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Baker's Dozen

No Boundaries: Dennis Bovell's Baker's Dozen
Neil Kulkarni , October 20th, 2021 09:48

From his time working on classics like The Pop Group's Y, The Slits' Cut and Janet Kay's Silly Games, to the inspiration of Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, Dennis Bovell takes Neil Kulkarni through his thirteen favourite records

Dennis Bovell portrait by Lauren Luxenberg

“When we were first making Y I said then - this is for forever. Generations in the past had come along and appreciated the musicianship of Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole - I felt the same way about The Pop Group!”

Dennis Bovell MBE laughs - this he does a lot of during our chat - as he recalls working with The Pop Group on their epochal debut album back in 1979. It’s a creative relationship - like many that Bovell has forged over 40-plus years as musician, DJ and producer - that is still going strong: this month sees the release of Y In Dub, a masterful reconfiguration of the Bristol post-punk outfit’s pipebomb LP, wherein Bovell picks apart and re-imagines the entire album in a way that accentuates its scarifying doom and white-hot grooves, while rendering it freshly tooled for the present.

Growing out of the legendary ‘Salon Y’ gigs of 2019, in which Bovell performed searing live-dubs of ‘She Is Beyond Good & Evil’ and ‘3.38’, it's a reminder of how vital Y was in the doomy late 70s, how resonant it remains in 2021, and how Bovell’s supremely high standards as performer, DJ, producer and catalyst have been informed by all kinds of diverse sonic perspectives and scenes in a lifetime of being at the cutting edge of British music. His choices, inevitably, reflect the breadth and depth of his experience.

Y In Dub is released on October 29 via Mute. To begin reading Dennis Bovell’s Baker’s Dozen, click the picture of him below.