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Baker's Dozen

An Expanse Of Sound: Jane Weaver's Favourite Albums
John Freeman , May 17th, 2017 09:37

With the release of her stunning new album, Modern Kosmology, Jane Weaver talks to John Freeman about the 13 records that shaped her musical universe. Portrait by Rebecca Lupton.


The Electric Prunes - Release Of An Oath
I was asking [husband] Andy [Votel] about the back-story of this album. I am a huge fan of Dave Axelrod. I think the story was that The Electric Prunes had to deliver an album, and that Axelrod composed and produced much of this record. He was trying to push them along and ended up doing most of it himself. This album is more to do with him than The Electric Prunes, who I would normally associate with 60s psychedelia.

I absolutely love the whole of this record. The first song I heard from it was 'Holy Are You', which is very, very Axelrod. I have revisited this album a lot recently but more to do with the recording techniques. When I am going into the studio and I want to record a certain type of bass or strings, this album is one of my reference points. Any production by Axelrod is exquisite. I like the way the drums are recorded and I love how the patterns change. It is almost as if they are all in a room and they are half-jamming it. There are lots of fills and the music changes into something else. And, the strings arrangements on this album are totally sublime. It would be amazing to have the opportunity to work with someone like Axelrod.

The production values have influenced my new album. Obviously, it's my take, and my trial and error on creating strings. I haven't got an orchestra or a quartet and it's usually just me and a violinist, but if I ever had the opportunity to create strings parts differently, this album would always be my point of reference for me. This album has the best sound – the drums sound brilliant, as is the bass and the guitars. I even like Axelrod's spoken word pieces that can come across as quite serious but I find it all totally sublime.

While I had heard 'Holy Are You' about 15 years ago, I only got into the whole album in the last decade. It's one of those records I can put on in the car, or wherever, and it will instantly have a calming effect. Certain Eno albums have the same effect – when the kids were young I would put this or Eno on and they would immediately quieten down.