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Baker's Dozen

Burn Again: Lawrence English's Favourite Albums
Kate Hennessy , November 19th, 2015 10:52

After celebrating Room40's 15th birthday, the label head and ambient composer pauses in his hometown of Brisbane to go from Swans to Japanese court music in taking Kate Hennessy through his 13 "foundational" records


Jim O'Rourke - Eureka
Jim O'Rourke is one of the great creative forces in music today. He is a true musician and by this I mean an artist who is interested in the potential of all music, not merely a genre or a mode. I'm constantly drawn to his tireless adventuring. He's restless in the best way possible. Paired with what is no doubt an obsessive streak means he invests himself so far into the work that the results are almost always fascinating.

Eureka, both the song and the album, are for me what make O'Rourke such a force. The album is one amazing arrangement after another, witty lyrics, unusual production, great players and songs that are deceptively simple but profound. It's one of those records that was no doubt laboured over but feels instant and effortless. It just rolls into your ears and straight into your soul.

The first time I heard Eureka, I wasn't sure how to understand what it made me feel. I'd mostly listened to Jim's electronic work and his bands like Gastr Del Sol with David Grubbs and when I first heard Eureka it took a while before it opened up to me. I wasn't expecting the hooks to be so strong and to find myself humming along so rapidly but that's what makes Jim's solo work so great. Simple Songs from this year is the same - you come in knowing nothing of the record but a few seconds in you're humming and mumbling the lyrics. A few more listens and it's burned into your auditory psyche.