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Baker's Dozen

The Passions: Owen Pallett's Favourite Albums
Luke Turner , May 29th, 2014 09:25

Owen Pallett's new album helpfully gives us the title for our latest Baker's Dozen, as he talks Luke Turner through selections including Tori Amos, Throbbing Gristle, Jean Luc Ponty, Dean Blunt, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Total Freedom and Diamanda Galas


Electrelane - Axes
They're the best rock band ever, as far as I'm concerned. Particular to this record, it was a huge huge moment when me and the band went to Iceland and were recording in Valgeir [Sigurðsson]'s studio and putting the record the way that I'd put together Heartland, figuring out the tempo of the track, putting in a few squidges on the click tracks to make the time feel groovy, recording the synths over the top of everything, and it didn't feel quite right and I couldn't figure out why. I was on the plane home listening to the stuff we'd done and thinking, "This sounds really shitty and I feel really sad and I don't know why". I remember the next record I put on was Axes and I realised at that moment that we had to scrap the record and start again, doing it all to no click and all to tape. The live feel of Axes was what motivated me to go into Hotel2Tango and record the whole thing live to tape. Axes was the life preserver that saved me after a disastrous two weeks in Iceland. It wasn't Valgeir's fault, they were working really well, it just wasn't working right for Rob [Gordon, drummer]. It's hard to record drums. I have a bit of a reputation because there was an article written in the New York Times magazine where I said "drummers ruin bands" but that was part of a longer monologue that got chopped out; I don't feel that at all, but I do feel that it's very difficult to make drums work. Essentially it dates your record, it defines the genre. Essentially I think that you could remove drums from any record and replace them with new drums and completely change the genre. I hear political implications in the way drums are recorded, it's just such a loaded thing that it's made me really nervous.