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Baker's Dozen

True Pairings: Tom Fleming's 13 Favourite Albums
Ben Hewitt , September 25th, 2019 12:16

Former Wild Beast Tom Fleming, who's just released his excellent debut album as One True Pairing, picks the 13 records that shaped him, from Tool and Def Leppard to Scott Walker and Joanna Newsom


Dizzee Rascal – Boy In Da Corner

I heard this when I was still living in Cumbria, just before I moved to Leeds. It was like nothing I’d ever heard before: just the anger and wit, and the way everything sounded super-direct and aggressive but with laugh-out-loud moments too. I saw him perform live when he released his next record, and it’s still the best hip-hop show I’ve ever seen – he was so magnetic and had so much energy. Because I’m getting on a bit, my complaint is always that new grime isn’t as good as Boy In Da Corner, which isn’t really fair – it’s like saying something isn’t as good as Low. This is a classic record and it’s stood the test of time, and still sounds pretty wild when you listen to it now. I don’t think Wiley was involved in actually making it – although he is on one track – but it’s very Wiley-influenced, with that high-end fizziness to it which was so new at the time, thanks to Reason and Logic and that plugin sound. There was a lot I wanted to understand but didn’t about this record until I moved and met people who grew up in Wood Green and Tottenham, who loved it because this was their music – it was what they knew. And that was big for me, that sense of it not being an abstract thing, but more ‘this is really happening.’