Way back in 2002, I made an album called Invisible Headphones. So called because when people saw me walking in the street they thought I was listening to music but it was just my music rattling around in my brain. The album got lost. Hard drives, DATs and CDs got misplaced whilst studios got disassembled, life, kids – the usual story.
Good news – The tracks have been found, so 20 years after it was supposed to be unleashed to the masses, it’s coming out.
There are a lot of Domineeky albums (48 LPs at the last count), but which are my favourites?
Here are my top 5 LPs*.
5 – Turquoise Dreams – It’s got a live Afro-Cuban feel. It’s got a unique energy. Also, it reminds me of Cuba.
4 – Beats Without Borders – The first Tru Roots Project LP
3 – Electric Juju – The fastest one I’ve made. 5 days of writing and recording. The lyrics cover a wide range of subjects from the impact of global warming to the refugee crisis.
2 – Broken Systems – I’ve been doing the broken beat / sample cut up style for years, ever since I got my first Emu sampler in 1995 but this was the first time I had done a whole album of it. Sonically, it’s one of my favourites. The bass is so heavy that a deaf woman loved it because she could feel the vibrations.
1 – Rapture and Lightning – This is the one. It’s got a bit of everything I do. Afro-House, slow jams, club-orientated tunes and guitars. Also, the cover art is phenomenal (in my biased opinion), so good that a nightclub has put a version of it on one of their doors.
The Turquoise Dreams LP is the jazz anomaly in my repertoire.
I went to Havana with my family, had one of the best holidays of my life. I wrote some tunes whilst I was there. Came back home, set up a music for film company, brought in some of my favourite musicians like Otis whose mesmerising guitar work features on Nomads LP and 24900 Miles From Home LP and Kev Howard on didg (who also takes most of my portraits).
The recording sessions produced well known tracks like Moneda Funk in the Green Room and The Beholder Live. The rest of the tracks remained on my hard drive for years whilst Good Voodoo Music took off and the love I received for my Domineeky Afro House tunes was amazing.
But what about the Havana inspired jazz sessions? It didn’t sound like my Afro music or the Tru Roots Project. I couldn’t come up with a name for the LP or face editing 27 Afro-Cuban jams to a coherent LP. In the end I called the album Turquoise Dreams because all the music was recorded in the Green Room Studio and whilst in Cuba, my 11-year-old son had all the holiday kids partying and drinking Blue Lemonades by the swimming pool – the blue colour was due to the shots of blue Curaçao liqueur. He only discovered it was alcoholic on the last day when a new barman arrived.
I have made another LP. this one is called Hard Wired.
It’s been described as Fela Kuti from a Future Variant and as Electric Afrobeat.
After the disruptor influences that led to the Impaired Vision and Broken Systems LPs, I felt it was necessary to re-boot myself. There are just somethings that I am hardwired to do – Make music that has a distinct Afro feel. It always seeps through, regardless of the technology – drum machines or guitars. It always sounds like me and my heritage. It is easy to spot in the grooves.
As always, I wanted to try something different. Give people something they are not used to from me.
With the World Through Another Window LPs, I serve up World Fusion versions of some of my most well known songs. Opting for organic tones instead of the cone-rattling electronically-fuelled AfroHouse club sound I made my name with.
Here I put a fresh spin on my voice and songs with the live musicians of the Tru Roots Project.
Afrobeat, Zouk, Afro-Cuban beats and a multitude of diverse flavours – perfect for late night chillout and open air live music festivals.
My favourites are I’m Ready and We Can All Be Funky.
Bluesman’s Blues, Fantasy (original versions on Dance, Break & Shake LP)
Moneda Funk (original version on Good Voodoo Afro House Vol 1 LP)
Chance, The Beholder (original versions on Speaking in Tongues LP)
We Can Be Lovers, War (original versions on Nomads LP)
We Can All Be Funky (original version on Time Off for Good Behaviour LP)
Kinetic Funk (original version on Nu Voodoo Sound LP)
Live a Little Lie, Do What You Like, One Love, Stop The World, Fire and Ice, Nobody Can Hold Me Down, Say My Name, I’m Ready (original versions on 24900 Miles From Home LP)
Revival (original version on Playing With Fire LP)
Houdini Overtone Dub (original version on Rapture & Lightning Deluxe Edition)
Say My Name Afrobeat Instrumental (original version on 24900 Miles From Home Late Night Chill LP)
I was talking to my friend, the vocalist Frank H Carter III, saying that I had been unintentionally lying to people. I had been saying that I had made 26 albums but when I had counted again I had only made 22. To which Frank replied ‘Dude, what about those remix albums? That’s still work.’ So, including those that pushes the number up to 42.
This is number 42. it is called Impaired Vision. I returned to my cut up style of left field beats for this one. It is my response to the George Floyd killing and BLM.
I have many conversations with Frank in the USA and there are many similarities about how black people get treated over there and how they are treated in the UK.
When I have an idea it can go in many directions. It can give birth to a symphony or a 3 minute pop song. The Origin Stories tracks are coming from that space. Just like some of my remixes may appear to have no relation to the original to the untrained ear, the Origin Stories series of LPs are tunes that had their roots in other tunes, Like non-identical twins. For example, Mali is a State of Mind, 80’s Child and I Think Therefore I Am all have similar elements but are very different tunes.
Also, these albums, along with the Domineeky Remixed LP, are the first LPs to have my face on without make up. Enjoy.