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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


Henry Cow - Leg End
By choosing Leg End, really what I'm choosing is all the albums that came after that, plus Art Bears and News From Babel and all the [Fred] Frith solo stuff. But Henry Cow was my way in. I'd been intrigued by them for a while, I'd read about them, but no one had heard of them. I couldn't find their records anywhere. Finally, I met this guy who had their second album on cassette and he lent it to me. It was like everything I'd ever wanted to hear. To this day, I'm just baffled. All the funny little spidery lines and crazy melodies interlocking and clashing against each other… it's almost like watching a sped-up film of flowers opening up.

I know the context it existed in, I know they had ties to Soft Machine and the Canterbury scene, but I never heard it as prog. It's so visual to me. When I first got it, I played it back to back for a week. It was all I listened to, in the hope that I could get to the guts of what it's about, but I still can't. I've read so much about that band, and I know Chris Cutler a little bit now, but none of that has demystified this music. It's absolutely strange and bizarre and wonderful.