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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


Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band- Trout Mask Replica
At the time, when I was concerned with changing from conductor to rock musician or Can musician, Captain Beefheart was one of the main influences. It was the sound of this record, this craziness. The mixture of being humorous but very serious. The two shouldn't exclude each other. It's humorous and damned serious and great music. The way he plays the guitar is unique, as is the way he is singing. That was a big influence, like Jimi Hendrix but in another way. The sound of this record is absolutely unique; nobody played like him. It's very complex, it's a piece of art this record, but at the same time, it's really funny.

SK: I think sometimes this idea confuses some people, that music can be funny and still be taken seriously.

Yes, I think that's a misunderstanding. Humour is the most serious thing in the world. And of course, influences don't always show as sounding alike. There are so many musicians which say they are influenced by Can and when I hear them, I don't hear the influence, but that's not what it's about; the spirit is the thing.