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Baker's Dozen

In Pursuit Of Restless Beauty: Max Richter's 13 Favourite LPs
Ed Power , July 26th, 2017 11:39

With the release of his deep dive Behind The Counter compilation, composer Max Richter talks to Ed Power about the albums that shaped his musical philosophies and encouraged him to escape the humdrum of suburbia


Talking Heads – Remain In Light 
Eight tracks of incredible density. So much is happening. It drives you along. What is interesting about that record is you get all kinds of languages co-existing. There is the CBGB New York, propulsive, sweaty, disco-inflected backbone. But there’s glitchy electronics, courtesy probably of Eno. There are all sorts of found noises and interventions, the beginning of cut-up sampling. It is all incredibly energised: these different musical languages crashing into one another. 

Remain In Light has an incredible intensity – it just is unstoppable. I was 13 or 14 when I heard it for the first time. I remember listening to 'Once In A Lifetime', this extraordinary, bizarre song with an unbelievably odd performance from David Byrne in the video. I’d never seen or heard anything like that. It pointed to all sorts of new directions in terms of what pop songs could be. 

There are some of the qualities of the Laurie Anderson album: it’s extremely paranoid, talks about the government, the CIA – a hinterland of unease driving along this brilliant record. Tina Weymouth, Talking Heads’s bass player, is really under-appreciated. If you watch Stop Making Sense, the Jonathan Demme live film, she is insanely great. That added to the intensity of Remain In Light. It feels as if the band is jockeying for position. Everything is turned up to 11. 

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