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Baker's Dozen

Overlapping Terrain: Richard Skelton's Favourite Music
Luke Turner , February 26th, 2020 09:18

Following the release of his new album LASTGLACIALMAXIMUM, the prolific Richard Skelton speaks to Luke Turner about the music that inspired his own work, from Thomas Tallis to Phuture, Nico to Sly & The Family Stone, The Stooges and Gorecki


Sly & The Family Stone – 'Africa Talks To You' 'The Asphalt Jungle'
What stuck out for me was the ramshackle nature of it. It's really loose. If you think of James Brown as that archetypal funk sound where everything is so incredibly tight, then Sly is coming at it from somewhere else. He’s not standing up, he’s sitting down, or even lying down. There's an interesting similarity between Sly and The Stooges – a lot of the tracks on There's A Riot Going On are fairly short, but there are these two really long tracks that bookend each side of the album. I particularly 'love Africa Talks To You'. I don't know how to describe it, you fall into it, it takes hold of you, it's hypnotic. About five minutes into it you think fucking hell this is amazing. It's such a great track in the way the bass and guitar and drums all just lazily talk with each other, it's just incredibly, ridiculously funky. There's A Riot Goin' On is such a strange title for an album, because it doesn't really engage with social issues head on. Marvin Gaye's What's Going On came out at the same time, and that's talking about problems in Vietnam, ecological issues, and ‘inner city blues’, but the production is quite slick. Yet the Sly album is dirty. It's as if it's a copy of a copy. You hear it and think, well, if he's allowed to get away with that, and I'm thinking about doing music myself, maybe I don't have to record it in a studio. Maybe the sound doesn't have to be perfect, it's more about the mood and atmosphere. So it gives permission for people like me to be able to step in and say, okay, well I can maybe I can do something too.