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Baker's Dozen

Taking Stock: Colleen's Favourite Albums
Jude Rogers , May 12th, 2021 08:58

In this week's Baker's Dozen, Colleen (aka Cécile Schott) takes Jude Rogers on a journey through her musical life, from car tapes to heartbreak, taking in Arthur Russell, Love, Low, GZA, The Green Arrows and much more along the way.


Noel Ellis – Noel Ellis
I should have put something by Lee Perry as the second choice really, after Michael Jackson, as I've loved dub music since I was very young. The reason I didn't is as much as I love, love, love Lee Perry is there are usually a few songs on each album where I think, 'Ahh, I wish he had a bit more quality control on the amount of music he has released so he could come up with the perfect album from start to finish!'

As a kid, I don't know if it was the same in the UK, but on the side of motorways, at petrol stations, you would have racks of tapes, and once in a while, my parents would buy a tape from those racks. So for instance, we had Boney M, you know – that was the level we were operating at! But my parents also got a French compilation called The Kings Of Reggae, which on the cover said, 'Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Upsetters, Lee Perry, Roman Stewart', so sounded pretty mainstream, but it also had a couple of really early takes from Bob Marley and Lee Perry at his weirdest. It had 'Roast Fish and Cornbread', it, 'Scratch Walking', 'Curley Dub', 'Return Of The Super Ape'. I heard that when I was seven or eight. That's the beautiful way in which Jamaican music in its weirder form and its dub form entered my life!

But I've chosen Noel Ellis because that album is really beautiful from start to finish. It has incredible production, and it's also a great example of Jamaican music not necessarily sounding like reggae. It kind of annoys me sometimes that if you say that you listen to Jamaican music, people will think, 'Oh, Bob Marley, reggae, spliffs,' whatever. I guess in the UK you don't because it's part of UK culture, but I think in other countries in Europe, there's often a narrow-minded view. Maybe [the idea of people who think like this] will incorporate ska too, but Jamaican music is so much more than that, especially given how much Jamaican music uses production as a kind of compositional element. I love the idea that you can have one composition but it can turn into so many songs, depending on who is producing. That idea is very dear to me.