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.


Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold As Love
That album is my favourite because it's the one that feels most concise. Electric Ladyland I love, but it does sprawl a little bit and some of the later ones don't feel like he's absolutely at his peak. The early ones - Are You Experienced? - I do love them but it feels like there's lots of singles. So for me, Axis: Bold As Love has that depth. The production is just fantastic as well. 'If 6 Was 9', embodies that whole wild, epic, Jimi Hendrix thing, in a concise pop song. Him saying about the businessmen going down the street, "you can't dress like me", and "I'm gonna wave my freak flag".

For a long time, my favourite Jimi Hendrix stuff was the live stuff - he's one of those guys where you can be a fan of the the live stuff and it's almost a completely different artist to the albums. Whereas this one feels like it's got that spirit of Jimi Hendrix live in the song as well. He manages to get this epic adventure into three and a half, four minutes. To me it just embodies Hendrix: rebellious but friendly, and totally in control of the universe. He's like a shamanistic character isn't he?

'Up From The Skies' is really amusing, really cool. 'Spanish Castle Magic' is just a rocker. But it's got this real sparkle to the whole thing. I think these albums, the reason why they've lasted, is because you can listen to them at any time. You can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can listen to Axis: Bold As Love on an epic road trip or having a coffee in the morning.