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Broken Record #54
It took him a fair while, but Mark Peters - co-founder of Engineers and Ulrich Schnauss collaborator - has finally released his debut solo album Innerland. It's an ambitious and atmospheric record which is themed around the local landmarks of Peters' homeland, the industrial English North West (locations that are beautifully presented on the album's sleeve design). To mark the release we asked Mark to tell us about some of the records from his own collection, and what they mean to him. This is Broken Record # 54.
As a teenager, this made a big impact and alerted me to the endless possibilities of record making that I hadn’t understood up until that point. In no set style, but with a unifying, blissed-out feeling that seemed completely relevant to contemporary indie music of the early-’90s, this seemed much more strange and interesting than the compilation of their hits I had on cassette. I like how their trademark sound gained more depth and the recording has loads of space in it, despite being embellished by strings, brass and synth. This is real psychedelia to me — any band calling themselves ‘psych’ today should check it out.
I’d never listened to them until they released ‘A Paean To Wilson’ and there was a report on the evening news. As they started out as a Factory band I assumed their sound would be in that angular, post-punk vein, but when I heard this I was very pleasantly surprised. All set to the warm, lo-fi pulse of Martin Hannett’s processed drum machines, there are classical, Latin, jazz and ambient elements on this. I saw them play in 2010 and it was revelatory — akin to watching an artist like Picasso at work. I hope Vini Reilly overcomes the problems he’s been having and manages to make some new music.
When I was at college, my friend’s brother managed Verve. During the preparation for the album release I heard that there was a photo session for the artwork and joined a large gang that was heading to a house where Dave, their manager, was repeatedly pouring petrol on a disused car and igniting it. The plan was for everyone to sit in shot on the grass, but, along with the obvious health and safety issues, it was decided after a few Polaroids that, undesirably, the shot would resemble a hippy festival. It was terrifying to be honest, but completely engrossing — fear, awe and nervous hilarity complimented each other very well that afternoon.