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Baker's Dozen

Chance-Taking: Stephen McRobbie Of The Pastels' Favourite Albums
John Freeman , June 3rd, 2013 08:53

With The Pastels releasing their first album in 16 years last week, original member Stephen McRobbie reveals the 13 albums that “defined his taste” and inspired his band


To Rococo Rot - The Amateur View
I first heard To Rococo Rot on the John Peel show – they had done a session – and I became aware of a lot of the German music that was coming out at the time, kind of more minimalist techno and different sounds. I liked the discipline of it and the coldness. Then, I heard To Rococo Rot and they had that space and were coming from a techno angle, but also had real melody and colour that I found missing in a lot of other techno stuff. It just seemed such a new sound to me.

So, I heard them on the radio and it was before we had a computer or internet access so it took longer to find out about it. Eventually I read a really good piece about them by Rob Young in The Wire. They were two brothers from Berlin [Robert and Ronald Lippok] who had grown up in East Germany and they met Stefan [Schneider] who’d grown up in Dusseldorf. They had such an interesting story; they’d heard music via the John Peel tape-swapping culture that took place in East Germany and that was the way that music had been disseminated. I got a couple of their records but eventually when they made The Amateur View I really connected with it. I thought it had a great sound; with a three-piece everyone has got to be doing good stuff. I thought they were mesmerising.

We became friends with them and I made this song called ‘Thomson Colour’ on Illumination which was very brief and they stretched it out on a mix which I really like – they made it very physical. We also connected with them a lot as people. I’ve been thinking about them a lot recently as they have some reissues coming out and I did the sleeve notes for one of them. They are a group I always listen to and find something interesting in.

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