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Baker's Dozen

Nearly Perfect But Not Quite: Lloyd Cole's Favourite Albums
Lisa Jenkins , June 21st, 2013 07:07

The former Commotions man rifles through his record collection to pick his top 13 records


Steve Reich - Music For 18 Musicians
I just think this is an incredibly beautiful album. It emphasises what it is that I like about music. I love it when music is complex in its way. That it takes simple things against simple things and places them next to each other in ways that create complexity, without having to have massive harmonic complexity.

Rhythmic complexity to me is interesting, but it’s only interesting when it doesn’t sound clever. For me, this doesn’t sound clever. Reich studied in Mali for several years. He worked with African drummers. Great polyrhythmic stuff comes from two very simple things put against each other. The whole essence of this record is polyrhythms with very simple arpeggios played by multiple instruments. Nobody’s playing anything complicated, but the combination of the 18 people together makes something which is harmonically sonorous, and maybe slightly complex, but not difficult. The way that it changes almost imperceptibly going from a D minor chord to an A minor chord without you really knowing when. But then all of a sudden you know it’s changed.