The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Magical Experiences: James Holden's Favourite Albums
Rory Gibb , June 5th, 2014 15:08

Following last year's feral The Inheritors album, Border Community label head James Holden is about to take his newly developed live show on tour, including to Field Day and Sonar Barcelona. Rory Gibb catches up with him to discuss thirteen favourite and formative albums, improvisation and atheist spirituality


The KLF - Chill Out

When I was a teenager, my physics teacher gave me both The KLF and the Trance Europe Express compilation. He's responsible for everything, really. I didn't know he liked electronic music, and at the time I didn't think I did. In the Midlands at the time it was all Tall Paul and Sasha and stuff, and a different social group of people from me at school were into it - I assumed it wasn't for me. But I was making music on my computer, and the music teacher played it to my physics teacher, and then he started giving me everything: early Detroit, early jungle, and then these two tapes, which really made an impression.

The KLF I sat on for ages, and then when I was an actual student I spent ages listening to it, lying around. So it's one of those records which is in the list because it means something to me. Around that time, when I was a student, it was that and Aphex and weird experiential rather than delivery-focused music, and then Gemma was introducing me to post-rock at the same time, and it all just seemed to go together - the sense of place in a Mogwai record is quite similar to the sense of place in this KLF tape for example. That's what I really loved about it, actually. Music and traveling is always a magical experience, but that tape gives you the feeling of traveling even when you're listening to it at home. It's not a complicated thought, is it? [laughs] It's magic that tape, it's so full of atmosphere, and things happen that trigger a whole change of feeling and emotion and sense of place. It's the best advert for America, just because of the radio snippets through it. It's a really utopian, enticing record.