Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

2. Brian EnoDiscreet Music

I don’t really know what he’s doing anymore musically and I haven’t known for a long time, because it hasn’t been his main focus for a long time, but Discreet Music is a very singular record. I’m just talking about side A: the other side is just something else. But you can play it on almost any kind of system and it works. It doesn’t require hi-fi. I remember in 1978, around Christmas, my first wife and I went on a trip to Cadaqués in Spain, a place associated with Dali, and we rented a converted fisherman’s cottage. It was three storeys high and an architect had worked on it, and what they’d done was they’d gutted the whole building top to bottom, and there was a staircase that ran from near the door up to the roof, which was a flat roof that you could sit on. And the floor seemed suspended. It was an amazing place. And we had a tape of this album and the kind of portable cassette player you used to have in the 70s, but you could put it on in the bottom part of the house, not even on full volume, and the room just filled. The music filtered through the whole space. I don’t know any other music that could do that. He did other interesting ambient works and his early song records are good, but Discreet Music is such a singular piece. There really is nothing else like it that exists. It’s just three notes. It’s so simple. There’s nothing to it, but it’s completely musical.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Mark Jenkin, William Doyle, Tim Booth
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