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Baker's Dozen

Sonic Cinematography: Neneh Cherry's Favourite Albums
Helen King , February 27th, 2014 05:30

Following the release of her new album Blank Project and ahead of shows at Field Day and Sonar Barcelona, Neneh Cherry talks Helen King through her all-time top LPs

Photograph courtesy of the marvellous Cat Stevens

Since the early 1980s, Neneh Cherry has carved out a career defined by its eclecticism, integrity and kinetic energy. Emerging in her teens from the post-punk scene via Rip Rig + Panic, a band affiliated with The Pop Group but largely forgotten, Cherry built on their genre-melting ethos in her subsequent solo career. She went on to shake up the pop world with Raw Like Sushi, her debut, and the never-out-weirded single 'Buffalo Stance'.

Over the next two decades she continued to trouble the mainstream - and the not-so-mainstream - with a series of magnetic collaborations, tangential projects and impulsive musical forays. The warp and woof of Cherry's creative approach means that – whichever direction she takes it in – it is going to be more than worth paying attention. Continuing this trend, her new release, Blank Project, produced by Four Tet's Kieran Hebden (with contributions from electronica duo RocketNumberNine and fellow Swede Robyn), has very much met the expectations inscribed in her earlier work.

This seemed like the perfect time to ask her about the records that mean the most to her right now, and how they have intersected with her life. The interview ended up taking place in three instalments: what with promoting Blank Project, rehearsing for live performances and looking after her three daughters, Cherry was back and forth between the UK and Sweden, her home country, during the week in question. As we come to the end of her Baker's Dozen, Cherry is in the middle of hosting an 18th birthday party for her youngest daughter. The partygoers are increasingly impatient for her to return to the party (she breaks off from conversation at one point to yell: "Turn the oven down!"). Despite this she spoke of all the records on the list with the disarming honesty and forthrightness for which she is known.

Blank Project is out now via Smalltown Supersound; get hold of it here. Neneh Cherry with RocketNumberNine play at Field Day in Victoria Park on Saturday 7th June, and at Sonar Festival, Barcelona, which runs from 12th-14th June -for information and tickets, click here.

Click on Neneh's image below to begin scrolling through her choices