Sunday, January 06, 2019

The outsiders

Two of the many much-loved albums released last year that I'm yet to listen to are Daniel Avery's Song For Alpha and Jon Hopkins' Singularity. Back in October, The Talkhouse brought the two electronic artists together for an illuminating discussion on the creative process, the difficulty of following up a successful LP, and the risk of alienating fans but also of becoming unhealthily fixated with that thought.

The pair evidently have a lot in common, with Avery suggesting that their output is "informed by techno or club music, but still has that emotional, human heart to it" and claiming: "We're both outsiders when it comes to dance music. We weren't born into it." That's certainly true for me too, and Avery's previous LP Drone Logic in particular has helped me towards a greater appreciation for it.

Avery's status as someone who has come to dance music very much from the outside is set out in greater detail in a 2015 Quietus article in which he talks about some of his favourite records. These include releases by My Blood Valentine (he describes Loveless as "full of joy and hope"), Black Sabbath, New Order ("if you don't like New Order then we can't be friends"), Harmonia, Death In Vegas and (perhaps most surprisingly) indie-rock oddball Scout Niblett.

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