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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 One: It Is A Promotional Exercise And Thus Compromised.
Musicians talking about favourite records can produce writing that is funny, vulnerable and sweet: love letters back to the records that saved us, helped us, kept us going, inspired, challenged, resisted, stayed restlessly out of our reach but that we kept returning to. But all too often, it's egregious posturing, with artists writing their own ticket by modelling for the reader their beautiful soul, their "good taste", their access to obscure or insider material, their relevance to scene X or status as spokesperson for demographic Y. There's an acrid stench of narcissism that haunts the scene when artists write directly about themselves, but even at a remove, there's no doubt that these selections are expected to function as indirect self-portraiture and, in a sense, as branding exercises. When the narrator of Lana Del Rey's painfully apt song "Brooklyn Baby" coos at us that "my jazz collection's rare", the savvy distance and difference between Lana herself and that hapless narrator tells the story: there's something self-serving and suspect about Public Displays of Taste.