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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


Drexciya - Harnessed The Storm

I don't know why this one is my favourite of theirs, I just like the melodies a bit more. But also I feel like they'd maybe settled down a bit, and they really knew their project at that point. I can't believe it's all live takes. That's wild. Fucking wild. I don't know how. 'Cause I work with analogue equipment a lot, and I can't imagine not being able to stop and edit. Just unreal. It's magic music, absolutely magic music.

There was a time when grime went a bit dead on the instrumental side of things, things got really mixtape-y, so just naturally as a DJ I started looking for other things. I just wanted new records, you know, there's that hunger. So I started looking for other genres of music that I could integrate into what I was doing, and I started to really drill into things like Baltimore club, Chicago house... Actually I went backwards with the Chicago thing, 'cause I actually just got into the juke stuff. Similar with Detroit, I got into the hood musics of Detroit, and worked backwards to find the things that came before them: why did Assault and Godfather sound the way they did, what were they sampling, what were they referencing? It was just a natural process to get into Drexciya that way.

[Asked whether the futurist storytelling aspect of Drexciya was part of the appeal] I always thought the sci-fi stuff in Detroit music was kind of dorky, but that's kind of what the appeal is - it's very retrofuturistic in a way. I don't know if that was the appeal for me. 'Cause the thing with Slugs is, not to come back to my stuff all the time, but I never think about the future. That's not really something I try and strive towards, that notion doesn't really inform what I'm doing in the studio at all. I'm just thinking about patches, melodies, structures I like. In terms of music, I definitely don't think about the past, but conversely I don't think about futurism either, or trying to appeal to the zeitgeist. So actually time is almost irrelevant to me when it comes to music.

But I'm totally into their own crazy vision, the world that they created. The world creation thing was appealing, for sure, because to some extent we do that with Slugs. Not to the extent they did with with Drexciya, because they had a whole concept and world. That aspect of it I always was really attracted to. Sonic fiction is the best way to put it. Absolutely. And why not? People think concept albums are cheesy, but I think that's a modern cynicism that actually represents a lot of the things that are quite bad about music these days. It's like, "Oh, it's only music". Why can't it be world creation? Why can't it be on that scale, and actually aspire to draw people in as deep as that?