The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Perfect Calibrations: Simon Raymonde's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , February 6th, 2014 09:02

Following the release of his new album with Snowbird, the former Cocteau Twins man and Bella Union boss gives us his rundown of his all-time (on this given day) favourite records


Dif Juz – Out Of The Trees
There's a link between dub and Dif Juz: they made a record with Lee Perry that never came out. 4AD have the masters, there is talk about it coming out with a little box set of some other Dif Juz things and I really hope it happens. I think they were a really important group and I know no one knows them: they have a difficult name, they are not an easy band but when we invited them on tour with us two or three times in the early 1980s, I watched them start to finish every single night. Watching that kind of musicianship, [especially] the style of Richie Thomas on drums and sax, he played reggae style but the wrong way around, he was playing the snare and the bass drum on the same side with his right hand and his right foot and I was staring at this every night thinking, "what's he doing?!" It was like this mixture of reggae and jazz. I just found it incredible to watch. And all the bass lines were dub bass lines and they would have a lot of reverb on the snare. So they were obviously very interested into that, they got me into Black Ark [Records] and we became really close. 

That music takes you into a different place, you compensate for the lack of vocals by imagining your own journey, your own visual story. If they came out now, people would go crazy for them - look at how popular Mogwai and Explosions In The Sky have become. You're never gonna have tons of instrumental bands breaking through but their sound was very different, really quite current in many ways. I've been talking to Richie again recently about doing something musical with him because I'd love to go into the studio and play with the way he drums because it's always fascinated me. He was auditioned to be PiL drummer when he was fifteen but he didn't get the job, they said they couldn't take him because he was too young! I'm kinda glad he didn't get it because I would have missed out on Dif Juz. He ended up playing rock drums in the Jesus & Mary Chain, but as a musician, he's really up there.