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Baker's Dozen

Perfect Calibrations: Simon Raymonde's Favourite Albums
Colm McAuliffe , February 6th, 2014 09:02

Following the release of his new album with Snowbird, the former Cocteau Twins man and Bella Union boss gives us his rundown of his all-time (on this given day) favourite records


Amon Tobin - Supermodified
I quite liked his stuff before this album and I love Ninja Tune, it's one of the great British labels, they've rarely put out anything that isn't brilliant. A lot of dance records that I was listening to at the time had beats which were so upfront and everything else was so secondary. But here was a record where he mixed it almost like a soundtrack. He suddenly became master of his art, the drum's paths and the samples are so detailed, it really is artistic. I look at him almost as an abstract painter, you don't see it straight away, but you listen to it and suddenly all these different colours and shapes start appearing. Sonically, there's so much going on there and, obviously, he's a guy sat at a computer, he's not like Stevie Wonder but in many ways, he is as adept at his work as Stevie Wonder was physically with the playing. I've bought all his records since then, I think he's brilliant, great to put on late at night or if you're driving. Supermodified is the best because it's quite commercial, quite accessible. And I think it's because he understands his art better. He's not just making a genre record - he has many beats the Chemical Brothers might use but it's not in your face, it's subtle and thoughtful and I think that's why it's so important, it's easy to return to it year after year, you don't date it, it could have been made at any time. What also really influenced me in electronic music was De La Soul, Guru's Jazzmatazz, things like that, which were taking influences from different places. The first De La Soul album could easily have been on this list. Cabaret Voltaire too. Amon Tobin is Brazilian but he's lived in the Netherlands a lot of this life, he's got a European sensibility. Very talented guy, worthy of being in this list.