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Baker's Dozen

Sonic DNA: Natasha Khan Of Bat For Lashes’ Favourite Albums
Laurie Tuffrey , May 7th, 2013 08:50

As part of our series of articles previewing this year's Field Day Festival, Natasha Khan roots through her record collection to pick out her 13 top LPs


Henryk Górecki - Symphony No. 3
There are certain records that I know a lot about and others that I don't, and I think this one, for me, purely on a symphonic, musical level, it just is one of my favourite classical pieces. I think it's especially about the first movement, where the double-basses come in barely audibly, and it builds and they're just repeating their pattern. There's something about pattern in classical music, and that's why I've chosen Steve Reich as well: phrases and themes that get repeated and then get others on top that repeat, it's a cyclical thing that starts to happen with this harmony and rhythm, and it fascinates me. I also love double basses being bowed, there's just something about that that really pleases me. It builds into this huge thing and there's this moment where there's just one piano note, like a summoning, and the woman's voice comes in. I just think it's really soulful. I could've chosen Ravel's Bolero, which is also a really popular piece of music, but it's another one of my absolute favourites because again it's repetitive, it's almost like dance music, it's a repetitive theme that builds and builds. When I was going to see Underworld, off my face, in a tent - I think there's something similar, when instrumental music just builds and builds and builds.

[Górecki] is really interesting technically as well as emotionally, which is the theme of this whole discussion almost: my greatest love is of people that have managed to walk that line between technical, competent songwriting or structure or understanding the art form and understanding the craftsmanship and at the same time imbuing that with reality and grit and fucking true connection to soulfulness and the universe. You can make a person cry because of what you're doing. That combination is just dynamite, isn't it? There's nothing better. You can sit in a room making a lot of avant-garde white noise and wanking over yourself, that's fine, or you can make amazing, soulful pop songs. Surely the artist's job is to be a consummate craftsman but within that be a complete child, innocent of expression and tapped in.