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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

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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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