South America. Once in a while maybe there will be something Arabic.

This album has some influence on Gogol Bordello but it’s difficult to say because I don’t psychoanalyse what I do. The reason that it resonates with me isn’t because it was so new, because it was right along the lines of what we were doing anyway. But there’s a lot of resonance because travelling around with a guitar will pretty much bring you to a certain place which you hear on albums like this or Johnny Cash. It reflects life on the road. It’s not like when you live your life in the heart of a city but somewhere in between, in this place where there’s more open skies and less square streets. I think you can hear that.