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Baker's Dozen

Augmenting Reality: Devendra Banhart's Favourite Albums
Tara Joshi , September 28th, 2016 09:34

Following the release of his ninth album, Ape In Pink Marble, the LA-based singer-songwriter and artist opts against a theme of lobster-based smut (read on) and talks Tara Joshi through his 13 all-time favourite records


Maurice Ravel – Maurice Ravel Plays Ravel
This is one of those records that I would categorise as essential as a musical education. If I couldn't afford to put my kids through music school – which seems likely – I would play them Sun Ra and Ravel, and say: "Here, that's an entire musical education."

Talking about him, Boléro is of course a classic song, with an incredible story - there's a fantastic Radiolab about how maybe he was suffering from a degenerative brain disease and that's what caused him to compose Boléro, because it's so different from his other stuff – all the repetition. I also think that maybe he was just such a genius you never know what he was thinking.

I think Ravel in particular feels like the root of so much pop, and I hear so many melodies that a hundred years later have popped up in so many different albums. 'Pavane pour une infante défunte' is a daily listen. Ravel Plays Ravel is divine because you can listen to it and just feel it, be inspired by it or really listen – just almost stare precisely, put it under a microscope. It's just the best art.