The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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


The Pop Group – Y

Why did I feel such kinship with punks and post-punks? We were both facing the same pressures, the same attacks. We were socially in the same bag - at the bottom of the ladder. Going to school with people of the same social standing forged that solidarity between the reggae scene and with punks - and people like the Pop Group were going to shebeens and blues parties and they wanted that sound. What a lot of those bands loved about reggae was the bass, the feel of the bass, and when I produced them they wanted to tap into that heaviness. In normal production you want the VU meter safely in the zero. With reggae and with the Pop Group we jacked the bass up into the red but so long as it didn’t distort, so long as it sounded clean, we were happy. Your eyes as an engineer were telling you the music was all wrong, but your ears are telling you it’s all right!