The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Ancient Rhythms, Global Rhythms: Pete Wareham's Favourite Records
Adam Quarshie , April 1st, 2020 09:28

Via his ensemble Melt Yourself Down, saxophonist Pete Wareham reimagines the rhythms and melodies of Nubia. Adam Quarshie caught up with him to discuss some of his influences, from the music of Egypt and Sudan to the music of East London.


A Tribe Called Quest – Low End Theory
When I was a teenager, I was an avid Smash Hits reader - all through the 80s, that's what I read. So when the Beastie Boys and Run DMC came along, I was all over it. We were nicking VW signs from cars, skateboarding. That was a really big thing for ages. I was into that stuff for a while but the one hip hop album I listened to the most was this one. It's another one that doesn't ever fade. It's got this depth to it, and it's easy. But it's also serious and it's bumping. Obviously there are loads of other really important hip hop albums for me: Notorious B.I.G, Dr Dre, Jay-Z.

I get a similar feeling from listening to really good hip hop that I get listening to Nubian music. The whole way of writing with loops really appeals to me. It was weird because I was listening to a lot of this kind of music, and playing and listening to a lot of jazz but they were two separate worlds. I was really into guitar music as well. When I was a kid I was really into Van Halen, heavy metal and all that stuff. Those two worlds never quite joined together. It wasn't until A Tribe Called Quest, and Galliano, Joyful Noise of the Creator. That Tribe Called Quest album, for me, joined those worlds. They mined a lot of old Lou Donaldson records, and other things, but it sounded really current as well. It pulled a lot of things together. And obviously, it branched out to lots of classic 90s hip hop: Guru, Jazzmatazz, Nas. It was a really amazing time.