I've just bought (belatedly; it came out last October) 'Buzzlebee' by The High Llamas. I bought it because it struck me that very few records have given me as much pleasure as the Llamas' previous record, 'Snowbug', which Sean O'Hagan put into my hands when he came down to Berwick Street Studio in London Soho in October 1999, when he dropped by to add some impromptu regal playing to the end of Kahimi Karie's 'Journey To The Centre Of Me'.
O'Hagan's remix on the recent Kahimi Karie remix album 'Limited Edition' is one of the best, just as his remix on the Pizzicato 5 'Happy End Of You' album trumped everyone else's. He's a master of arrangement, a modern Morricone, really matchless. I also love how his melodies play semi-Italian tricks with semi-tones. Some find his work somehow anaemic, but for me it evokes the best abstract art and graphic design: just bursting with sensuality, elegance of form, optimism, a judicious choice of material and classical sense of its placement... And some sort of early 70s Brasilia quality which I find deeply reassuring. His words are so strange and abstract, too.
I remember once being told by Stephin Merrit that O'Hagan had pronounced me an 'asshole' before we'd ever met. I found this amusing, and knew the reason: he'd worked with Bertrand Burgalat, with whom I didn't get along too well in Paris. When we finally met at a Cornelius concert in London, we sorted everything out. Now I'd love to work with Sean. He's actually the only person I'd consider as a producer for a Momus record, if I ever took the decision to use one.
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