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Baker's Dozen

Nicely Proposed, Coxy! Bradford Cox Of Deerhunter's Favourite LPs
Tristan Bath , October 15th, 2015 08:33

After we asked the Deerhunter and Atlas Sound man to pick his top LPs, Tristan Bath rang him in Atlanta and, over the course of a two-hour dog walk, had Bradford Cox talk through 13 albums of "accidents and starkness"


The Orb - Orbus Terrarum
When Deerhunter was turning into the band that would make Cryptograms, we were sort of disorienting ourselves a lot, listening to a lot of stuff, anything from La Monte Young and Black Dice to… well, another big influence on Cryptograms was Björk and Vespertine. Our second guitar player at that time was Colin [Mee] - we don't talk that often any more, but I still consider him to be amazing. He turned me on to so much stuff… We met through the Black Lips, he was living in this punk house with them in Atlanta called Die Slaughterhaus. It was your typical punk squat house, but with books on Dada lying around, and a record by Swell Maps and The Godz, and I was like, "Whose is this?!" And they're like, "Oh, that's Colin's stuff - Colin doesn't talk much, he just lives in the back room." And I thought, hey, I've gotta get to know this kid, because he's into the same stuff I'm in to. One of the first things we talked about was Edgard Varèse, and Cabaret Voltaire, and I knew instantly that was gonna be in the band. So he joined Deerhunter, and we would play these long improvisational shows. We were driving to one of these shows - can't remember where, but we were on a bit of a road trip - and he put in a cassette of The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld, and I remember being totally confused. He was playing a cassette of Einstürzende Neubauten and I just fell into a nap, and when I woke up he'd changed the tape, but I didn't know that. I was like, "This is the most fucking beautiful Einstürzende Neubauten album I've ever heard! This is so cosmic and beautiful!" He was like, "No no no, this is The Orb." And so began my love of The Orb.

Around this time I also met this guy in Atlanta who was sort of like, not a boyfriend, but kind of like an asexual boyfriend. We were sort of this non-sexual couple of… weirdoes. He introduced me to a lot of strange films and books and stuff, and when I told him about hearing The Orb, he told me that was just their poppy stuff - "You should hear this album, Pomme Fritz", and he played it to me, and it made no sense! It was sort of like Pat Metheny on Thorazine in an oxygen chamber… it just didn't make any sense. It seemed like they were just fucking with you. At the same time he got me into John Coltrane's Interstellar Space, which I'll get into in a minute. Anyway, on my own I found this Orb album, which everybody said was their least good album. Everybody said: "Avoid Orbus Terrarum". Like with The Fall, everybody says, "Don't buy The Frenz Experiment", but I actually really love The Frenz Experiment, I went against everybody's advice and thought it was amazing. So I remember driving around at night listening to Orbus Terrarum, delivering Chinese food in the late summer when it was turning to fall and listening to 'Plateau', and it was very transcendental. It's cluttered, but the elements that are cluttering the soundscape are very stark and cold, and icy… I see it as a precursor to that Kompakt stuff - when I heard it I thought it's just like Wolfgang Voigt's work, only years before. It was a precursor to what's now seen as this hugely advanced music.