The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Compiling & Filing: Jan St. Werner's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , April 30th, 2015 11:23

With his operatic performance-cum-radio play Miscontinuum released as an album earlier this year, the Mouse On Mars man takes Nick Hutchings on a trawl of his favourite avant-garde and experimental records


David Behrman - On The Other Ocean
It's maybe one of the most beautiful pieces of music that I know and it's still not kitsch. It has this tension between instruments being triggered and a sort of harmonic system in which the whole piece is happening. There's not too much unforeseen or random or in-between stuff going on, but at the same time what's nice is the subtle teasing between the instruments. Like when he's pushing the synth parts a bit further.

This record is also a pioneering one: it sounds incredibly well produced and you can hear how much effort went into it. It sounds like it's old but it's still fresh at the same time, and the concept of it is totally up to date. It has a romantic element to it. The instrumentalist interacts with the machine. The synthesiser speaks to the human. But it's also quite a cool and arty, absurd, kinky record. It could be the soundtrack to something really weird or perverse, like certain Robert Ashley operas have, like this whispering perversion or very beautiful explanation of something and this background of a really rattling noise. It's up there with Automatic Writing by Robert Ashley - and they're both on Lovely Music, which is one of my favourite labels ever, it's really a gift.