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Baker's Dozen

Rare Essences: Andy Gill Of Gang Of Four's Favourite Records
Bryan Brussee , February 3rd, 2020 11:04

Five years ago, following the release of their eighth album, What Happens Next, Andy Gill of Gang Of Four talked Bryan Brussee through the picks of his record collection, both albums and individual tracks


James Brown - 'Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine'
I first heard it when I was a little kid. I thought, "What is this?", trying to get my head around it. You've got to do a dance as a little kid to figure it out, and with all the most interesting stuff it takes you a while to get it.

It's so fucking modern. You could pick a number of songs, but the architecture of those songs, it's like these super-tight rhythm sections and it doesn't really go anywhere. The groove is the thing. Sometimes he goes, "Take it to the bridge!" and they change it, but then they go back to the groove. It's not like a traditional song structure. The streamlined simplicity of it, and not being distracted by harmonic development, strikes me as being so revolutionary and modern.

It makes me think of painting. Sometimes he's just groaning and yelping, and he's kind of like Jackson Pollock over this very tight structure, this kind of animalistic thing smeared across the song. You can see the connection to the blues, you can see the connection to early jazz, but he takes it somewhere else completely different.