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Baker's Dozen

No Music: A Baker’s Dozen with Alva Noto
Ollie Zhang , February 21st, 2018 10:30

From Laurie Anderson’s United States Live to Meredith Monk’s Dolmen Music, Carsten Nicolai tells Mollie Zhang about 13 records that shaped his musical backbone. Photo by Andrey Bold


The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet Underground and Nico
I listened to this a lot, what I found interesting about The Velvet Underground, like with Andy Warhol’s cover, was that they felt more like an art group than a band. It perhaps wasn’t as radical in its production, but felt a bit more organic. During this period, I was listening to a lot of improvised music too, like free jazz - there was a big East German free jazz scene, for whatever reason. I found free jazz really interesting in that it didn’t re-create a song, but created something new, live. I felt like I could hear this kind of approach on this record in the way different people reacted and responded to one another. Along with the viola, which I think John Cale played, they probably looked more like a folk band. I liked this atmosphere, and of course now it’s become a classic.