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Baker's Dozen

Champion Versions: Steve Mason's Favourite Albums
Joe Clay , March 2nd, 2016 11:04

With his new solo album, Meet The Humans, just released, the prolific musician and former Beta Band man gives Joe Clay a tour of his record collection, meandering through electro, hip-hop, punk and more


The Pharcyde – Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde
This was a huge Beta Band record. We spent many a night listening to this record when we first started recording at this squat in Shepherd's Bush. We were putting the demos together over the summer of 1995 and we were listening to it a hell of a lot. Me and John [Maclean] used to DJ at the Royal College of Art because he was finishing a course there. At that time we were really into records like Chill Out by The KLF – any record that flowed or that had skits in between, like Paul's Boutique. This Pharcyde record was part of that and the lyrics were really funny. Y'know, like 'Ya Mama'. But the standout track is 'Passing Me By'. The flow and whatever that sample is... It's a brilliant, funny hip-hop record. Along with De La Soul, it stands out in a culture that at that time seemed to be so disgustingly macho. To come out with a genuinely funny record they had way more balls that those gold-chain wearing, gun-toting plebs from Compton. Gimme a break. I loved them all the more for that. Everybody should own this record. There's a bit on De La Soul's Buhloone Mindstate where they've got this Japanese guy rapping and I nicked that for the Beta Band – I used to do it live during 'The House Song'. This made-up Japanese rap. A Scotsman rapping in Japanese is always gonna be an experience.