Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

Unresolved And Discordant: Pearson Sound’s Favourite Albums

With his debut album released this week, the Hessle Audio producer talks Lauren Martin through his top 13 formative records ahead of his appearance at the Bloc weekender

"I didn’t want to just do singles and EPs for the rest of my days," Pearson Sound tells me, on the release day of his debut album. "I write a lot of music and if you put out two tracks a year, even if they’re the best two you’ve made that year, you still want to have a bigger project to get your teeth into." In 2015, those who have followed Pearson Sound’s work for some time are keenly aware that this project carries serious weight. When a young David Kennedy – not yet Ramadanman, and years from Pearson Sound – first headed down to FWD>>, the beats heard within were as much process as product: "built" by the producer, detailed on the label inserts; built not by addition but subtraction, the bass, space and pace building a sound that drew Kennedy in; beats that built a community that saw him link up with Ben UFO and Pangaea and, at a crucial crossroads in the dubstep sound, form Hessle Audio and push Kennedy forward.

Years since those first, formative dances, and after a series of 12" and EPs, the way Kennedy speaks about his first, self-titled debut pays a debt to this mindset. "If you’re presenting nine or ten tracks, they should present themselves in a solid mood. When I was writing my album, I wanted it to be concise. It’s slightly on the short side, but I wanted it to be snappy. Take a track like ‘Swirl’: I could have made that into a seven or eight-minute long track, but I wanted it to be like a pop song, in a way. I wanted to keep you interested, rather than saturated. Some dance LPs I haven’t enjoyed so much because they’ve fallen into that trap, I think: producers who forget that people are going to want to listen to it as a whole story. That’s why I put it all on one vinyl, too. I don’t want people to cherry-pick."

During the writing of Pearson Sound, Kennedy’s process included learning to be patient not just in the studio, building a release, but with the album as a conceptual format, too. "I’d been listening to a few more albums recently, too. I’ve become more patient with music, actually sitting down to 45 minutes or an hour of music, it’s something I’ve rediscovered. Sometimes it’s nice to focus on what one person is saying for a whole hour." With this in mind, Pearson Sound has picked his Baker’s Dozen, and spoke to the Quietus about what he feels that each of the thirteen choices has to say.

Pearson Sound is out now on Hessle Audio. Pearson Sound plays Bloc this weekend; for full details and tickets, head to the festival’s website

First Record

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