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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 Four: … And It Encourages Tokenising Gestures, In Response.
Without naming names, we've all seen Top Ten lists in which Esteemed Artist from Genre Y coughs up a list of eight or nine groundbreaking "classic" works that come directly from the lineage of their direct influences, to which they have sheepishly attached one or two token hat-tips towards Genres X or Z, to make their list seem less pat. The content shifts from decade to decade, as the Token Classical Composer It's Cool for Rock People to Like changes places (goodbye Górecki, hello Messiaen). But the played-out gesture remains the same. It would be mean and unfair to allege that these rockabilly artists don't really like Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue or that these folk singers don't really like Wu-Tang Clan's Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) or that this austere, glitchy sound artist doesn't really like Slayer's Reign In Blood. But in each case, the spurious diversity (however well intentioned) doesn't pull the reader closer into the genre being patronised, because the artists being so used tend to be blue-chip representatives of their scene, community or demographic as a whole. Transparent tokenism is not good enough.