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Baker's Dozen

A Document in Time: Neil Halstead Of Slowdive's Baker's Dozen
Joe Clay , May 3rd, 2017 10:11

With Slowdive reformed and about to release their fourth album (as well as playing Field Day and Roskilde), Neil Halstead tells Joe Clay about the gateway albums that influenced him the most. Photo by Ingrid Pop.

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Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden 
This was a massive influence on Pygmalion. It's all about the way they used the space and how it slides into abstraction at points. It was really unusual, how they did that. They're organic records – Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock. I got Laughing Stock first, but of the two records, Spirit of Eden is my favourite. It's just so beautiful. They recorded bits of it in the dark. Sometimes they'd turn the playback off, so whoever was playing would be playing along and they'd pull the tracks out of their headphones. It's almost like free jazz at certain moments. But I love how it descends into something slightly abstract and then slides back into something more formal. I don't know of many records that do that in quite the same way. You're moving into Coltrane, Miles Davis territory, but Talk Talk do it in a song-based structure. It's really clever. Sonically, it's one of those geeky records – a proper headphones album. 


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