Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, Naarm/Melbourne funk and soul combo Cookin’ on 3 Burners raise a glass to Portishead’s 1994’s debut, Dummy.
Experienced Melbourne soul trio Cookin’ on 3 Burners connected with vocalist Stella Angelico for their latest single, ‘I’m Comin’ Home to You’. It follows ‘Wind Up’, the band’s single from June. ‘I’m Comin’ Home to You’ was recorded at Melbourne’s Soul Messin’ Studios and mixed by band member Jake Mason. Listen to it below.
Cookin on 3 Burners’ love letter to Dummy
Cookin’ on 3 Burners: Dearest Dummy. We’ve known each other for a minute now and I’ve been thinking about how you’ve been such an important part of my life over the years. Honestly, I’ve been wanting to reach out for a while and I’m sorry it’s taken so long.
First time I laid my ears on you was at the tail end of a particularly loose house party. I was in mid conversation when the scratch break of the opening track ‘Mysterons’ kicked in and I was like, “What is this?” Then Beth Gibbons’ vocal entered, so raw and open and my heart broke into a million pieces.
My mate Roy had brought a copy of you to the party, and as things wound down, he sought the opportunity to get this album on. A group of us gathered around the home hi-fi in silent acknowledgement, and we knew that we all felt the same way. Lost in the deep crackles of your dusty samples, dirty vocals, tremolo guitars and vintage synthesisers, heads nodding in time in the hazy, smoke-filled air.
As the first track ended, we wanted to stay in your echo chamber so bad that we rinsed the whole record out, front to back. I hadn’t seen or heard anything like you before and I was in deep.
Dummy, you came at a perfect time to add a much needed counterbalance to all that heavy jazz I was getting into. I was a couple of years into a music degree and shredding pretty hard on the guitar. It blew my mind the way you sampled from the classics, like Isaac Hayes, Donny Hathaway and Weather Report, and made them your own thing.
You changed the way I heard music and made me focus on the spaces between the beat where the magic lies. I started listening out for perfect loops in music I heard everywhere – old school soundtracks, jazz and funk albums. I’d grown up listening to hip hop and soul music, but this was a whole new view on all of that, a whole new obsession.
Thanks also for introducing me to the Bristol sound and being my gateway drug to the wider UK scene, from Massive Attack and then onto Roni Size and the wider world of breaks, DnB and jungle. After many late nights out dancing, you were always at home waiting to bring me back to earth with your downtempo goodness, keeping it calm and levelling me out.
I know this is pretty gushy and might feel pretty nostalgic, but Chris from Northside Records hooked me up with a copy of you on wax recently, and putting it on the SL-1200 only reiterated that you are and always will be my first blunted trip hop love.