1. Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto | Berlin
I could have picked many of Alva Noto's work. I admire greatly his Minimalilist aesthetic and bat-eared philosophy, even though I don't really understand it Intellectually, what I do appreciate is his commitment to restrict himself to bips, clips and sampled tones. This restriction is something I aspire to, but fail miserably at. I get too diverted and excited by techniques and sounds, but always come back sooner or later to the piano and a sampler. In the Digital World people bemoan the use of Technology as having no soul. I hear a strange kind of Deep Soul in this work and the Clinical tones and rhythms working with silky piano harmonies have a depth that more than equals the sum of its parts.
2. Jon Hopkins | Vessel
I was working on a film soundtrack in 2008 and went to a recording studio in East London and briefly met Jon there late one night. He seemed a lovely chap and we chatted about having had some similar trials on our lives. Then he emailed me this track and I thought it was possibly the most perfect piece of Electronic Music I had heard up until that point. A year later his album did well and we didn't keep in touch, but I think he's special and if I had made this track, I may possibly have had to give up Music on the spot for fear of never bettering it.
3. Arvo Pärt | Summa (For String Orchestra) (Performed by Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Paavo Järvi)
I believe the Estonian composer is one of the few living geniuses and a true Mystic to boot. His Music has pure Transcendence running through its veins. Bourne of an Ancient hereditary, but fashioned from his own unique Musical devices I often feel his Music is Ageless. He is an artist and (as far as I can tell) a man living a life of pure Vision.
4. Shackleton | In The Void
A bit of a diversion from Pärt, but so it goes. I love Shackleton's mad, mad world, doing things with Electronic Music that most would do well to avoid at all costs! This is a piece of perfection again for me. Barely any melody to be found, it's an exercise of expert Rythmic play. I love the way he has taken a Turkish Hadeeth-type skippy percussion and melded it into a post 2-Step (Dubstep doesn't do it justice) Dark Sub Bass hell pit. Very influenced by his Music in the way my rhythm tracks work, although that might not show, but he is a master on a good day.
5. The Knife | Silent Shout
I love what the Knife are and represent. I also Love this track very much. When I hear it I think of the childlike joy of hearing a filter cut off envelope opening and closing around an interesting arpeggiated harmony. It's a joy.
6. Harold Budd/Brian Eno | The Pearl
Any track... This is an album that speaks of Space. I would Love to go back to these sessions and analyse Eno's magical signal chains. I'd have loved even more to have been able to play something through them!
7. Clark | The Autumnal Crush
From the hugely under-rated album The Body Riddle. I think it's a landmark album. It's just 4 chords on a Rhodes going round and round a skipping beat, but the way he builds layers of Distortion until it falls apart builds into a bit of an Emotional Climax to me. My guess is that this tune means a lot to him. And the way I feel about Music is that it's largely Redundant, unless it triggers some Emotional response... I'd even say this for Dance Music... It needs to make you Feel as well as Move...
8. Nadja | Radiance Of Shadows
I've surprised myself by including this as I haven't listened to it for ages. It's a hulking, Majestical, 28 minute piece of Ambient Drone Rock and I couldn't stop playing it when I first heard it. It was played to me by a Buddhist friend, who really shocked me with his Musical taste. But after a few listens, I get that its heartbeat pace and achingly slow enormous guitar riffs have a Meditational quality that requires and rewards your Concentration.
9. Nico Muhly | Monster
This is such a Joyful/Rapturous piece of Electronica-come-Modern Classical Music. Synths and string ensembles have never sounded so good. I'm guessing that he must be an entertaining conductor to watch as he's so young, extrovert and talented.
10. Max Richter | A Sudden Manhattan Of The Mind
I knew this last one had to be something with a drone. I love drones. It's just a bit of heartfelt Violin over an Electronic Texture. It's honest. No point in me explaining it any more than that. Too many words spoken... Not enough felt.