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Baker's Dozen

Raw Takes: Richard Fearless's Favourite Tracks
Joe Clay , May 25th, 2016 08:24

Before the release of their sixth album this week and appearance at Atonal in Berlin this August, the Death In Vegas head honcho, producer and DJ scours the fruits of his record-collecting history and picks 13 tracks that have informed Transmission for Joe Clay


Bee Mask – 'Elegy For Beach Friday'
I love music like this. It's got such beautiful, visceral tones. He's like some kind of La Monte Young-type figure, coming from an artistic background. Music like this gives you so much space for your imagination. You're not locked down by any narration or lyrics. It's great music to lose yourself in. You become very aware of that level of space, which is such a powerful thing in music. On one level, you have to be quite brave to use it, because the tendency is to keep adding layers.

For me, with my studio looking out on a two-mile stretch of water, that comes into the music. Your location is such an important thing, your environment. It feeds into the opening track of Transmission, 'Metal Box'. That, for me, is looking out of the studio window at 3am over to the steel factory across the water. In the daytime you've got all the air traffic going over – it's a constant drone. Then there's the tugboat drone and engines. It's a very industrial part of the river here. A lot of the sounds on 'Metal Box' were recorded down here – there's a lot of screeching from the metalworks in the background. I had this old modular radio kit. Originally I wanted to get a scanner, so I could scan the conversations of the people on the boats opposite. I'd get the binoculars out and spend all day watching the river. But instead I made a radio so I could pick up all the different frequencies. An AM/VHF radio – it's amazing: you can point the wire at an aeroplane and pick up the conversation of the pilot. But what was really beautiful was the tone it made dialling through and the white noise. The first and the closing track on the album, the white noise all comes from radio feedback, dialling through. It fits in so well with the music.