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Baker's Dozen

In Pursuit Of Restless Beauty: Max Richter's 13 Favourite LPs
Ed Power , July 26th, 2017 11:39

With the release of his deep dive Behind The Counter compilation, composer Max Richter talks to Ed Power about the albums that shaped his musical philosophies and encouraged him to escape the humdrum of suburbia

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Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden 
My first experience of Talk Talk was via the early stuff, the chart albums. Which made me go, "oh, I’m not interested in this at all". So at the time, I missed those later extraordinary records – through blunt prejudice basically. But this is a towering masterpiece – absolutely amazing. It was their fourth album. And of course, many people don’t get to the point where they get to make a fourth LP any more. 

The concept of the album is evaporating before our eyes. The idea of building a sustained and substantial body of work… there is something wonderful about that. The fact Talk Talk were given the resources and time – remember this was a multi-year project – was extraordinary. What’s amazing is how all the different elements join up. The instrumental sound, the electronic sound – letting the studio be the instrument. It’s intuitive and organic and feels really "composed", in a classical sense. You get all sorts of things referring back, being reconfigured. It is a very rewarding listen. 

Talk Talk were on a trajectory many bands would like to follow, given the opportunity. Nowadays, groups tend to get cut off at the hip before they have the chance. As the work gets increasingly experimental, the sales numbers go away – of course, all the sales numbers have gone away but that is another story. The audience thins out and becomes more specialised and people get dropped and never get to fulfil their promise. 


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