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Baker's Dozen

Creation Of Worlds: Bok Bok Discusses 13 Favourite Albums
Rory Gibb , May 20th, 2014 03:40

Ahead of his new EP Your Charizmatic Self, the Night Slugs co-founder meets Rory Gibb to discuss thirteen favourite albums, from pioneering R&B production to grime's sonic brutalism and the blossoming influence of labelmate Jam City


Macabre Unit - Education

They did some of the same beats from that era of classic Rascal beats when they were in radio sets - you'd be hearing Macabre beats right next to them. Man, if I play you them right now, you'd recognise them in a flash, 'cause it's like, absolute staples. Actually, funnily enough Lil Silva learned to produce from one member of Macabre Unit, so when you listen to all the old Silva beats, and there's all those crazy hats on there with flanger pinging around, that's pure them. It's really recognisable. Have you really not heard them? [Digs out Macbook and plays a couple of beats, whose blocky melodies sound oddly compelling and eerie blasting from laptop speakers]. I used to listen to this on my Nokia! I used to blast all this from my Nokia, through the speaker on the bus. This is definitely in that Rascal, Wiley and Slimzee Sidewinder tape.

[That blocky sound], it is like Lego bricks, that's how I always think of it. I approached making my new record exactly like that. It might not sound like grime from the outside - 'Melba's Call' might not sound like grime when people first hear it - but it is to me, just because of the very logic of having built it that way: in eight bar blocks, and the way the beat recycles itself on a two bar level, all these things, the logic of it is straight out of grime.

I think that's why I was so amazed back in the day, and that's why I'm still so addicted to it, because they just made it so modular. And then you had the whole FruityLoops remix culture where you'd just drop the whole track into Fruity and slice it up, again into these little building blocks. So cool. To the point where the tracks become so simple and effective, the sample placement is so visceral, that you can actually draw it as a diagram almost, you know? Well, some might not want to, but you know... I kind of do. [laughs]

[I mention interviewing Terror Danjah, and how he remembered obsessively cutting tiny fragments out of a Timbaland break and reassembling them, just in order to get the whole break to use for making tracks.]

Damn, Terror! It's funny how those guys were the same level of obsessive about R&B producers of a certain era as I am about them - but then I've become obsessed with the R&B producers through them. I love the way that it was all Timbaland to some extent, and Darkchild - the shuffle of it all and everything like that, so much of it was derived from those two, [then] pumped up and weaponised with garagey bass. That's why I think what Night Slugs are doing now isn't worlds apart from that whole process. It's just more of the same, we're just taking R&B and giving it... it's definitely a continuation.