1. My Bloody Valentine | To Here Knows When
The first time I heard Loveless it was one of those life defining moments. Not only it changed the way I play the guitar but also recontextualized the way I viewed music in general. I remember listening to the first track and thinking: I do not know what makes that elephant sound, but I want to play that!. This track was one of the singles from the album, released as the Tremolo EP - the b-side has another great song, Honey Power. It is amazing the amount of electronic artists I've met that have mentioned MBV as an influence as a result of Loveless. Perhaps it didn't sell too many copies when it was released, but everybody who bought a copy started to make music. Now THAT's quite something!
2. Seefeel | Polyfusion
If I were ever anybody remotely important (like a king or emperor perhaps), this would be the song that would play every time I entered a room.
3. Slowdive | When The Sun Hits
What can I say about Slowdive? I've been listening since I was a teen - they provided a soundtrack for my lonely and miserable high school years. Nowdays I'm spending a lot of time working with Simon Scott, who was their drummer during this period. Feels like coming full circle, never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that I'd be working with one of their former members. Very strange indeed.
4. The Chameleons UK | I'll Remember
I am a huge Chameleons fan. It was hard to pick one song, but this instrumental is one of my favorites. I love the production on this track. The guitar sound is magical and has been a huge inspiration to me. A few years ago I saw Mark Burguess (lead singer) perform solo and he did all Chameleon songs on an acoustic guitar - not quite the same but still really lovely of him.
5. Cocteau Twins | The Spangle Maker
It was extremely hard to pick one CT song, as I have all of their records (mostly on vinyl). This one came out on a special self-titled 12" EP that included also Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops and Pepper Tree (two other amazing songs, but that's for another mix). All these tracks were later included in the compilation The Pink Opaque. Liz Fraser's voice and Robin's guitar work in The Spangle Maker are some of the best interplay during their time together. I met Robin in 2006 and then shared the stage in 2007 and it was really great. I got him to sign my vinyl copy of Treasure and he was quite nice about all those fanboy things. Of course, for me it was one of the best moments ever!
6. The Durutti Column | A Sketch For Dawn I
Vini Reilly is perhaps the most underrated musician in the world. This is my favorite Durutti Column song, from the album LC (1981). It is a very simple pop song with fantastic lyrics and hypnotic guitar lines.
7. Joy Division | Disorder
I love this songs' sense of urgency with the sped up beat/bassline. Martin Hannett's production aesthetic was legendary. If you listen closely one can hear him manipulating the AMS delay unit to create the background's wush sound. I like the guitar lines on this song a lot, they are very simple and effectively complement Ian's vocal delivery. Definitely one of my favorite JD songs.
8. Spacemen 3 | Ecstasy Symphony/Transparent Radiation
This track by Spacemen 3 (Transparent Radiation originally by Red Krayola) is genius. The lush orchestral arrangements are breathtaking and Sonic Boom's vocals are very emotional and powerful. I saw Sonic Boom perform this with Spectrum earlier this year, not exactly the same as the recording but pretty close. It was great!
9. Arvo Pärt | Für Alina (Performed by Alexander Malter)
This piece by the Estonian maestro is simply mesmerizing. It is extremely simple and beautiful. Everytime I hear this it sends chills up my spine. This piece is an essential work of his tintinnabuli style.
10. The Velvet Underground | Sunday Morning
This is one of my favorite VU songs. I actually bumped into Lou Reed at the Frankfurt airport this past summer. He was standing right next to me at the security check-in queue. When I saw him, I blurted out loud: No way! He heard that and glared at me; I felt really embarrassed and didn't ask for a picture/autograph. I did however pass him his jacket.