Love Letter To A Record: Charlie Lim On D’Angelo’s ‘Voodoo’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Here are their love letters to records that forever changed their lives.

Charlie Lim – D’Angelo’s Voodoo

Dear Voodoo,

Up until this day, I still don’t understand you completely – you’re full of layers, encrusted in dirt and mystique that I can never decode. And therefore, you are my desert island record because I know I’ll never get bored of you.

I first heard about you much later than you were released – I was aware of a few of your Soulquarian contemporaries: Baduizm, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, even some Dilla; but for some reason D’Angelo was a huge blindspot. I think it was Pino Palladino who played bass in the John Mayer Trio and Questlove from The Roots that were my gateway drugs to you.

I must’ve played you in the car over a thousand times already. There is no better feeling than blasting ‘Send It On’ while driving down the highway at 3am in the morning with the windows down. I never knew how much one could stretch the pocket and make something sound so sloppy yet still so good until I heard songs like One Mo’ Gin and The Root. Everything on this record just sounded and felt so good, from the way the drums were so meticulously recorded, to the psychedelic-collage arrangement of backing vocals.

I learnt so much about musicality, subversion and how you can break the rules after mastering them. I could climb your family tree and pluck the influences you were channeling – everything from Prince to James Brown and Sly & the Family Stone. It was a goldmine of tradition, but at the same time you transcended your own heroes and created something timeless of your own.

Singapore-based indie-electronic artist Charlie Lim’s new single ‘Welcome Home’ is out today. Listen here and catch Charlie performing live at BIGSOUND next month.

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