The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

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


Steve Reich - Octet
I think it's the ultimate psychedelic album. Me and Dan [Chudley, guitarist and vocalist] from the Monsoon Bassoon came to this via '80s King Crimson, what [Robert] Fripp and [Adrian] Belew were doing with guitars - playing against each other in different meters. When I heard that, it sounded like being on LSD. "That's it. That's how you make psychedelic music." Octet came shortly after, and it was like a light turned on. Everything I've done since hearing that record is constructed out of these cycles playing against each other. If you like my stuff, that's probably one of the reasons why. 

It's quite simple - when I hear it, I feel like I'm on drugs. It's probably because your mind isn't capable of following all the different cycles, but for me it's just instant psychedelia. But there are also these lovely, long aching, heatbreaking cello chords. Everything I do arrangement-wise, including my love for horns, much as they are used in Cardiacs and Henry Cow and Madness, came from this album. I don't listen to much Reich any more, but there was a period when nothing else would do. 

For me, it's as if this is eternity. You put on Octet, and that's what eternity is. It's extraordinary. It makes me believe in the idea of heaven.