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Baker's Dozen

Self-Confident Weirdos: Kavus Torabi's Favourite Albums
Matt Evans , August 5th, 2014 11:39

With Knifeworld's second album The Unravelling just out, Matt Evans gets the top albums rundown from the band's leader and prolific multi-instrumentalist


Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs
Unfortunately, it seems like the narrative gets in the way of what exactly it was that Syd did, and also that he was maybe the most beautiful man who ever picked up a guitar and played rock & roll music. And his wonderful voice as well. So much is made of the fact that he was deteriorating on Barrett and Madcap, but regardless of that, listen to the songs. It doesn't matter that they're falling to bits - listen to the songs he was trying to get right. These recordings capture a performance that's not 100%, but it's the songwriting and the melodies, the way he lets notes hang over the change of chords. It's just wonderful. He gave us such a small body of work, but it's so incredibly colourful and influential. He was the guy I wanted to be. Particularly this album, something like 'No Good Trying' is totally unique, and 'Late Night' at the end of the album is just beautiful. He was really one of the great songwriters and totally had his own voice. 

For a while, there wasn't a day went by when I didn't think about him. I was haunted by the fact he was alive, shuffling around in Cambridge, doing whatever it was he was doing. Did he think about this music? Did he still write melodies for himself? As far as I can tell, all songwriters and musicians are constantly making up music in their heads, no matter whether they use it or not. I'm just fascinated by whether his mind was still generating music.