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Baker's Dozen

The Spirit Is The Thing: Irmin Schmidt's Favourite Records
Sean Kitching , December 4th, 2015 10:46

As the former Can man releases his Electro Violet box set this week, he boils his all-time favourites down to a 'records of the day' selection, taking Sean Kitching from albums to individual songs and classical compositions


Ben Frost - A U R O R A
You picked a 'selections of the day', I believe?

Well, yes. I mean, a selection of records I like would be getting into the hundreds, and the moment you ask, there are selections coming in from those hundreds, so it depends on one's mood and also upon one's memory. All those I have chosen are really still important: they have had a big influence on me, or still have. Or they are new discoveries, like the Ben Frost. I met Ben in Mexico in April this year. We were both working at a festival - I was DJing and he was performing. I was really impressed by his performance, by his music, so I listened afterwards to his record. I really admire his work, on stage as well as on record. It's something using instruments and electronics in a very personal and very convincing way. And there's a reason I put Hendrix's 'Star Spangled Banner' from Woodstock directly after this. If you compare these two things, they have a lot in common. In the way that they are creating a new sound. There's a lot of percussion on this but it's all melded into one thing, as if it's one instrument, the whole sound. It's so dense; there are these micro-rhythms in it, but basically it's very slow, because this mass cannot be moved fast. It's like a big mountain, like a big mass of energy and material, and I found this very beautiful. You need to hear it over good speakers. He loves loudness. His performances are really loud and so you have to get this mass of sound around you.