Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

F**king Hell! It’s Dinos Chapman’s Favourite Albums!

As he releases his first album Luftbobler, Dinos Chapman guides Luke Turner through his favourite 13 albums, from Ligeti to Bad Seeds, Talking Heads, Aphex and Basic Channel

Dalliances in music by visual artists are often unfortunate, but usually for the audience rather than the perpetrator. Not so in the case of Dinos Chapman, who "nearly died" when he and brother Jake curated the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival at Camber Sands in December 2004. Inspired by the high-volume intensity of the artists they’d booked – Throbbing Gristle, Autechre, Lightning Bolt, Sunn O))), Liars, LFO, Aphex Twin – he took a reckless three am swim in the English Channel, and suffered with months of chronic flu.

Nearly ten years later, Chapman is releasing his debut album Luftbobler via The Vinyl Factory, 13 tracks of unusual electronica recorded as he was "fiddling around" in the basement of his house late at night as a "hobby that has grown out of all proportion. Maybe I fiddled around with more intent than I thought I had."

The record features manipulated voices sourced from the internet and beyond: "On one of the tracks it’s my children," Chapman explains. "Then on ‘Pizza Man’ it’s a website called Porn For The Blind, where this guy watches a porn film and just describes what’s going on in such a flat way. I can’t imagine a blind person getting any gratification. I can’t work out whether it’s a joke or not. Kylie Minogue’s on there as well, and David Lynch was in one track but he got booted off at the last moment, along with a seance. I like the sounds of voices, I’m not necessarily interested in what they’re saying."

Anyone who went to the Chapman ATP or is familiar with their art might actually be surprised at the subtlety of the music throughout Luftbobler – it isn’t their collaboration Fucking Hell (Nazi soldiers in hell, featured in the cover of Rameses’ Take The Curse) gone industrial, by any stretch of the imagination. "Jake and I share an interest in fairly extreme music, but the funny thing is the music that I make isn’t very extreme," Chapman says.

The title itself has misled some: "It’s Norwegian and it means air bubbles. It’s quite funny because a lot of people have misread it as being German, and quite Nazi bomberish. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I like the word, because people go stomping off in the wrong direction with it, when it’s actually quite a delicate little… it’s their version of an Aero, so it’s multi-layered."

It’s a misconception that dogs Chapman not just in music, but also in his art. "I think some things Jake and I do are quite delicate and not as brutal as people think they are," he says. "The problem with a lot of press is that it has an idea about something, and every cliche about you is bolstered up. If you’ve having an interview by someone from the Daily Mail you know exactly what they’re going to say before they’ve even met you. A lot of thought goes into everything, and we’re not Beavis & Butthead. It’s a guise… there’s something interesting about people making that mistake and then catching themselves out and realising ‘this is quite interesting, funny or clever’, expecting something… something as monosyllabic as Banksy’s work, and then finding out that it’s slightly more than that."

Chapman seems rather surprised at the positive reaction to Luftbobler. "I keep thinking someone’s going to turn round and say ‘we’re only joking, it’s rubbish – fuck off,’" he says. But is he going to continue with music? "Definitely. I’ve already phoned up Lana Del Rey."

So to the Baker’s Dozen, which makes a lot of sense when considered in the context of Luftbobler, feeling like a sum of influences rather than a journey back through musical affections. "If you asked me to do 13 albums now they’d be different," Chapman says. "As soon as I sent that list off I went through my itunes and thought ‘oh shit, I didn’t put Lightning Bolt…’ It’s very different to make it definitive. I thought it was important to put some classical stuff in, but I think the idea of favourite music… I don’t really have any, it changes all the time." Hit the picture of Dinos Chapman below to begin the Baker’s Dozen.

Dinos Chapman plays Bring To Light festival in Birmingham this weekend from October 25-27; for full details and tickets, head to the event’s website

First Record

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