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Baker's Dozen

Friends Of Mine: Rachel Aggs' Favourite Music
Stephanie Phillips , February 24th, 2021 10:14

Rachel Aggs takes Stephanie Phillips through the albums that made her the musician she is today, from Smokey Robinson to Robyn, Mahotella Queens to Sleater-Kinney. Portrait photo by Stephanie Gibson


Marshal Munhumumwe and Four Brothers – Greatest Hits 1994 – 1996
I think I included two compilations on this list and I thought that was a bit uncool but compilations are funny because you still listen to them as albums, especially when you're younger because it's all you have. This is another instance of stumbling across guitar music that really blew my mind at the time in terms of the guitar style, which is based on Zimbabwean, Mbira (thumb piano).

It has a different kind of rhythmic but also harmonic sensibility to it. I was amazed because the melodies are so beautiful that they're quite strange to Western ears. The way they move is more based on the law of the intervals and the tuning of the Mbira than it is on the guitar and I think that's such a cool way of thinking about a guitar.

I was really struck by this music, especially rhythmically. Sometimes it feels like you can't find the one in those tunes. I love that feeling. With Trash Kit I tried to copy some of his rhythms. They don't come out necessarily sounding Zimbabwean, but they come out in their own way.