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Baker's Dozen

Funk Soul Brother: Alexis Taylor Of Hot Chip's Favourite Albums
Dom Smith , July 17th, 2014 12:58

With his second solo album Await Barbarians released last month and a run of summer festival sets upcoming, the Hot Chip and About Group man gives Dom Smith his favourite album rundown


Robert Wyatt - Mid-Eighties
Old Rottenhat is an album that came out in 1985, and Works In Progress is an EP from the same time. They get grouped together on a compilation album called Mid-Eighties. On that album, he's using a lot more synthesiser, and a lot less acoustic and jazz instrumentation. I heard that when I was working at Domino where I used to work a few years ago, and it was just on in the office. I'd heard plenty of other Robert Wyatt but this was the stuff that I liked the most. I liked the combination of his very frail, beautiful voice mixed with properly 80s-sounding synthesisers. I like the claustrophobic sound, and the reverbs, and the synths. They're not nasty-sounding synths. For me, it's just very colourful-sounding music.

I got to work with him more recently with Hot Chip, because we were such fans, and it was a real pleasure to be in the studio with him. He gave a lot of himself to the project, and came up with some amazing parts to add to our tracks. He would sing one song of mine, but he wouldn't sing another because he needed them to feel like something he had lived. I have to feel like stuff resonates with me. I liked his honesty, and what he bought to those recordings was amazing. There's a lot to learn from him - he's very political, and I'm not like that at all. And one of the things he was doing when he made Old Rottenhat was creating lyrics that nobody could misunderstand, in terms of political meaning. I was impressed by him not hiding anything, and that's something I like to do with my music in terms of the emotional content.