Photo by Seonaid Lowe
1. Alice In Chains | Would?
This track kind of changed Rock Music for me... I mean bands like Nirvana had introduced a kind of twisted Pop mentality, in melodic terms, into Rock Music around the early nineties. But this was so different to anything I’d heard before, in the context of guitar driven music it really made me take notice. I love Alice In Chains’ approach to Harmony and Melody... Really dark, and really musically aware. Great track.
2. Vangelis | Blade Runner (End Titles)
Epic, beautiful... Wonderfully tailored to the images and the setting of the movie... This track is the sound of night time Shibuya in Tokyo, in the pissing rain, in the Future. I love how it drives forward, and the simple beauty of the melody carries it. I love the atmosphere it possesses. Actually, there’s a couple of tracks from this soundtrack I could have selected, but I had to make a choice, so I chose the obvious one.
3. Robert Hood | Internal Empire
I’m including the whole release in this choice, the double pack vinyl... Just the epitome of mature, Minimal Detroit Techno. Rob Hood has a magic touch whereby he can create a really solid groove with just a couple of noises. I have a sneaky feeling that with some of his double pack releases, he’s intented that each Minimal groove works with all of the rest of the tracks on the release... I’ve often thought about sampling all of the tracks on this release and layering them over each other... Sort of to hear the complete track if you like.
4. Devo | (I Can't Get Me No) Satisfaction (The Rolling Stones' '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' Cover)
Best. Cover. Ever. Pretty much owes nothing to the original other than a token nod of the head by way of a three note guitar riff. Brilliant. Genius. Such a huge fan of Devo. I have the yellow vinyl of this... The original release with Jocko Homo and all that on it. I love how early period Devo is so alien, but so ridiculously tight. I caught some classic live Devo on YouTube at a mates house recently and was reminded again just how incredibly energetic and tight they were live. Classic stuff from brilliant, original minds.
5. XTC | I'm Bugged
To an extent I like how this track sums up a particular attitude with its antsy, irritated sounding groove, which is reflected in the lyrics and the delivery... I’m a big fan of a lot of XTC’s stuff. I was going to choose Statue Of Liberty, but I don’t think it showcases the band’s Artschool-esque ability to be both Credible and kind of Artistically Elegant at the same time in the same way that I'm Bugged does.
6. Cocteau Twins | Wax And Wane
This whole album is really Dark, and very Gothic. I love how the production is really in-your-face, and I absolutely love the Coldness of the vocal. This track is a starkly beautiful track on a starkly beautiful album. Potentially my favourite period of the Cocteaus because of the raw nature of it. Dark and gorgeous.
7. Sole | Tokyo
The Anticon guys as a whole have done some amazing stuff, but this track really stands out for me because of the driving nature of the rhythm of the vocal parts. I like how artists like Sole and Doseone and Alias have brought a kind of not-so-street, kind of Collegey edge to Rap music... They seem to be approaching it from a very different angle than your same old tripping beats and bitches and bling angle, which is just so tired these days. I think they have more in common with acts like De La Soul, and A Tribe Called Quest, and their lyrics and structures are unquestionably informed and sharp. Standout track from a standout album.
8. Heaven 17 | Let's All Make A Bomb
I’ve loved this track ever since I picked up my first vinyl copy of Penthouse And Pavement about a million years ago. It’s got a lovely melody, and the recording sounds really Analogue and Studio based. I’ve got a soft spot for early eighties synth bands... Depeche Mode, David Sylvian's stuff... Actually, I have to confess to being a huge fan of that La Roux album that came out a few years back... I think enough time has passed between the influences they obviously carry and their re-interpretation of it that it manages to be respectful. Plus it’s bloody good Music.
9. Meat Beat Manifesto | God O.D.
Plus Genocide/Psyche Out... These tracks (they’re sort of all variations on a theme aren’t they?) kind of signifies a particular time in my Music buying life when I started to discover acts that no-one else had really heard about or were into... Stuff that was personal to me and my group of mates. My vinyl copy of Psyche Out was bought on impulse from the Electronic section in one of the little record shops in Edinburgh, and I loved it and set about amassing everything by Meat Beat Manifesto that I could lay my hands on. Heavy beats, some deliciously aggressive programming. Super tight basslines... Incredible work with a sampler. At the time they were a huge inspiration and I spent many an hour putting together dirty breakbeats on the old Akai S950 in the wake of that discovery.
10. Pixies | Ana
This track is simply a melody that I wish I’d written myself. It’s so beautiful, and the counter melody on the guitar is quirky as all hell, but it fits perfectly. I love how it doesn’t seem to mind what key it’s supposed to be in. Pixies have done a lot of really great work, but Ana has been my favourite of theirs ever since I bought Bossanova.