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Baker's Dozen

Shields Against The World: Mat Osman's Baker's Dozen
Luke Turner , May 10th, 2023 08:40

From growing up on The Carpenters to reconnecting with music in his "wilderness years" Suede bassist turned novelist Mat Osman takes Luke Turner through his Baker's Dozen of favourite recordings


A Guy Called Gerald – ‘Voodoo Ray’

During the period pre-Suede I used to go to the Blackburn raves and things like that. The sense of community in the rave scene and of storming the mainstream was really important to us – there is a blueprint for what Suede did in the drama and excitement. Soul II Soul were also an influence, in that they had the sound of London and were a gang, it didn’t matter that the music didn’t sound like ours. I loved going up to Manchester at that time and seeing the way everyone was dressed the same, that a musical force could change the way people looked, thought and behaved. Lots of the music from that time I don't particularly like anymore, I find it hard to listen to because it's tooled up for a certain job, to make you dance when you're off your head. But ‘Voodoo Ray’ is the most glorious thing, it’s impossible not to sing along to. It's that incredible mix of minimal mechanicalism and this human aspect over the top. It’s propulsive in the way the best dance music is, mentally propulsive as well as physically. I only found out really recently that it's Peter Cook saying “Voodoo ray”. It’s two absolute heroes on one track – A Guy Called Gerald and Peter Cook.