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Baker's Dozen

Sonic Worlds: Clark's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , November 27th, 2014 15:15

With his sterling, self-titled seventh album released and a run of sets coming up before the year's out, the Warp producer delves into his towel collection (read on) and picks his 13 top LPs for Nick Hutchings


Bernard Parmegiani - De Natura Sonorum (The Nature Of Sound)
When I was a teenager I worked in a stationery shop. It was when I first started writing music, and I got into sampling loads of Sellotape being scrunched, because I just had this PZM microphone - really cheap but amazing, and the filters I used on this sampler were pretty amazing. I just had a MiniDisc player and I built these collages. I was young, arrogant - I just thought yeah, shit I'm the first person to have ever done this. And then it's just one of those where someone goes, 'No, you're not actually, someone did this 30 years ago much better' and you're like, 'oh, right' and he was that person, Bernard Parmegiani.

I don't think he specifically worked in a stationery shop, he probably worked in, I dunno, a brothel or something, but he was an amazing sound recordist. But it's weird because his stuff, he's French, it's got this weird, I wouldn't say sexual exactly, that's a bit too much, but it's got this colourful lightness of touch and this humour that the more academic musicians didn't have. It's great and a lot of the English electro-acoustic music doesn't really have that, it's a bit sterile.

Parmegiani's stuff was just incredible sonic worlds, he'd just explore certain textures within a track and it would just be like a journey to the centre of a rubber band or something. I still don't know exactly how he did it, because they wouldn't have had any digital effects when he did this album. They would have had very primitive delays I guess, but it was amazing.

To be honest I haven't listened to The Nature Of Sound for ages, but it was a mainstay when I was doing my second album for Warp, Empty The Bones Of You, that was always on the CD just constantly. I only really listened to it on headphones because I like it really loud and my girlfriend of the time didn't. I just preferred it on headphones as it's not exactly dinner party music. Or maybe it is, maybe he's the dinner party version of electro-acoustic music.