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Baker's Dozen

No Barrier Fun: Angus Andrew Of Liars' Favourite LPs
Luke Turner , April 16th, 2014 05:03

Liars have always been masters of mixing a boggling array of influences into a music that's unhinged, inventive and powerful. Here, Angus Andrew guides us through 13 of his favourite LPs, running the gamut from hip hop to smooth jazz and The Cure


Kool Keith - Black Elvis/Lost In Space
First off, let me just point out that Kool Keith not only produced this album himself but did it at the same time as making another record - First Come, First Served. He wanted both albums to come out on the same day but was knocked back by his label who delayed the release of Black Elvis/Lost In Space for four months. I mention these factors not to necessarily bolster my conviction that this is an amazing record but just to illustrate what I love about the guy and this album. 

Fifteen years after listening to this for the first time I'm still amazed by what I hear going on beneath each track. Yeah, it's true it can be argued that Keith's other records like Dr. Dooom 2 or Dr. Octagonecologyst utilise a 'crazier' or more unpredictable set of tools but I personally think it all comes down to what you're listening for. Plus he did this himself! I think the record sounds deceptively minimal. Take a song like 'Rockets On The Battlefield' for example. It's really intricate even though the beat and bass line is simple and repetitive. There's so much other stuff going on and I find it enjoyably easy to get lost in the details.

Still, the focus is always going to been on Keith and his hyper imaginative lyrics. The ideas, imagery, tangents and overall verbal gymnastics that Keith performs on this record are twice as dense as the music itself. Half the record is devoted to 'Lost In Space' so it's all robots and flying saucers plus everything in between, while the other half is Keith performing in the persona of Black Elvis, the sexually active "rock star walking down Broadway". The combination of these two apparently disparate concepts speaks volumes on how smart and interesting this record is. It's just so damn baffling that floating a word like genius to describe Keith is not at all out of context.