Since their early outings on Warp records, Red Snapper have been at the forefront of the electronic music scene. The trio of Ali Friend on double bass, Richard Thair on drums and David Ayers on guitar have provided a rich musical tapestry both on record and with their legendary live performances.
Releases such as “Prince Blimey” and “Making Bones” propelled them to the top of the musical tree with collaborations coming thick and fast.
Exciting times ahead for the trio and their new “Card Trick” EP lands on the 26th of May with cracking remix from Glasgow own Auntie Flo.
This is proceeded by a live show in London on the 24th. Full details tickets for this can be found at the Scala site as well as at Soundcrash London.
If that wasn’t enough there is also a new album “Hyena” coming in August on Lo Recordings. ‘Hyena’ itself is the continuation of a project that started when the band created a new soundtrack from cult 70s Senegalese road movie “Touki Bouki” (directed by Djibril Diop Mambety and restored by Martin Scorsese in 2008).
What better time then to catch up with the band and find out the tracks that have made a big impact on them. Over to Red Snapper…
Red Snapper – Tracks that have influenced us over the years…in no particular order
Marvin Gaye – T Plays It Cool
All the elements just sit right in this. Brilliant drum sound, creeping keys and an amazing sax solo. Pure soul music.
Tony Allen – Afro Disco Beat
This just builds and builds, all the best elements of Afrobeat are here. Subtle, growing percussion, bass and guitar having a sweaty conversation, uplifting horns and of course the unique drumming of the unique Tony Allen.
Wu-Tang Clan – 7th Chamber pt.2
This album was really influential, great beats, amazing rapping and layers of dirty sounds and samples to get your teeth into.
Eric B and Rakim – Don’t Sweat The Technique
This is all about the beats and bassline, sounds a bit dated now but this was a big influence on us.
Flamenco Sketches from Miles Davis’ landmark album Kind of Blue.
This is sublime ambient music years before anyone thought to call it that. The interplay between the musicians is on a higher plane altogether and is a form of musical telepathy.
Charles Mingus – Hora Decubitus
Everyone in Snapper has been influenced by Charles Mingus for lots of different reasons. This track is a jaw dropping example of how a composer and bandleader like Mingus can marshall the power and wall of sound of a “big” band without sacrificing the collective improv and spontaneity of a small group of brilliant soloists.
Igor Stravinsky – The Rite of Spring
What could we possibly say about this that hasn’t already been said by people much more eloquent than us? Over 100 years old and still modern sounding. It is no exaggeration to say that it changed the course of music in the 20th century and its influence continues to be felt to this day. Awesome.
Mogwai – Scotland’s Shame
Everything this band has ever done is spot on, the layers keep coming, always well produced. We played a very memorable show with them in New York’s Irving Plaza back in the day. Music to bring tears to your eyes.
Beaumont Hannant – Anokhi
This was where Rich got the inspiration for the beat that became ‘Snapper’ and then ‘The Sleepless’…we have played ‘Snapper’ all over the world for 20 years so credit where its due, Mr Hannant is a great, undervalued producer…amazing track.
Curtis Mayfield – We the people who are darker than blue
Curtis has had a massive influence over us over the years, the musicianship, rhythm, melody and heart felt lyrics are the bones of soul music , he was a genius. This is in here because more recently Ali’s vocals have played a key part in our sets.
Ali will admit that there is no comparison but for us his sentiments and emotions are the same. Being pushed to the front of an instrumental band and singing your soul out is a hard thing…respect to Ali and respect to Curtis.
As we have said, there is no order to this and the list might be different tomorrow. Come and see Red Snapper live and it might all make sense!