Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

9. Emahoy TseguMaryam GubroupEthiopiques Vol 21

I had to pick a solo piano record, right? Really there’s so many. I could have made a list of just 13 solo piano records I love. I don’t even know what she’s doing – if she’s even still alive or not – but I hope she gets some royalties when people buy her record.

I mean, it’s a little on the edge because I sometimes have a problem with these kind of lost-and-found, hide-and-seek records. We live in a time when we’re so unsatisfied with the stuff that we’re putting out today that we look in the desert and dig a hole and see if we can find something from the past that nobody knows, because it sounds cool.

But, despite that, this is really good: it’s a similar feeling to The Necks – just a certain touch, and she plays certain chords and certain arpeggios, which you think is a good opening to a track, then she does it again and again and again. And then you realise: "This is just her technique, this is her style." You can tell she never had piano lessons, she probably only had a piano by accident and taught herself, but then she just got better and better. She developed this very distinct sound and style, and when I put this record on, I’m happy.

Sometimes it turns out that being not that well prepared offers something that you’d lose if you really had that education. Sometimes there’s just something in your bones, like Thelonious Monk, something special.

PreviousNext Record

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today