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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.


Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works 85-92
This was the first thing I got into that wasn't guitar music. I had a bit of an epiphany with electronic music in about 1992 and Aphex was a big part of that. I think Mark Van Hoen or one of the guys from Seefeel played it to me. That record blew me away. It was like, 'You don't have to use guitars, you don't have to have drums.' I hadn't really explored any of that music. It didn't sound like anything I'd heard before. It opened up so many doors for me – Warp Records, LFO, stuff like that. And you start making the connections. I'd been getting into Bowie, Low-era, and Brian Eno, John Cale, Kevin Ayers. This was leftfield, but much more modern. It gave me some options. It's a beautiful record. It's quite abrasive in places, but there's always a really beautiful tune behind it, or a melancholy aspect.

Quirky was a night run by a photographer, James Bignell, and Mark [Van Hoen] used to help book the bands. Tony Wilson (not that one) and Robert Hampson of Loop were also involved. It was in Brixton, a sort of post-ambient club night. Aphex played there, and Autechre, Seefeel – basically everyone from the ambient electronic scene of the early 90s. It was great because you'd go there and hear all this interesting stuff and that all fed into Pygmalion. It was really inspiring. And for me it all came from hearing SAW 85-92 and wanting to try something a bit different.