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Baker's Dozen

An Unexpected Journey: Elijah Wood's Favourite Albums
Ben Graham , May 27th, 2016 07:28

As his new film The Trust hits the cinemas, actor, movie producer and DJ Elijah Wood tells us about 13 albums that have blown him away at various points in his life

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Stereolab- Emperor Tomato Ketchup

This was probably the very first Stereolab record I owned. I remember being in a record store in Vancouver, or maybe Austin, and hearing their collaboration with the instrumental band UI. They did a split single or EP and they covered 'St Elmo's Fire', the Eno song. I think that's what was on the PA and I remember being drawn to it and asking who the band was. And then the person recommended well if you like this you should probably listen to Emperor Tomato Ketchup. It introduced me to the band but it still remains probably my favourite record of theirs, just in terms of the cohesion. I think it's probably their best collection of songs. Every record from Stereolab explores different things and has certain sonic differences, but this album is really defined I think by these grooves that build on themselves, so almost every song starts with a number of instruments and builds into itself to become what it is. It feels like a defining aspect of the record. The vocal interplay between Laetitia and Mary Hansen is a total delight. I absolutely love it. And when I saw them after Mary's passing, which was actually the first time I'd ever seen Stereolab live, they opened for Air at the Hollywood Bowl. And for all of the songs that have some kind of interplay between Laetitia and Mary, they simply left her vocal part out. And it was the most haunting thing. It was in absence a sonic tribute to her but also a reference to her not being there. I just found that to be such a beautiful choice, rather than Laetitia taking over both vocal duties, to just leave that space blank. It sent chills down my spine. It was like hearing her not be there. It was so powerful.


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