Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Jon Spencer interview is up at PopMatters

See, I didn’t even say finally

“I think the best rap is really free. That’s incredibly liberating and powerful, when you use it as a way to make or even think about music,” Jon Spencer said.

The subject has come up because of the vastly expanded reissues of Blues Explosion’s landmark third and fifth albums, Orange from 1994 and Acme from 1999. In one sense, both albums are raw and live and stripped down, rooted in early rock and soul. But on the other hand, they are clearly linked to hip-hop, in obvious ways like the use of scratching and heavy, bass-driven beats, and in less obvious ones, like Orange‘s use of remixes.

That’s because if you got in the van with Jon Spencer and the Blues Explosion any time in the early 1990s, you were likely to hear rap. Public Enemy was on all the time, Spencer remembers. Ice Cube was another favorite. “We have always been influenced by rap music,” Spencer recalled.

Read the rest

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