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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


Ryuichi Sakamoto – Playing The Piano
Ryuichi Sakamoto is very well known – certainly he's a legend in Japan, and all over the world really. I listen to his music every day, and I think he's one of the great composers and one of the most sensitive players. I can feel his restraint in his touch, in the delicacy of his playing. I can feel his sensitivity, and that's so beautiful. That's the power, I think, of a very minimalist player – if you can play one note and you can differentiate who played that note, there's so much power in that. And he also plays a lot of incredibly complex things, he's a classically trained musician. He is a huge influence and I love his style. You know how Jarvis Cocker is a great songwriter and incredibly intelligent? So he's not only a great musician, but he's also an interesting guy, he's got great style, he's funny and an all-round kind of hero: Ryuichi's that kind of guy too – just an all-round admirable and cool guy. He was in a band, the Yellow Magic Orchestra, with Haruomi Hosono, who's also a huge hero of mine. Anything that he's produced or been a part of is of the highest quality.

This is my personal favourite of his records. I like them all, but this one is almost the most stripped down in the sense that there's not that much more than the piano. There's some elements of electronic music and some musique concrète thrown in there, but for the most part it's very stripped down. His little nods to Satie are more prominent on this, and I love Erik Satie – who doesn't? So it's just right up my alley, basically.