Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Gilles' Play

I may not have mentioned this, but chez Irk we have a Gilles-ometer, a device that we can hold next to the stereogram to ascertain the exact Gilles Peterson-ness of any given tune. Constructed using some oscillators and VU meters we found in a skip, connected to the finest plastic tubing, some 13 amp fuses, a metal colander and a stock of bargain-bin Young Disciples CDs, it's not pretty but it performs its job with considerable aplomb.  Holding it next to the speakers when, say, Metallica's Enter Sandman is playing, elicits nary a flicker.  Some gangster rap by the Geto Boys produces a little more movement on the needle, but not much. Not smooth enough, too many rough edges.  The more polished tones of French rapper MC Solaar finally brings the Gilles-ometer into life, as does anything on the Acid Jazz label, early dubstep and Fela Kuti.

Anyway, I mention this because earlier this year, we nearly broke the damn thing when we exposed it to James Blake's Retrograde.  The needles on the meters were pushing into the red, the device started to smoke and we thought with some satisfaction that we'd discovered the most Gilles Peterson-esque record ever, the one that took our homemade contraption up to 11.  That was until earlier this month, when a record we'd never heard before came out of our radio. Sounding like a mash-up of Prince, Everything Everything and Steely Dan, it was smooth, quirky, instantly catchy, and we held up the Gilles-ometer expectantly.  Sure enough, it immediately started peaking, its needles oscillating wildly*, and smoke began to pour from its roughly-hewn innards. Finally it combusted, and the pile of smoking ash and acrid burned plastic bears testament to what is definitively, officially the most Gilles Peterson-esque tune ever.  Here it is:

And just in case you think I'm merely being facetious, I happen to agree with the Gilles-ometer. It's ace. The video less so, but there's no arguing with the tune.

*apologies to Smiths fans.

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