1. Kevin Ayers | Irreversible Neural Damage (with Nico)
Nico is one of my favorite artists ever. I heard her music with The Velvet Underground when I was a teenager, but it never resonated then. It was in the 90's that I discovered her solo records and have since gathered everything I can find, including bootlegs and live recordings. One of my favorite biographies is the story of her life in the 80's, when she was squatting in Manchester when the glamorous life and beauty had all but faded. I recorded one of my EP's in a friend's studio in Berlin and on that trip I visited her grave. She lies with her mother in a small cemetery in the forest, and people have left notes and empty liquor bottles. She was a true original. I have chosen this song for the mix as it is lesser known, and blew my mind when I heard it. She had a few collaborations with other artists, and this stands out on the Kevin Ayers record, but the whole LP is great in its own right. She was on her own trip and defied what people expected of her through her appearance.
2. A.C. Marias | To Sleep
This came out in 1989, but I think I just picked up the record by chance in 2004. I liked the cover and the mysterious fact that she only had one LP, and after further research it appeared she had disappeared from Music. It was a big influence when I started recording my first EP. I already had the plan to make Beatless Music and many of her tracks were too. Somehow her music and name had passed me by for all those years and there was very little information about her online. This also inspired a Facebook page I started dedicated to mostly obscure girl fronted Music entitled One Of Our Girls Has Gone Missing.
3. Cocteau Twins | Pink Orange Red
I had an older boyfriend, the only boy in a 5 mile radius of my small town in England who wore make up. He bought The Spangle Maker EP record when it came out. I had never heard a voice like Elizabeth Fraser's, and still haven't. I was confused by the name (were they twins?). The cover of the record was unique too. Over the next few years I bought every EP and LP they released, but I especially liked the EP format. Definitely an influence on my own 4 EP project. When I was 15 my mum gave me a day off from School to go up to London and see them play for my birthday. I met Elizabeth Fraser years later and told her. She had lyrics to her songs written all over her hands incase she forgot them. Cocteau Twins music is timeless and will always be something I will come back to. I have many favorite songs. This one just fits my mood today.
4. This Mortal Coil | Song To The Siren (with Elizabeth Fraser) (Tim Buckley Cover)
This obviously made a big impression on me as a teenager, as I decided at 13 that this song would be played at my funeral. I have to remind friends every now and then. No, I wasn't a depressed teenager, but I did spend many hours listening to Music in my bedroom and thinking of such events. I also had decided then which bands would play at my funeral... I do Love Tim Buckley's original version of this song too, which I heard years later...
5. Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes | Jusqu'à Ce Que La Force De T'aimer Me Manque
Some call her the French Nico. I first heard this on a great radio show called Strength Through Failure. It was the first time I'd ever heard one of my songs played on the radio, and this came on after. I'm a big fan of female voices and Catherine's voice is amazing. The Music is also very Prog, mesmerizing, and dreamy. I would love to have seen them live. I now have all of her records from the period with Alpes and Bis. It's amazing when Music gets rediscovered from the past. I find it very exciting.
6. Yoko Ono | Are You Looking For Me?
I only heard this excellent song recently. When I first heard Mindtrain, from her Fly LP, I was lying in bed listening to the radio with a pen ready to write down who this new artist was, and of course was amazed when they announced it was Yoko Ono from '71. I only knew her as a household name and knew little about her genius as a Music and Visual Artist. I saw her play two years ago, with many guests. She's another true original, and at 81 years old still takes risks and can't be labelled.
7. Paavoharju | Kevatrumpu
I was listening to them a lot when I recorded my 2nd EP. I liked their recording techniques, the deliberate Lo-Fi approach, with what sounds like Field Recordings and new and old Technology. It reminded me of the sound of Music you would hear in Asia distorting out of cheap Mono Tape recorders. Another voice that makes musical sounds, but maybe they are Finnish words...
8. Portishead | The Rip
It's always an exciting time when Portishead release a new LP and this is the song I would always come back to on Third. I was living in London when Dummy was first released and had a job doing PR for bands and Japanese Animation films. Through my job I got a ticket for the (mostly-press) first ever Portishead show, in a tiny club, with Beth Gibbons smoking her way through the whole set. They sounded way more Rock and raw than the record. I have seen them since and I like that they perform different renditions of their songs.
9. Siouxsie And The Banshees | Melt!
This was a hit in the British charts when I was a kid and it's from one of my favorite periods of Siouxsie music, reflecting a time when Pop Music was interesting and experimental. I grew up when New Wave was huge. Image was a huge part of this period, and something I appreciated just as much as the Music. She was the first woman I saw with hairy arm pits and I thought this was very cool! I grew up in a boring tiny town and this was my escapism.
10. Leslie Winer | Flove
I like monotone, spoken female vocals, and it's even better if they have European accents. There are so many, but this is one I heard recently, a great overlooked gem. She's an interesting figure. Its always nice when people have an interesting back story. Androgynous model and poet, who hung out with Burroughs and Basquiat!!!!!