Blog 1103: What We’re Listening To In The Studio

I’m back in the studio for one last recording session before I finally take off overseas ~ and, for the first time, I wanted to invite you in.

Here’s what we’re up to, and how the music we’re listening to plays a part in it…


I’m working on new music for a series of digital-only EPs called Sketches – the first instalment will be out soon.

These days, The Ray Mann “Three” is not so much a band as it is a collective. I play with different musicians each time I go back into the studio. It’s yum cha-style recording: varied and fast, with people coming and going with different tasty things to offer.

By ‘fast’, I mean: some groups spend a few days recording one song; we’ll record at least six tracks in one day. That’s how I managed to record the first album in three days.

Three of the things that make this possible:

  1. Demo-recording the hell out of the song ideas beforehand
  2. Playing with musicians who are awesome and just get it
  3. Listening to lots of songs by other artists

So I thought I’d share what me and the boys have been using as ‘reference tracks’. It’s not necessarily indicative of how the new tracks are sounding; it’s more the stuff that’s getting us in the mood. The list below is just a selection of the stuff I’m regularly posting on Twitter. Have fun tracking down these songs. Enjoy!

Aretha Franklin ~ ‘Something He Can Feel’
Toro Y Moi ~ ‘Causers Of This’
Boz Scaggs ~ ‘Lowdown’
Phoenix ~ ‘If I Ever Feel Better’
Joe Cocker ~ ‘Woman To Woman’
Tom Waits ~ ‘Lie To Me’
MF DOOM ~ anything
Jimi Hendrix ~ ‘May This Be Love’
Bob Dylan ~ ‘Visions Of Johanna’
J Dilla ~ anything
Flying Lotus ~ ‘Do The Astral Plane’
Fela Kuti ~ ‘Water No Get Enemy’
Marvin Gaye ~ ‘All The Way Around’
Marvin Gaye ~ ‘Can I Get A Witness’
Junior Byles ~ ‘A Place Called Africa 3’
Madrid De Los Austrias ~ ‘Buscando’
Michael Jackson ~ ‘Rock With You’
Plan B ~ ‘The Recluse’
Al Green ~ ‘So Glad You’re Mine’

Man, now I’m busting to do one more DJ set before I leave… anyways: more live updates on Twitter.

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