Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

4. African Head ChargeMy Life In A Hole in the Ground

Adrian Sherwood’s music – those early productions for African Head Charge and Starship Africa by Creation Rebel in particular – were massive influences on me and my band God. We were all obsessed by Sherwood’s productions. I’d heard reggae before Head Charge and I was into things like Prince Far-I, but that African Head Charge album… There was a guy who had moved back to Weymouth who’d been a peripheral member of the industrial group SPK. He was everyone’s hero because he looked so cool and was linked to this amazing group in London. He came back to Weymouth and I was very impressionable at that age, so I would just knock on his door to let him play me records. Also, he happened to have a bong. The day he played Head Charge to me we’d smoked a very large bong, and I remember being terrified by the album under the influence of a bong. I don’t know how many sounds were on the record and how many I imagined, but I remember literally running out of his flat, terrified and paranoid on the most evil weed trip. Then, of course, I had to investigate it again after that. It was my entrance to dub, you know, because I hadn’t known what dub was until I heard that album. I’d heard some Lee Perry tracks, but again, I was very young, so I was just still learning what all this shit was.

Before I managed to move to London, there was an amazing journalist called Dele Fadele who passed away unfortunately, a couple of years ago. He turned me on to a lot of music. When you’re stranded in a cultural wasteland, you’re looking for anyone to point you in directions, so pre-internet that was Chris Bohn at The Wire when The Wire was still just jazz and classical, and then Dele’s writing. Reading his reviews of On-U sound parties, I desperately wanted to be at those parties. What I read about them, and Adrian’s approach, is directly connected to what I ended up doing with my own live assaults as The Bug. I wanted to take the reviews of On-U Sound and amplify it even more, just turn up the madness. So, in a way, the direct inspiration for what I wanted to do live came from Dele’s reviews of On-U Sound records.

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