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Baker's Dozen

The Centre Of Everything: John Frusciante's Favourite Electronic Music
Brian Coney , September 23rd, 2020 08:56

Electronic music isn't some casual fling for the Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist. From synth-pop and ghetto house, to old-school UK rave and hardcore, it's long been a major preoccupation. As he prepares to release his thrilling, jungle-inspired new LP Maya, he guides Brian Coney through 13 indispensable titles from his collection


DJ Rashad - Just A Taste Vol 1
Before Marcie and I were together, she sent me a huge folder of DJ Rashad back in 2009 or so. I knew about his music early on before he was on Planet Mu or anything like that. She was the first person to bring him to LA to play shows here. He actually didn't show up for one show, then made it up by playing in her living room the next night to 300 people. She was his good friend and one of those people who, especially back in those days, used to just send a lot of music to people who she knew loved music. She would send me tonnes of stuff. It was hard to get through because there were thousands of tracks but DJ Rashad just stuck out right away.

I realised I'd never heard anything like this in my life. It was a completely new approach to rhythm. I'd never heard beats like it. In the way that nothing sounded like Jimi Hendrix before he did what he did with the guitar, for me, that's how it is with DJ Rashad and whatever MPC he was using. Even though there's a couple of other people who are pioneers of that style of juke and footwork and stuff, it's all about the emotion he conveys. It's not just about having a new sound. I've made music that didn't sound like anything that came before but that doesn't mean people liked it. This sounds as abstract as anything Autechre ever did, but it's not meant to be abstract. It's meant to make people dance. I'd never heard anything like it before and it completely changed how I thought of rhythm forever.

DJ Rashad was also a master of using recognisable samples and transforming them into something completely different. I just feel that that in itself is an art form that deserves to breathe and grow as much as any other art form should have the freedom, in a free society, to grow. It's recognisable but it's nothing like the original is. It's his piece of music. It does not belong to anybody else but him.