Devendra Banhart: “I like music that feels like it’s ever decaying”

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Ted Lucas
Ted Lucas
1975

He was a guitarist and a session musician for Motown, who played with The Supremes and Stevie Wonder. He was a hip, far-out guy who opened up for Ravi Shankar and Frank Zappa, and I’ve heard he inspired “Mr Tambourine Man”. This is just one of those albums I constantly turn to; it’s beautiful, gentle, soulful music. His voice is so pure and rich – it has a debilitating beauty – but it’s also comforting.

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Slapp Happy
Acnalbasac Noom
1982

They were a German-British avant-pop group and I guess part of the kosmische/krautrock movement. They made some futuristic music, but this is close to a perfect pop/art-rock album. It’s fun and playful, proto-everything music – I’ve never heard anything like it. There’s a haiku, a philosophical, humorous element to their lyrics. My favourite of theirs, “Blue Eyed William”, is on there [CD reissue only].

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The Jimmy Giuffre 3
The Easy Way
1959

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Giuffre was an American clarinettist and saxophone player who died in his eighties, having made a huge number of records. This is the type of jazz I like – it’s slow and minimal, almost incidental – like blue jazz – and in a weird way, really ahead of its time. I really like music that feels like it’s ever decaying, where the percussive element has either been erased or exists in a room 20 blocks down.

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William Onyeabor
Atomic Bomb
1978

The world might just be better off not hearing this song, which will burrow and propagate its seed exponentially by the second, into the hearts and souls of all humanity. It’s the catchiest song I’ve ever heard; when it gets in my brain, I can’t sleep. He’s a mythical character from Nigeria and there’s so little information about him, but Luaka Bop is putting out the first reissue of his music.

The August 2019 issue of Uncut is on sale from June 13, and available to order online now – with Bruce Springsteen on the cover. Inside, you’ll find The Rolling Stones, The Raconteurs, Woodstock, Black Sabbath, Beak>, Doves, Jimmy Cliff, Billy Childish, the Flamingo Club and more. Our 15-track CD also showcases the best of the month’s new music, including The Black Keys, 75 Dollar Bill, House And Land, Trash Kit, Mega Bog and more.

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