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Baker's Dozen

Early Music: Sarah Davachi's Favourite Albums
Christian Eede , November 4th, 2020 13:15

Following the release in September of double album 'Cantus, Descant', as well as an impending live album, Sarah Davachi shares a selection of formative records from her teenage years and studies


U2 - Achtung Baby

I get that this might be a strange one. For me, it has more sentimental value than it might have for other people. I have older siblings and I grew up listening to this kind of stuff when I was really young. I think it just kind of stuck with me for that reason while a lot of other people probably wouldn't have gone down that path at that age. From a production perspective, when I heard it, and even now when I listen to it, there's nothing else that sounds like it. The songwriting, I mean, it's U2. I think early era U2 stuff, I'll stand by it that I like it. I think it's fine. But the way this record sounds was so inspiring to me. I was probably, I don't know, around eight or nine when I was first hearing it. I didn't fully understand what was behind it at the time of course, but I remember even then thinking that, 'Wow, this sounds so bizarre and I've never heard anything like this'. I would venture a guess that that's probably influential on why I was able to listen to records in that way, and actually pay attention to production and texture and things like that throughout my teenage years.

One thing that is like super personal and weird about this record is that they were recording it in Berlin right after the fall of the Berlin Wall. I remember all the imagery, and all the press that came around the album was really about this kind of like optimism of this new Europe and this new idea of what society can be like. That was really interesting to me from a cultural and historical perspective. It probably got me really interested in the Cold War, more than the average nine-year-old should have been at that time.

Eno of course had a role in this record. I know that he would basically come in for a week at a time while they were working on it in Berlin and try to make everything they've produced sound as unusual as possible, then go away for another month, and then come back, and so on. Yeah. This was, of course, maybe eight years or so after he'd started releasing the ambient albums, so he still very much had his fingers in a lot of different pies.

Yeah, not of course to compare myself to him, but I think of myself in the same way of wanting to spread myself across various different projects. What's always been interesting to me is artists who don't just limit themselves to one way of making music or one way of thinking about music. I guess it's just the concept of continually seeking challenges, so as not to rest on your laurels too much.