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Baker's Dozen

Corrupting Sonic DNA: Moby's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , September 24th, 2013 08:18

Moby talks Luke Turner through his formative musical influences, from Nick Drake and OMD to the sound of New York via Suicide, Silver Apples, Eric B & Rakim and Public Enemy

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Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
It was a real wake-up call. Hip hop until 1984, 85 was fun but for the most part it was party music. Living outside New York we'd listen to WBLS and Kiss FM where they played a lot of hip hop and me and my friends liked it, but it was very lighthearted. The Fatboys are the perfect example, or the Treacherous Three, where they have disco basslines and this fun vocal. Then almost out of nowhere Public Enemy happened. Everything about it was different. The lyrics were different, Chuck D's vocal approach was different, the subject matter and the production, the Bomb Squad. I remember hearing it for the first time and thinking how did they do this, because they've basically made punk rock hip hop, the sounds they were using, the way they were distorting basslines, it was a lot of the same ways industrial records were being made but they were making hip hop. It was so revolutionary. You can refer to musical culture in New York as before and after Public Enemy, it changed the city. New York was so dangerous then, it had the highest murder count, people were getting stabbed and shot and the crack epidemic was decimating communities and people were dying of AIDS. You'd go out to nightclubs in the late 80s and you'd hear these apocalyptic Public Enemy songs that perfectly described the city that you lived in, but they were oddly celebratory and you could dance to them. For better or worse one of the reasons I've left New York is because the city I grew up with is still there, but it's become a much meaner, safer version of its former self. I still love New York, but it's become primarily the domain of hedge fund managers and wealthy tourists, so I don't know how many more Suicides and Silver Apples and Public Enemys and Eric B & Rakims are going to come out New York City.


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