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Baker's Dozen

Like Choosing A Lover: Viv Albertine's Favourite Albums
Thomas Hasson , April 18th, 2013 10:07

Always forthright, the great Viv Albertine discusses her favourite albums with Tom Hasson. T-Rex, Chris Watson, Don Cherry, Beefheart, Barrett, Kate Bush and.... The Slits all feature


Chris Watson - El Tran Fantasma
To me this is where I am now. Basically because I'm of an age where a load of shit has happened to me, a lot of it my own fault, but I'm now very picky about what goes in my ears, what goes in my eyes and what goes in my head. And I feel like if I'm going to listen to some music, it's like choosing a lover; I want someone honest. I don't want a lover or musician who going to lie to me, who's a bit of a fake, who's out there to sell records or isn't writing or performing or committing from their hearts.

I can't bear a lot of music. Even when I clean up my house I'll often prefer to just hear the natural noises of the rufflings and the bangings. When I run around the park I don't wear headphones or earphones or anything, I want to hear the ducks on the pond, the dogs barking, the people shouting. Where I live now I have traffic going past at all times. I don't know what has happened to me but I want to be in the present and I often think that listening to music all the time is like drowning out the moment. I think so many rhythms in everyday sounds, which again is something The Slits used a lot anyway, the rhythms and the timings and the beat of everyday life, it's almost more influential than whatever new and fashionable music is out now. When I was making my new record, The Vermilion Border, I hadn't listened to music properly for about 15 years. And I don't think it sounds dated at all, it's come from inside and the normal sounds of everyday life.

That's what Iove about this record, El Tren Fantasma. Technically it's so beautiful; it's beautifully recorded. I think he does what an artist should do, which is take something every day and make you hear it or see it differently. I could listen to this anytime of day or night, I could listen to it heartbroken or grieving. A lot of things are an assault on your senses, whereas this is honest and true and real. And that's what I think art should be. But it's gone so far from that in so many ways, people try to be famous, try get their name out there, try to write a hit record. Give me this any time over any of that. It's pure, utterly pure.

If somebody said to you that it was a recording of a train going across South America you'd think; 'Oh God, this is going to be an effort.' You wouldn't think that it could be so beautiful, so inspiring. It paints pictures in your head and yet it's barely music. This record can make you see beauty in the everyday.