Tonight’s emotional lullaby - Incognito ‘Still A Friend Of Mine’: A Talkin Loud classic and one that I tend to sing with friends when feeling the love, always straight-faced and sincere even if a little the worse for wear.
Last week saw the last ever Gilles Peterson show on radio 1, a sad day for many of us who like our beats slightly spicier than the main courses dished out in the day time.
I remember the first time i really took heed of this show. I was about 16 living in birmingham where i grew up. What drew me to Gilles’s show was his shyness on the mic, that accompanied with a vast knowledge and a contacts list i could only dream of. The show has and always been a mixture of some of the most unsung hero’s in music…not just that, musicians who have also change our very beings without us even knowing. This was essentially my musical bible. The tag line associated to his earlier shows was “searching for the perfect beat”. That does not exist technically, but the everlasting journey it took us on has been an absolute pleasure. Where else would i travel around the world via my speakers, introduced to the likes of:
Seu Jorge, Beth Gibbons, Quantic, Roots Manuva, Jay Electronica, The Roots, Matthew Herbert, Jose James, Fela Kuti, Seun kuti, Osulande, Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Bilal, Air, Tawiya, James Blake, Amy Winehouse, Amerie, Gil Scott Heron, Jill Scott, D'angelo, Tribe Call Quest, Q-tip, Early Black Eyed Peas, Talib Kwelli, Mos Def, Cody Chesnutt, Owusu and Hannibal, Lupe Fiasco, Darondo, Ruffus Wainwright, Massive Attack, MF Doom, Quasimoto, Mad Lib, Jay Dilla, Georgie Anne Muldrow, Timerland,, Cinematic Orchestra, Bonobo, Zero 7, Flying Lotus…. This list can go on forever.
The greatness of this show lay in its simple format. Music, interviews and more music. That’s what i look for in a show. Its the presenters job to guide us through almost as an instigator, but also as a silent witness. The secret lay in the fact that we the audience we unearthing an act many people did not know, or simply would not understand. In a strange way we all lived in a different universe to the mainstream, and it felt and still feels good. Not to say though that this was a snobby music show, because the mainstream was also praised at times too, i heard Amerie’s 1Thing here first before anywhere else. This show made the listener want to go out and buy records, similar to those who love trainers… The rarer the better! That has stayed with me and always will do.
My music taste is very diverse like many others, who grow up listening to great musicianship. Everyone is part of some scene, and it gives them some sort of identity. I am a musical nomad and it has been great to have a show that encompassed how i felt about sounds and beats. Gilles we salute you…not just you, everyone who has helped make the show one of the greatest on earth. It rated alongside the John peel and Steve Lamacq shows equally for me.
All is not lost though as the plethora of beats will find a new home on BBC 6 music on Saturdays 3pm-6pm. A lot more accessible to the every day listener. I for one am glad, to keep searching for ‘The Perfect Beat’. For all your years on Radio 1 Gilles I salute you.
To pay homage to this show over the next few days, i’ll be posting up a tune i heard first on this show.
Erykah Badu talks about Jay Electronica on Gilles Peterson 4/13/11
“Erykah: Im really anticipating Jay Electronica’s record, he’s all over the place and because he is a perfectionist and a illusionist and a magician, i’m sure there is going to be a whole bunch of abracadabra in that and i’m looking forward to that. He doesn’t let any of us hear it.
Gilles: Where is at? I mean how far away are we from sort of seeing something solid, physical?
Erykah: With Jaytronic?
Erykah: That’s hard to say, you know it’s very hard to say for an artist. Because im never ever finish with my album, they have to like ply it out of my cold hands. You know your never really finished, i’m not really sure
Gilles: But he is signed now right?
Erykah: He is, he signed to Jigga which I think is a perfect combination because they have so much respect for one another and they flow on the same mindwave, you know
Gilles: Are you going to be on the album?
Erykah: I don’t know, you know I don’t know, I don’t know if he really like my music that much, I mean I don’t know if i’m the one for that but either way i’m going to be with it. Im in it all in there, you know, I hope I inspired him in many ways as he has inspired me, you know and sometimes you don’t have to be on the album to be a part of it”