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Baker's Dozen

Aspirational Music: Hiro Kone's Favourite Tracks
Bernie Brooks , November 3rd, 2021 10:32

From the duduk to spiritual jazz, Hiro Kone's Nicky Mao guides Bernie Brooks through a selection of thirteen tracks that informed and inspired her latest LP, Silvercoat The Throng


Gil Scott-Heron And Brian Jackson - 'Winter In America'

It's extremely hard to pick one Gil Scott-Heron song, because there are so many amazing ones, but this one certainly feels relevant – I mean, it's always felt very relevant – but I guess even more so the last couple of years, right? It's funny, because today I was doing a little research on that record - i.e. Wikipedia - and I thought it was interesting that he called his fusion of musical styles "bluesology", the science of how things feel. And I thought, "This is how things feel right now."

tQ: I think that applies to your new record, too. Even if you didn't know that Scott-Heron factoid until today, somehow you've been channeling it. But then, you're aware, and being aware of what's going on ultimately comes through. You'd have to actually try to stop it coming through.

I'm a bit of a sponge, and that's also why I have to be careful out in the world. I feel things very strongly sometimes. Sometimes, I'm like, "C'mon, have a thick skin!" [laughs] But yeah, I think there's truth in that, for sure. When I was working on this record, in the back of my mind, I'm like, "Wow, it's going to be impossible to release this a year from now and have it not be considered a COVID record." I'm fine with that now, because I went through the process. If that's the COVID record, that's my COVID record.

tQ: And that's fine, but also, essentially all the problems we're dealing with under COVID were there before, right? And they're there now. COVID is just that one extra, inevitable really bad thing that pushed everything else beyond tenability. Ultimately, COVID records are just talking about things that've been shit forever.

'Winter In America' is indicative of years and years, of hundreds of years of that problem, right? Luckily, I do have a body of work that's always pointed to that. This isn't random for me.

tQ: It’s not like you opened your eyes for the first time and were like, "Whoa!"

[laughs] I mean, there are people who are waking up to that. Thank God we have laughter!