EP112: Saul Williams on Portishead’s “Dummy” (1994)

Episode 112

Brooklyn meets Bristol in Atlanta, at a time when Saul was discovering global sounds, immersing himself in culture and scholarship – in other words, he and the album were both in the right place at the right time. We spoke about Beth Ortons haunting vocals, the rise of the trip hop genre, sampling as an aesthetic, lyrical ingenuity and why Atlanta’s club scene was unmatched in the 90s.

Episode notes

Saul Williams is super talented.  The multi-hyphenate artist not only has a way with words, he has an ear for heat rocks.  And apparently kept a fire starting five in his CD changer.  We were fortunate enough to have him bring his ear and words to the booth to discuss Portishead’s debut album “Dummy” on Heat Rocks.
Brooklyn meets Bristol in Atlanta, at a time when Saul was discovering global sounds, immersing himself in culture and scholarship – in other words, he and the album were both in the right place at the right time. We spoke about Beth Ortons haunting vocals, the rise of the trip hop genre, sampling as an aesthetic, lyrical ingenuity and why Atlanta’s club scene was unmatched in the 90s.
More on Saul Williams
More on Dummy
Show Tracklisting (all songs from Dummy unless indicated otherwise):
  • Sour Times
  • Saul Williams: Fight Everything
  • Mysterons
  • Gang Starr: No Shame In My Game
  • Young Disciples: As We Come (To Be)
  • Cleveland Watkiss: Project 23
  • Omar: Need You Bad
  • Mysterons
  • Numb
  • Glory Box
  • Tricky: Hell is Round the Corner
  • Glory Box
  • It Could Be Sweet
  • Sade: No Ordinary Love
  • It Could Be Sweet
  • Sour Times
  • Lalo Schifrim: Danube Incident
  • Isaac Hayes: Ike’s Rap II
  • Glory Box
  • Strangers
  • It’s A Fire
  • Pedestal
  • It Could Be Sweet
  • Esthero: Superheroes
  • Isaac Hayes: Walk On By
  • Nearly God: Poems
  • Goldie: Mother
  • Soho: Hot Music
  • Fela Kuti: Lady

Here is the Spotify playlist of as many songs as we can find there.

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In this episode...

Guests

  • Saul Williams

About the show

Hosted by Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes, every episode of Heat Rocks invites a special guest to talk about a heat rock – a hot album, a scorching record. These are in-depth conversations about the albums that shape our lives.

Our guests include musicians, writers, and scholars and though we don’t exclusively focus on any one genre, expect to hear about albums from the worlds of soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, Latin, and more.

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