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Baker's Dozen

Serious Vibe: Dave Okumu Of The Invisible's Favourite Albums
Danny Riley , March 10th, 2016 10:59

Before he plays Convergence festival, the prolific singer and guitarist speaks to Danny Riley about the albums that have shaped his musical life, including D'Angelo, Aphex Twin and "diminutive funk goblin" Prince


Jamie Woon – Making Time
There's a real mix of older stuff, stuff that you might have grown up with, and newer stuff on the list.

It kind of felt important to do that. The heart of my work, my main responsibility, is to remain inspired. When I was compiling this list I really wanted to put on albums that I've just discovered and things that have just come out now. Jamie's record, I think it's such a phenomenal record. I work whenever I can with a producer and mix engineer called Lexxx. I can't remember what we were working on at the time, maybe we were working on a Kwabs track that I'd produced, it might have been some of Jessie [Ware]'s stuff, but we were at Konk, the studio where Lexxx works out of. Whenever I see him he'd play me things that he was working on and there was this beautiful thing going on at Konk where Jamie Woon was working upstairs, Darkstar were working in another [room] and Lexxx was downstairs. I distinctly remember him playing me what would become the opening track on Jamie's album, an unmixed version of it. I was just totally blown away by it. I didn't feel like that was happening anywhere else in British music at that time, because of the way that record was put together. There's a lot of live playing on it, a lot of first takes, so there's that level of musicianship but it's really tasteful and really contained. It sounds really modern and timeless.

I think they've achieved something really extraordinary with that recording. I love how un-engendered it feels, so unforced, natural and very bold, because it's not adorned with all the production trickery of the age. But it also feels like it's from this time. Subsequently when it was finished Jamie sent it to me and I listened to it quite a lot, and I became quite involved with putting his live band and show together. I'm not an envious person, but when Lexxx played the album to me I was like, "Shit, I really wish I'd been involved with this record!" It does happen occasionally, but they obviously didn't need my help because it sounds absolutely brilliant. They should be very proud of what they've created; it feels like a really significant thing for me.

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