Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

3. Brian EnoBefore And After Science

I first bought this record in 2004. I had just started university and took these trips into the city that would often last the length of a record. Coupled with John Cale’s Fear, this was on constant repeat. I keep coming back to Before And After Science though; production-wise it is breathtaking. The lyrical approach is Dadaist, random and wonderfully poetic. It’s tasteful as all hell. ‘No One Receiving’ and ‘Kurt’s Rejoinder’ are perfect white-guy Afro-funk moments – the former could be my favourite drum performance of all time (Phil Collins!). It’s so cheeky, he delivers some amazingly confident moments – "Oh what to do? Not a sausage to do!" on ‘Backwater’. You can hear the ambient phase just around the corner – ‘Through Hollow Lands’ is a patient and pretty instrumental track. It’s definitely front-loaded energetically but it works. ‘King’s Lead Hat’, which is an anagram for Talking Heads, sounds like proto Devo, two bands whose sounds he had a hand in shaping. It’s a record that really explores the entire spectrum of his talent and style, but that’s not why I chose it. It truly shaped my criteria for what a perfect album sounds like. It’s so considered but never too careful. It’s self-aware but so full of abandon. It’s so listenable and yet totally uncompromising.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Dan Deacon
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