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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


The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced?

I came home from school one afternoon to watch Ready Steady Go at 4.30. Everyone wouldn’t mind going to school on that day because we could get to see Ready Steady Go later. On this episode I’m watching Jimi Hendrix singing ‘Hey Joe’, and he’s like no one else I’ve ever seen before, this wild man, his band so loud. And the moment it stopped my phone rang. It was my friend Tony saying ‘Did you see that? This guy is the God of guitar!’

Of course them we started trying to sound like Jimi, upping our amplification We were ardent collectors of electronics magazines, circuit boards, and we started building our own effects boxes to try and get the fuzz and feedback we heard from Jimi, putting amps upon amps to build that sound. I thought Jimi was a master of effects - the way he used slowed down voices on this record blew my mind - I once told someone that the first time I heard dub was on this album, on ‘3rd Stone From The Sun’. I think that was the first time I heard echo that wasn’t being used on a Western movie soundtrack! Jimi was the first person I heard not just to play feedback but to control it. I’d slow his records down to 16 rpm to try and figure out how to play like him.

tQ: Do you think Jimi’s move from being ‘managed’ to being his own producer, and deciding who he wanted to play with subliminally set seeds in your mind as to where you wanted to go as a musician?

Definitely. What would he have done if he had survived? Anything he damn well wanted to - he’s Jimi Hendrix!