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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


The Clash – Combat Rock
I think this was a band that could not be fucked with at this point. You’ll notice that my picks aren’t necessarily everybody’s favourites but my reason for that is there is something absolutely groundbreaking on the first song, ‘Know Your Rights’. This was the first Clash album that I heard and somebody had a tape of it when it was first released. I remember getting the tape and it was The Clash on one side and Devo on the other and I was like 12 or 13 years old and I immediately thought, that’s like Mayakovsky [Russian poet, actor and playwright] who was a very dynamic force in Russian arts. He sided fully with the proletariat and social justice and as a poet he was like Byron and he put his talents behind the emerging Soviet Union, but in a kind of naïve way. He’s known for huge strokes and delivery that is true to form and when I heard Combat Rock I was like, wow!

This is punk but not in the way of The Stooges or Sex Pistols, more mental and anarchistic. ‘Know Your Rights’ has literally like two notes and it’s very dry. There is no singing, only delivery. And it keeps your attention with its intensity so closely, even without knowing the language. It was recorded at such a frequency and that whole spaghetti western part comes in and for me that’s a masterpiece. I don’t really care for the rest of the album, actually. There are some other great songs there. That whole reggae-dub thing is mastered there and maybe it doesn’t sound so pioneering like it does on Sandinista! but it’s well recorded. There are some albums that are great but not all of the songs are fantastic, though I like the sonic quality of it a lot.