Gilles Peterson’s 2013 KOKO Tips

Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards show, hosted at Koko last weekend, is one of the best places on the planet to hear the cream of the world’s grooviest, jazziest and most eccentrically experimental tunes. The show itself featured standout performances from Mala’s hypnotically groovy ‘In Cuba’ project, the staggeringly talented Natalie Duncan, funky Bossa Nova legend Marcos Valle and the impossibly cool Neneh Cherry. If you haven’t heard Cherry’s mind-blowing cover of Suicide’s ‘Dream Baby Dream’ yet, you can rectify that travesty immediately with the Spotify playlist below. We caught up with Mr Peterson backstage to get his take on 2012’s highlights and the coming trends for 2013:

Who have been the key players in the electronic scene this year for you?

I think the last year has seen a real coming together of the bass scene. I’m always looking at the development of British music, especially from the DJ culture side of things, so whether it was Benga being here six years ago or Jay Electronica doing it four years ago, or whatever, there’s always an element of newness to this event. I think last year the post-Burial electronic scene came to its height, so you could put on people like SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Julio Bashmore and Hudson Mohawke. They all played last year, so in a weird sort of way I couldn’t really invite them back this year! Of the new generation I’d really liked to have had Disclosure and TNGHT, but neither one of those was available unfortunately. I suppose on the electronic side it’s probably a bit lighter this year, although we do have Romare and Machinedrum.

How about live performers?

 The live scene is exciting at the moment with groups like Hello Skinny. I love Neneh Cherry and I think some people probably don’t get the Neneh Cherry thing, but fundamentally she’s more than just the girl who did ‘7 Seconds’ with Youssou N’Dour. The album she made last year with The Thing was amazing, so in a way it’s a natural progression to have her playing live here with Rocketnumbernine, who are a bit more dancey. I’d also pick out Natalie Duncan, who, energy wise, reminds me of Amy Winehouse; a really incredible person, amazing, and just 23.

What are your tips for trends to look out for in 2013? 

I think people like Machinedrum are going to blow up this year – especially what he’s doing with Azealia. From a ‘weird jazz’ point of view I’m really looking at this band called Sons of Kemet, which is Shabaka Hutchings, the guys from Polar Bear and Tom Skinner from Hello Skinny. It’s a bit impro, a bit marching band, a bit kind of brass band-meets-punk-funk-meets-great-spiritual-jazz. I’m trying to get them together with Hudson Mohawke. That’s my dream for this year: to get that TNGHT sound but with a horn section.