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Baker's Dozen

Burn Again: Lawrence English's Favourite Albums
Kate Hennessy , November 19th, 2015 10:52

After celebrating Room40's 15th birthday, the label head and ambient composer pauses in his hometown of Brisbane to go from Swans to Japanese court music in taking Kate Hennessy through his 13 "foundational" records

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Photograph courtesy of Marc Behrens

These are not the 'favourite albums' of Lawrence English. He defines them, instead, as foundational; records that have "resonated over time, relatively consistently". They are also artists who have endured - not just for English's listening pleasure, but as musicians making their way forward.

"You look around you at people you were doing stuff with ten or 15 years ago and 95 per cent have dropped off," English says. "For various reasons they couldn't sustain themselves and have let go. When I think of all the potential that is gone, it just undoes me."

A "good many" of English's 13 records here are people have kept making music or sound in the long term. "I value that trajectory. To sustain yourself and to be willing to forego certain things… to burn for a while and realise, 'That was about a certain time and a place' and then burn again, but differently. One time it's a yellow light, the next it's a hot blue light, the next it's red-amber. The same chemistry but somehow it's different."

Follow Kate Hennessy on Twitter @smallestroom. Room40 has put out a number of releases by artists including Norman Westberg of Swans, Tim Hecker and Lawrence English himself this year to mark their 15th anniversary, while their live events will continue next year, hosting Fennesz and Keith Fullerton Whitman at Carriageworks, Sydney in February and Michael Gira on his Australian tour in March; for full details and tickets, head here. Click on the image below to begin scrolling through Lawrence's choices, which run in no particular order


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Nov 19, 2015 6:03pm

Fantastic list. Great to finally see Xiu Xiu in Bakers Dozen too.

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Nov 19, 2015 6:24pm

In reply to Asunderground:

It makes me sad that they don't get enough love. I will say, however, that "Women as Lovers" is probably Xiu Xiu's worst album.

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Nov 19, 2015 6:48pm

this Nippon Gagaku Kai album is reet good

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Nov 20, 2015 3:58am

I feel exactly the same way about The Necks, the last sentence in particular.

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Daveid P
Nov 20, 2015 11:36am

what a great read, got some listening to do..

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Peter Arvidson
Nov 24, 2015 12:15am

Not sure if this all for me, but these picks are why I love this column. Not looking for affirmation, but to be turned on to musc that I misdemeanor for whatever reasons. The Necks seems very sublime. Fuck all you negative pricks!

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Peter Arvidson
Nov 24, 2015 12:18am

In reply to Peter Arvidson:

Damn auto correct - "music that I missed for whatever reasons".

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