Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

10. Company FlowFuncrusher Plus

I remember Funcrusher Plus coming out around the time I signed to Warp I think and I was sort of writing some of the tracks on Empty The Bones Of You and around the time I did Clarence Park as well – they were going on in tandem in some ways – and I still find it an amazing album, just on a programming, engineering point of view.

I never smoke weed. I can’t do it, but that album just makes me wanna smoke a massive bifta and sit in bed all day. It’s weird the way El-P processes the vocal takes by Bigg Jus. I don’t know how he does it, he doesn’t double it, but he kind of re-samples it and puts little snatches of it between the verses a bar too late. In making it sound mechanical, he’s making it sound not live, so he’s almost distilling it and saying, ‘Look, we’re not being all one take about this, this is actually worked on’. It’s contrived but it’s just so subtle, it’s got this subliminal effect of just layers and layers of skill and finesse that have gone into the way he creates the space between the words and stuff. It’s like they’ve really thought how to make it into a record rather than just someone knocking a beat out and rapping over it live, they’ve upped it a notch so it’s just a singular work of art at the best of times.

I’m talking in particular about one track called ‘Bad Touch Example’ but there are about four on that album that really stand out. And they also did this thing of not overwhelming you with bass. A bit like Clipse: it’s really pokey production, it’s just midrange and treble, which is a bit rock I guess. Which is maybe why I like them. There’s a bit of grunge aesthetic there. Bit Albini! They should team up. Can’t imagine they’d get on though. Albini, El-P and Mark E Smith: I think that would be a good album.

Company Flow were a little bit indie weren’t they? If you liked Company Flow you might like Pixies, and you probably thought Nirvana were cool around the time they did Bleach. That new Run The Jewels thing El-P has done sounds incredible. It’s a tiered system of buying their album and there’s an option for 400 grand where they come to your town and they’ll bully one person of your choosing for four months or something!

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