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Baker's Dozen

Found Songs: Ólafur Arnalds' Favourite Albums
Wyndham Wallace , March 11th, 2013 12:56

The Icelandic neo-classical composer and producer takes a break from producing his cinematic soundscapes to pick out his 13 favourite records, ahead of his set at the Barbican tonight

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Ryuichi Sakamoto - 1996
The main reason I put that record on here, and not some other stuff by him, is that me and Ryuichi are rather close. And the reason for that is he invited me to support him on the redo of his 1996 tour where this record comes from. He did that tour again a couple of years ago, and played kind of the same songs in the same setting. So that record has felt really close to me since then, because it was the start of a really good companionship, and I love it. When I was starting out doing this kind of music, and I really started getting into piano music and modern classical music, he was one of the first people I discovered, and the first person I became a fan of. I’ve worked with him a little bit. There’s nothing released, but we are working on something. I was just trying to come to terms with this last weekend after me and Ryuichi spent some time together in my studio. It’s like, ‘What the fuck has happened with my life?’ All these people that I looked at as superstars, who were my absolute idols in my life and my music, are coming to me. It’s a really strange feeling.

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Mar 11, 2013 1:18pm

Love this feature. This might not be the place for it but I would really love to see an Autechre’s Baker’s Dozen. We’ll see!

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The Whip Hand
Mar 11, 2013 4:25pm

I made it to Justin Beiber and almost clicked away... Then I got to the vile Death Cab (apologies to Viv Stanshall RIP), commented, and fled in fucking horror. Worst Baker's Dozen ever this side of Butch Vig.

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Mar 11, 2013 10:50pm

In reply to The Whip Hand:

You stopped at Death Cab? What if his remaining choices were the greatest albums ever made (per your opinion)?

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Mar 11, 2013 10:55pm

My question is, what does neo-classical mean? I'm sure, Mr. Wallace, that you did not create this term - seems an odd genre, if we can even call it that.

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John Doran
Mar 12, 2013 12:01am

In reply to Apop:

Shame you didn't bother Googling the term Neoclassical music before posting your comment really.

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Mar 12, 2013 3:14am

In reply to John Doran:

John, I know 'neoclassical' very-- if not extremely-- well. Some of it is great; lots isn't; lukewarm Satie via Part that usually doesn't even know Mompou. I don't "buy" the "pop moment" b.s. for a minute (re: Bieber) and have always found eveyrthing about Death Cab loathsome... In a world of infinite choices, that's enough for me dismiss Olafur outright...

Though I'd love it if you could nail down Bill Wells for one of these, or either of the Stars of the Lid dudes. Brian McBride of SOTL is co-leader of the new album by the extremely Dennis Wilson-damaged Los Angeles band Bell Gardens... I think ya'll would likely enjoy it (it certainly has more to offer on all levels than the new MbB social contract album).


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Mar 12, 2013 3:57am

A boring selection by a bland musician. Olafur's music is perhaps best defined as 'pop' classical, in the same bracket as things like Il Divo and Andrea Bocelli.

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Mar 12, 2013 4:54pm

In reply to John Doran:

I did research it, my man, indeed i did.

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Mar 12, 2013 8:33pm

In reply to Enkeling:

You really can't have seen this feature much if you think Autechre might not be suitable for it!!!

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Mar 13, 2013 3:36am

So cool he has Mew on there the best album of 2011. Saved the list

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Mar 13, 2013 11:26pm

I enjoyed the fact that this list stumbled in and out of "bad taste". Some interesting choices.
It's more annoying when someone presents a list that looks like "Rolling Stone's 13 Greatest Records Ever Made" and consists entirely of stuff you sold back to the shop when you were 17.

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Mar 14, 2013 3:36am

can this douche be more dull? i'm running out of albums?!

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