The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Nicely Proposed, Coxy! Bradford Cox Of Deerhunter's Favourite LPs
Tristan Bath , October 15th, 2015 08:33

After we asked the Deerhunter and Atlas Sound man to pick his top LPs, Tristan Bath rang him in Atlanta and, over the course of a two-hour dog walk, had Bradford Cox talk through 13 albums of "accidents and starkness"

John_coltrane_1444836288_resize_460x400

John Coltrane - Interstellar Space
It's appropriate to end with this one - I think it's probably what it sounds like when you die. A tenor sax and a drum set, nothing else. Bells occasionally. This album, like I said, was introduced to me by this non-sexual boyfriend, and I remember riding around in a Honda Civic with him listening to 'Mars'. I used to read a lot of this postmodern stuff - like Adorno and all that - and I obviously didn't get any of it, and a lot of it is just intellectual masturbation really, but then I listened to Autechre and thought, this is the future, reducing all that theory and thought into just this stuff. I thought computers were basically invented by humans to destroy culture - and I thought that was awesome. When I heard Fennesz and stuff of that nature, I thought this is deconstructed basically to the point of nothingness, sort of like the human voice in musical terms. Then years later, I'm driving around in the back of a Honda Civic, listening to Interstellar Space, and we're listening to 'Mars'. I remember thinking, this is everything Autechre and Fennesz did, but it's from 1967. It is the loneliest music I think I've ever heard, so full of pathos. I was talking to Mike Watt about this recently, because Mike Watt is maybe the greatest Coltrane expert I know, and apparently, according to Watt, Coltrane knew he was near the end at this point, and he had to hold his side physically while playing - he died of liver cancer. It's kind of like Charley Patton, who would've been on this list if I had more, and he recorded this song called 'Poor Me', and it's the most haunted sounding thing I've ever heard. I think people seem lit up from within when they're near their end, and they make stuff that's really vital. I think of Interstellar Space as a musical death mask. But… well, if you're some 15-year-old kid reading this and you're gonna listen to Interstellar Space on Spotify or whatever, it's going to just sound like a couple of guys messing around, ok, just two guys fucking around. You're probably gonna skip it, or you'll listen to it until you get it.

The thing that ties all of the music on this list together is that at some point, somebody told me about this music, and I had to have the tenacity and the preciousness at a young age to listen. When you play a 12-year-old Hex Enduction Hour, what do you think they're gonna think? It's just a bunch of noise! "These people don't sound like they're trying very hard" or, "This isn't as good as Nirvana." The best music in the world is encoded, encoded with an emotional lock. And I don't mean 'sad' or 'happy'. There are these emotions that are grey, and feelings like loss, or disillusionment with society, these abstract emotions that unlock doors. When you have the code and you listen to Interstellar Space it really does mean a lot. It has a lot of gravity to it - no pun intended.


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.