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Baker's Dozen

Thirteen Types Of Elsewhere: Mark Fell's Favourite Albums
Wyndham Wallace , October 9th, 2014 09:14

On the eve of his appearance at Semibreve, Portugal's annual celebration of "exploratory music and digital arts", Mark Fell guides us through his most beloved releases

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Photograph courtesy of Lewis Ronald/Serpentine Galleries

It's long been traditional to introduce Mark Fell as one half of Snd (alongside Mat Steel), the Sheffield duo who, for almost two decades, have been sporadically scratching minimalist techno's itch for glitch. Fell's academic approach to beat-bludgeoning, however, has led him towards even more intriguing, challenging territory. These have included the mathematically-inspired theories and shapes of 2010's Multistability 12" (released by Raster-Noton) to last year's 64 Beautiful Phase Violations, performed in Salford University's anechoic chamber (and covered in wonderful depth by John Doran here). His love for synthetic sounds, a profound understanding of the science of dance music and a delight in the complexity of conflicting time signatures, make for a surprisingly seductive brew, as instinctive as it is cerebral.

The Quietus tracked Fell down on his way to Portugal, where he's scheduled to play this weekend at Braga's compelling Semibreve festival. He'll perform under his Sensate Focus alias, which, in the past, has found him collaborate with the likes of Vladislav Delay and DJ Sprinkles aka Terre Thaemlitz, and calls upon the sparser, if more nostalgic, sounds of house music. His Baker's Dozen, penned in transit lounges and on planes as he crossed Europe, reflects a deep and thorough love for electronic music in a wide variety of guises, and highlights a fascination with the album as format and art form. It, too, is as instinctive as it is cerebral.

Full details of Semibreve are here. Click on his image below to begin scrolling through Mark's choices


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Oct 9, 2014 10:00am

Woah, Brilliant Baker's Dozen. Inspired and interesting choices and really fucking insightful commentary. Thanks Mark. Shame you ran out of steam though; would have liked some deeper analysis of those finals choices. Going to listen to Duet Emmo right now!

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Oct 9, 2014 10:04am

Wot no Joy Division or Bowie?

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Tony C
Oct 9, 2014 10:42am

In reply to KJ:

This type of article is why The Quietus remains essential.

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Oct 9, 2014 12:17pm

High fives all around, great stuff. Fascinating.

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Oct 9, 2014 2:46pm

Really great, informative read - I'd love to hear this as a podcast or radio show with Mark's commentary in between tracks from his selections. Cosey's playing a cornet, by the way.

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Oct 9, 2014 7:33pm

Yikes, this fellow is mad smart. Great read and loved his honesty toward the end. Hilarious.

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Oct 9, 2014 9:46pm

Best Baker's Dozen so far!
S. Mallinder's Pow Wow is a (still) under-valued gem, & I've always felt exactly the same way (as Mark) about European Rendezvous too - I bought it at the time, not because I was a Chris & Cosey (or even T,G,) fan, but because of it's peculiarly alluring sleeve. Fortunately it's a fine LP, & certainly one of C+C's best.
Finally... E.N.'s Drawings of O.T. album... their masterpiece!
I'm calling in sick tomorrow just so I can sit & home & indulge in a marathon listening session, Soulnessless is the only record here that I don't already own.

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Mark F
Oct 10, 2014 12:07am

In reply to KJ:

Alice Coltane, that's another one. Thankfully none of them included here. Great list.

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