Some Influence ?

Dusted Feature

Around the time of the release of Tar File Junction ( september 2004) , I was asked to contibute a piece to the online magazine dusted about some of the music that I like and that inspires me to create, here is what i wrote:

Yellotone (aka Simon Harding) is a tunesmith in the tradition of all the great Anglo Saxon tunesmiths that went before, welding raw materials into a hushed toad full of gold. Playing the guitar/bass/drums/keyboard, and influence by a diverse range of artists, The 'Tone has twiddled his knobs deep into the night to produce his own version of computer sequenced electronica from a minty selection of homegrown samples. His latest record, Tar File Junction (Ai), is now available.

I thought this would be easy, but it's really hard to write about music that means a lot without being wanky, crass, cheesy or vague. It's pretty impossible to pick 10 records as favorites, maybe 100 would be easier? Even picking a particular favourite from certain artists is hard. I can't believe I didn't pick a Sebadoh, Rachel's, Public Enemy, Miles Davis or Squarepusher record. Oh well. This kind of thing changes depending on me mood. Anyway I tried to pick a bit of a variety of albums that are among my favorites and I guess to a certain extent ones that make me want to make tunes myself.

The Dusted List: no hors d'oeuvre
1. Plug - Drum and Bass for Papa

As with most of my favourite music makers it's hard to pick one Luke Vibert record because I love pretty much everything he does, but the Plug album Drum and Bass for Papa is probably my favourite. Drum and bass rhythms, layers of lush imaginative samples and lots of soul.

2. Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand

This record is all about Mr Pollard's melodies and his spontaneity of idea. Indie rock that's great to sing along to, especially after a few ales.

3. Pavement - Wowee Zowee

Everyone always picks Slanted and Enchanted or Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and they are classic records no doubt but Wowee Zowee is marginally my favourite Pavement album. Best for long car journeys or summer evenings.

4.Steve Reich - Music For 18 Musicians

The best accompaniment to high speed train journeys - especially ones on a Japanese bullet train. Interweaving melody and harmony based upon an hour long groove.

5. Jeru the Damaja - Wrath of the Math

I love Jeru's voice, lexicon and style. Combined with DJ Premier's beats at their jazz inspired peak, an unstoppable warbes pillow. My favourite 90s hip hop album. Well today anyway...

6.Charles Mingus - Black Saint and Sinner Lady
Charles Mingus was just an amazing composer and bass player. With liner notes provided by his psychologist, this is one of his sprawling jazz masterpieces that covers loads of different styles within its six suites. Like all Mingus records played with great technical skill and improvised inventiveness but more importantly with lots of passion and soul.

7. Prince - Sign O' the Times

I've been listening to loads of Prince in the last year and a half and I love the way like Bowie or Stevie wonder, he can do everything himself. Sign O' the Times just over Dirty Mind, Purple Rain and 1999 because of the pop lushness, wicked use of drum machines and Ballard of Dorothy Parker. Though like most Prince albums, it would be better with a couple of tunes lopped off.

8. Buddy Peace and Zilla - Watch and Repeat Play (mix CD)

As a friend of mine, I've been privy to Budd's unparalleled mixing and scratching skills for a while now and I'm real happy that he is finally getting the opportunity to show his unique talents to the wider world. With its use of samplers and computers as well decks this is a perfect demonstration of Mr Peace's (and Mr Zilla's) ability to be really technical and original yet also really accessible, taking the hip hop mix to about as far as it can go. This comes as the bonus CD for Warp's DVD collection of music videos but really, this is so good you should buy it for the mix with the DVD as the bonus.

9. Aphex Twin - Richard D James

I reckon people get really good at making music when they get the ability to make tunes that no one else could. Sounding unique is something that all the records on this list manage to do. Other people can and do try and sound like Aphex on Selected Ambient Works or make really cut up jungle but no one could copy the tunes on here. Having said that though, part of the reason I picked Richard D James above his others albums is just cause I listened to it yesterday and it sounded fucking wicked.

10. Beach Boys - Pet Sounds

I was lucky to see Brian Wilson perform Smile and most of Pet Sounds live in London about 6 months ago and It was an amazing experience, though I did feel a bit weird standing next to loads of 40 and 50 somethings re-living their youth in the aisles. I love the beach boys, this is their best and undoubtedly one of the best albums ever. I can't wait to get an official copy of Smile.

By Dusted Magazine