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Baker's Dozen

13 Reasons Why I Can't Pick My 13 Favourite Records, By Drew Daniel
The Quietus , September 25th, 2014 06:41

When we asked Drew Daniel of Matmos and The Soft Pink Truth for his Baker's Dozen, he refused - and with good reasons. Thirteen of them, to be precise. Here Daniel presents them in an essay titled A Rant Against The Quantification Of Aesthetics. All photographs courtesy of Drew Daniel


Reason Ten: Favouritism As Such Is Conservative.
What if playing favourites is just a defensive way of avoiding being ambushed, startled or challenged by art? Lists of 'favourite' records might be bulwarks that people - especially older people - use to protect themselves against change, against the future, against the eruptive force of what you don't get to pick for yourself but which might be good for you to hear anyway. I'm old enough to have survived many, many waves of trends and hype and rises and falls in the music industry as dynastic sagas run their course and capitalist boom 'n' bust cycles turn over. If I still tenaciously cling to the first Die Kreuzen album and G*Park's Seismogramm LP and Royal House's Can You Party? LP and Kreator's Flag Of Hate cassette and Zapp's 'More Bounce To The Ounce' after all these years, that clingy behaviour might be an admirable index of my fidelity and steadfastness to the various things that I like. But it might also be a way of inoculating myself against the formal shocks that come with new voices, new sounds, new scenes, new ways of being receptive and curious and vulnerable to the world. What if these totemic, beloved "stuffed animals" within my record collection aren't really helping me to be a better listener or a better artist, but are instead a kind of carapace, an obstruction? Why force them onto others and level things down to a monoculture in the process?