The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Not Pastel Colours: Boris Blank Of Yello's Favourite Albums
Rob Heath , October 21st, 2014 12:31

With a new box set of his soundtrack work just released, the composer and Yello man takes Rob Heath from Sun Ra to The xx in his all-time top LPs

Sun_ra_1413894167_resize_460x400

Sun Ra - The Nubians Of Plutonia
You can hear on The Nubians Of Plutonia the first contours of Sun Ra's later, more abstract music style, which I do like of course - the newer, even more popular style which is more free jazz-based. This is one of my favourite Sun Ra albums, although of course I do like Space Is The Place, the later ones, the more obscure, mysterious ones. I have a real big collection of Sun Ra records, even bootlegs, almost a hundred records of him. More and more I'm going back to the older ones, to the birth of his mysterious music, before he makes the saloon jazz that he ended up doing. It's very funny, I met him on a panel in New York. To my left side there was the singer from the Ramones and on my right was Sun Ra. Adrian Belew, the guitar player who played with Frank Zappa sometimes was there too - a very interesting round of people! I had a few words with Sun Ra. He was already quite old - it was at least 25 years ago - and I told him that I am a big fan of his music. He was very slow speaking and spoke just a few words, he was somehow a little bit mysterious. But also he was already an old man, kind of standing over everything. He had seen more colours at the time than myself, as I was about 40 or 35 years old at the time.

It was not the first Sun Ra record I heard, although it is very hard to remember what was because I started collecting them after a while as I was totally fascinated by his music. I didn't start with the old records of his, I just collected them later. Whenever I was in New York or wherever in the world I would just go to record shops and ask for Sun Ra, so I have a few rarities too.


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.