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One Track Mind: A Winged Victory for the Sullen

The ambient duo’s Adam Wiltzie talks about Talk Talk’s genre-defining masterpiece Spirit of Eden

The premise of One Track Mind is pretty simple: I ask artists to pick one track that means a lot to them – either something they’ve discovered recently, something that’s been with them for years, or one that reminds them of a specific time in their life or career – and tell me what makes it so special to them. I get to talk to the artists I love, and they get to talk about the artists they love. Love all round!

Today we welcome A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s Adam Wiltzie. An ambient music duo composed of Wiltzie alongside Dustin O’Halloran, A Winged Victory for the Sullen are set to release their fourth studio album Invisible Cities later this month. Before forming the group, Wiltzie was involved with various ambient projects including The Dead Texan (with Christina Vantzou) and Stars of the Lid (with Brian McBride), and has been responsible for what I would confidently say are some of the most beautiful, powerful and important albums ever made, in any genre. So to say I’m very happy to have him on TPW is a bit of an understatement.

Here, Adam talks about the first time he heard Talk Talk’s post-rock masterpiece Spirit of Eden, and the lasting impact it had on him, and how it influenced his own work.

A Winged Victory for the Sullen’s Adam Wiltzie on Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden (Side A)

“I am still drunk on the memory of its perfection. It was a week after my birthday, September 88. I was record-shopping at The Candyman in Santa Fe, New Mexico, flipping through the ‘new’ bin and came across a copy of Spirit of Eden on vinyl. When I returned home & put it on, it was one of those few moments in life where you stare at the record player in complete bemusement. Hearing that three-song suite on the first side for the first time was, as I believe a wise man once uttered, “ like I was shot with a diamond bullet right through my forehead.”

“Although I can imagine the innumerable hordes would never see the connection, it was essentially an incoherent catalyst for the early Stars of the Lid rumblings, multiple suites connecting through one song that would go on forever. There is just a sullen atmosphere in those recordings that I have concluded, in one way or another, changed my life, or at least the way my ears perceive it.”

A Winged Victory for the Sullen – Invisible Cities is out 26 February