Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Burn Again: Lawrence English’s Favourite Albums

After celebrating Room40's 15th birthday, the label head and ambient composer pauses in his hometown of Brisbane to go from Swans to Japanese court music in taking Kate Hennessy through his 13 "foundational" records

Photograph courtesy of Marc Behrens

These are not the ‘favourite albums’ of Lawrence English. He defines them, instead, as foundational; records that have "resonated over time, relatively consistently". They are also artists who have endured – not just for English’s listening pleasure, but as musicians making their way forward.

"You look around you at people you were doing stuff with ten or 15 years ago and 95 per cent have dropped off," English says. "For various reasons they couldn’t sustain themselves and have let go. When I think of all the potential that is gone, it just undoes me."

A "good many" of English’s 13 records here are people have kept making music or sound in the long term. "I value that trajectory. To sustain yourself and to be willing to forego certain things… to burn for a while and realise, ‘That was about a certain time and a place’ and then burn again, but differently. One time it’s a yellow light, the next it’s a hot blue light, the next it’s red-amber. The same chemistry but somehow it’s different."

Follow Kate Hennessy on Twitter @smallestroom. Room40 has put out a number of releases by artists including Norman Westberg of Swans, Tim Hecker and Lawrence English himself this year to mark their 15th anniversary, while their live events will continue next year, hosting Fennesz and Keith Fullerton Whitman at Carriageworks, Sydney in February and Michael Gira on his Australian tour in March; for full details and tickets, head here. Click on the image below to begin scrolling through Lawrence’s choices, which run in no particular order

First Record

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