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Baker's Dozen

Shields Against The World: Mat Osman's Baker's Dozen
Luke Turner , May 10th, 2023 08:40

From growing up on The Carpenters to reconnecting with music in his "wilderness years" Suede bassist turned novelist Mat Osman takes Luke Turner through his Baker's Dozen of favourite recordings


Harold Budd – ‘A Stream With Bright Fish’

This is from an album called The Pearl, which is him and Brian Eno, and probably the record I've listened to the most in my life. During the recording of Dog Man Star [Suede producer Ed Buller] recommended it. It just immediately captivated me – sometimes when you hear a piece of music you just know it is going to be in your life forever. I would get back from those sessions, these big Gothic songs, and then I would listen to this for an hour every night. For many years I listened to it as I went to sleep just religiously, it was part of my routine. Over the top of Eno you've got Harold Budd and this beautiful, liquid watery piano. So much ambient music is just conventional music played more quietly or with the drums taken out. I’m always looking for things to write to so I end up listening to all these ambient bands, but there's nothing quite like The Pearl. It never resolves and it never gets to the end. It's one of the reasons it's incredible to fall asleep to – there isn't a stop. I don't think I've ever made it to the end. There could be a Mötorhead style jam on the last track and I wouldn't know.