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Baker's Dozen

I Hear New Worlds: Chris Carter's Favourite Albums
The Quietus , August 4th, 2021 08:57

From a clandestine love of ABBA to a mind-expanding teenage encounter with Pink Floyd, via Joe Meek, Wendy Carlos and Tangerine Dream, Chris Carter of Throbbing Gristle writes on the music that changed his life


Pink Floyd – A Saucerful Of Secrets

I play this album a couple of times a year, usually when I’m feeling melancholy or nostalgic. It takes me right back to my teenage years growing up in Hertfordshire, miles from anywhere interesting. I recorded the LP onto a clunky Phillips mono cassette machine I bought from savings I had from washing cars, mowing lawns and a paper-round. I used to take it everywhere with a bag full of cassettes and batteries. We lived so far from a bus stop I could play the whole album by the time I walked there. Usually I’d see the bus speeding off into the distance as I’d just missed it and have to wait another hour for the next… so lots of time to play my cassettes.

I first saw Pink Floyd play at the Fishmongers Arms in North London in 1969, I was about 16. It was one of their early spacey gigs with a liquid light show, very mind expanding. They played ‘Careful With That Axe Eugene’, ‘A Saucerful Of Secrets’, ‘Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun’, all the early Pink Floyd favourites. Whenever I hear this or The Piper at the Gates of Dawn it's like jumping in a time machine, I'm right there... jaw dropped, out of my head on acid and loving every minute of it. It was that gig in a small London pub that planted a seed in my mind that what I’d really like to do was run my own liquid light show. When I left school at 17 my friend (also called Chris) and I started a small weekend light show business. We got a minivan and a bunch of liquid wheel projectors, film projectors, strobes and all sorts of visual doo dabs. We did pretty well at it for a short time, speeding up and down motorways on a Friday night doing gigs and festivals, a few big bands (Yes was probably the biggest of them) and a spot on the BBC Colour Me Pop show. I really enjoyed doing it but it became a distraction to my synth building projects and my day job as a sound recordist. Then I met Cosey and my life took 180% turn.