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Baker's Dozen

A Sucker For Melody: Martin Carr's Favourite Songs
Joe Clay , October 28th, 2014 12:49

With an excellent new solo album, The Breaks, just released, and a London gig tonight, the former Boo Radleys and bravecaptain man has a trawl through the finest 7"s in his record collection with Joe Clay


Kid606 - 'Straight Outta Compton'
I seem to miss out the whole of 1990s. I kind of lost interest in pop music. You can tell our albums get worse the more I lost interest in what was going on. I was just going back and buying old stuff. There is the odd single from the 90s that I had on the list but I ended up crossing out. Like 'Motorcycle Emptiness'... 'Live Forever'. Things like that. I stopped reading the music press as well. Once I was in it, I stopped taking it seriously. The magic had gone. I suppose I was looking for something new. I really liked Aphex Twin. I wasn't really that bothered about Selected Ambient Works, but the Richard D. James Album was a really big one for me. I liked Squarepusher - his music wasn't very friendly or very melodic, but there was something there that made me keep coming back. I didn't go to any clubs in the 90s which is probably where I went wrong. I don't really like clubs, so I missed out on a lot of music. It's sort of a regret.

But then in 2000 - Kid606, 'Straight Outta Compton'. That absolutely blew my mind all over the place. I listened to it again the other day, and he's just playing the record and feeding through a load of effects. I can hear that now, but then... it was something completely other. Of course, it's a great track to begin with. I'd got so fed up of what I was hearing on the radio. I couldn't bear Travis. I'd completely gone off guitar music. I was just buying dub and Northern Soul records. Some of it I didn't know what it was. It didn't have any tunes or any beats. I did that for a number of years, until about 2003 I think. I stopped buying anything that resembled a tune. I was really into Lesser and Pisstank, all the Anticon stuff.

I went to see Kid606 in London, a few days after 9/11. The vibe in the place was so weird. It was such a weird couple of weeks. I got to Victoria station and some guy came running out of WHSmith waving a newspaper, screaming, "Death to America!" Everyone froze, hundreds of people shit themselves. But he just went off, he didn't do anything. But the gig had this really heightened atmosphere. It was just incredible. It's the most punk rock gig I've ever been to. Just a guy with two laptops, drinking two bottles of Budvar at once. It was fantastic. That got old for me quite fast - going to watch people with laptops. But there was some brilliant music that came out of that. To me it's connected, but it probably isn't, to people like Prefuse 73, who I think is a genius. Then I started doing laptop gigs myself for a couple of years, knowing it wasn't nearly as good as any of those guys because I didn't really know what I was doing. I just really liked doing it.