The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Self-Confident Weirdos: Kavus Torabi's Favourite Albums
Matt Evans , August 5th, 2014 11:39

With Knifeworld's second album The Unravelling just out, Matt Evans gets the top albums rundown from the band's leader and prolific multi-instrumentalist

Add your comment »

XTC - Black Sea
Funnily enough, there's a pattern emerging, those clanging chords… I heard 'Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me)' in the charts around 1980, and I loved it, didn't hear it as particularly odd. It was only years later, hearing it again and hearing these Beefheart-y kind of chords and thinking, "This got in the charts?!" 
I like everything they've done, the itchy post-punk thing right at the beginning, and the kind of pastoral, psychedelic thing they went into. But Black Sea was my way in, and has three of Andy Partidge's best songs on it - 'No Language In Our Lungs', 'Rocket From A Bottle' and 'Travels In Nihilon'. There's this bit in 'Rocket From A Bottle', this instrumental section, that almost opened up a portal in the clouds - it made me go weak at the knees and I had to sit down when I heard it. It's this lovely, ascending guitar melody in fifths that goes up and up while these chords modulate behind it. That 15 seconds of music has probably had more impact on the way I write songs and think about music than anything else. But the whole record's wonderful. For me, they're my Beatles. It's pop music, but it's clearly informed by Beefheart and Albert Ayler. Even when Partridge is writing pop, it has these little notes, this strangeness, that I love so much.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.

Aug 5, 2014 12:42pm

This is great! Out of all the Baker's Dozens, this probably includes the most of my own favourites.

Reply to this Admin

Aug 5, 2014 4:41pm

This made my day. Thanks for the work.

Reply to this Admin

J Pillbox
Aug 5, 2014 6:05pm

Loved this & want to be Kavus when I grow up.

I wanted to hear more about the Steely Dan love though! Which I very much share.

Reply to this Admin

Aug 5, 2014 7:31pm

Reading through this list while listening to Cardiac's Garage Concert what a wonderfully talented musician Kavus is and what Fantastic picks, so great to see Voivod Nothingface on there!

Reply to this Admin

Aug 6, 2014 9:57am

Another riveting Bakers Dozen. Monsoon Bassoon's I Dig Your Voodoo is one of my all-time favourites so it's fascinating to see the genesis of that.

Reply to this Admin

Alasdair Dickson
Aug 10, 2014 12:09pm

Thank you Kavus and the Quietus for this!
Mr Torabi nails it when - discussing Stars in Battledress - he says ''And who knows how many other terrific records are buried because the band aren't really a bunch of show-offs?''

Reply to this Admin

Andrea Landini
Aug 16, 2014 8:58am

Stars in Battledress are stunningly good.

Reply to this Admin