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Baker's Dozen

A F**king Joy: Aidan Moffat's Favourite Albums
Daniel Dylan Wray , April 2nd, 2015 14:15

With Aidan Moffat's excellent new record with Bill Wells just out, we sent Daniel Dylan Wray up to Glasgow to meet the former Arab Strap man/Quietus sex columnist to discuss his top formative albums. And, with the help of beers, a record player and one powerful deployment of the phrase "get to utter fuck", here's what he picked

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Michael Nyman - Drowning By Numbers
I spent most of last year listening to nothing but Michael Nyman records. There is such a joy but equally such a sadness in what he does I find it fucking phenomenal. Like a lot of people I discovered his music in the 80s through Peter Greenaway films and I was never really that keen on Peter Greenaway films; they wouldn't have worked without Nyman's music at all, there was a very symbiotic relationship between the sound and the images. I think Nyman's music works so fucking beautifully on its own as well. I've chosen Drowning By Numbers simply because it was the first one I ever heard. What Nyman does beautifully is he takes the instruments from classical music and he uses the sensibilities of pop music - what he's all about is often the hook. I think a lot of classical music, up until I'd heard Michael Nyman, was always pretty dull to me and I find a lot of classical music really infuriating because you'll find there's a wonderful plateau at some point where something sounds fantastic but then it'll go off on a tangent because it's trying to express human emotion or trying to represent something and I find that really fucking frustrating. It doesn't have consistency of mood but what Nyman does beautifully is take these ideas and use the same instrumentation to give you pop hooks. To me, he understands all the bits of classical music that work emotionally and uses them and nothing else, it's always consistent. Drowning By Numbers I used to have on cassette and listen on my Walkman, I used to walk around everywhere listening to it, there's such a rhythm and constancy to it that just seems to encapsulate life to me. Everything's always beautiful but there's quite often sadness to it to and it just… quite often I'll go to bed and stick earphones in… I'm finding it very hard to put this into words because I can't quite describe how it makes me feel. I just seem to understand it and it seems to understand me because it's exactly what goes through my mind sometimes. I think he writes some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard.


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