'Quarantunes' with Binker Golding

We're getting recommendations from our favourite artists, seeing which tracks, or 'Quarantunes' are helping them traverse this strange new world. Next up, it's lauded jazz saxophonist Binker Golding.
Posted: 8 May 2020 Words: Tom Curtis-Horsfall

Throughout this series we're getting recommendations from our favourite artists, seeing which tracks, or 'Quarantunes' are helping them traverse this strange new world. Next up, it's Binker Golding.

For some years now, refined saxophonist Binker Golding has proved himself to be an indispensable player in London's lauded jazz scene. 

Despite distancing his own classic aesthetic from the hip-hop, Afrobeat-infused jazz that has popularised a new wave of the genre, drawing more so from jazz in its traditional sense, Golding frequently collaborates with the scene's shining lights such as Joe Armon-Jones, Yussef Dayes, and Moses Boyd - the latter of which he joins forces with regularly (as MOBO Award-winning Binker & Moses, naturally), with the duo drafting in Basement Jaxx's Simon Ratcliffe for their recent Village Of The Sun project. 

Now that you're formally introduced, let's which tracks are currently making the jazz man tick: 

Bruce Springsteen - 'Sherry Darling'

One of my favourite songs from probably his best album The River. I generally listen to it in my kitchen when I have to cook or tidy up, but it's versatile. The River is definitely an album everyone should hear at least twice.

John Lee Hooker - 'Hard Times'

Hooker at his very best. Genuine blues that takes its time; loads of space between the lyrics. If you don't 'get' this song you've got no soul and you deserve everything Tik Tok dishes out to you.

Simply Red - 'Stars'

Yes, you read that correctly. This is actually one of the better pop songs written in the 90s by a British band. Listen to it again. Despite how much people deny it, we all like nostalgia and it doesn't get better than this one. A simpler time; it didn't feel like the world was in trouble back then. Our biggest problem was poll tax.

Bran Van 3000 - 'Drinking in LA'

Yep, more nostalgia. And again, definitely one of the best songs written in the 90s. There's actually way more to Bran Van than just this song (check out 'Rainshine' for a start) but this is a good place to start/go back to. I'm always surprised at how much emotion they drew out of just two chords (more or less).

Damien Jurado - 'A.M A.M'

The high point in the soundtrack to Wild, Wild Country. A really well written song with a great deal of sentimentality and melancholy, but without the cheapness that often comes with those attributes. He got the whole song right including the production. Nothing's weak.

Chopin - '24 Preludes' (performed by Vladimir Ashkenazy).

Not one song but 24, however it's considered one book of music so perhaps its considered one track. Yes, I'm bending the rules. A contender for the greatest book of piano preludes ever written and it's obvious why. You're probably missing out on a small part of life if you haven't bothered to sit down and listen to it. Ashkenazy's rendering is the best I'm aware of.

Dolly Parton - 'Train, Train'

There's more to her than merely 'Jolene' and '9 to 5'. When asked, she can murder bluegrass in the most traditional way. A brilliant track from a brilliant album The Grass Is Blue.

Q Lazzarus - 'Goodbye Horses'

Another soundtrack selection. Some of you may have already realised, this is the track that's played in Silence Of The Lambs when Buffalo Bill puts his dick between his legs and dances in front the mirror to himself. I've always loved this track ever since my childhood, but I've never done the Buffalo Bill dance to it. I'm saving that for a rainy day.

Prefab Sprout - 'Wild Horses'

While where on the subject of horses, let's add another horse-related song to the list. This is by one of the most underrated songwriters of his time, Paddy McAloon, the front man of Prefab Sprout. Just a great song that I've come back to so many times, just like so much of Prefab Sprout. Investigate their music if you're not familiar with it, especially if you were born in the 80s - you'll get it. Their lyrics are beautiful but usually non-decipherable. I've always thought 'Wild Horses' meant sex in public? If anyone has a better answer let me know. I've been trying to figure it out for years.

BFG OST - 'Sometimes, Secretly'

So, another soundtrack choice - guess it's one of those days. Now, if you get get past the hideously 80s production of this track, what you'll find underneath is a brilliantly written song that puts most contemporary music to shame, in every way. The modulation, lead by the melody between the verse and chorus is brilliant (I think it's between G major & B major. A hard key change to make sense of as a writer). The lyrics are surprisingly brilliant too, written from the perspective of a very troubled childhood.

To listen to more from Binker Golding, click here

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