Over the years there have, of course, been many, many artists who’s work has greatly influenced how I either play, compose or think about music. The five records I have chosen here, however, have all contributed to my sense of how music works, how sounds and ideas can be constructed and arranged. These records all share the qualities of finding unique and creative ways to build pieces of music – to layer sounds in intriguing and fresh ways and to draw on myriad inspirations and sound sources to construct a music only limited by one’s spirit and imagination.
Haramand Plane: Three Translation Links
¿What Next? Recordings (1994)
When I first heard this record in the late 1990s it was like music that I had only ever imagined might exist. I had never heard sounds like this before, forms like this or ideas like this, expressed in ways like this. This album is clearly the product of a vast and creative mind and spirit.
AFRICAN HEAD CHARGE
On-U Sound (1983)
Colourful, expansive, an explosion of sound and momentum, at once familiar through it’s connection to dub reggae, but Drastic Season was totally fresh and alien sounding to my ears when I heard it at the time.
THE TONY WILLIAMS LIFETIME
(Turn It Over)
From a time when the experiment of fusing jazz and rock music was still fresh and exciting, and when the idea seemed to be to adopt the very best of what both worlds had to offer (rather than the very worst excesses). The feel of Tony Williams on tracks such as ‘Big Nick’, for example, represents to me one of the greatest jazz performances on the drum-kit of all time.
BRIAN ENO – DAVID BYRNE
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
This deeply innovative record still sounds so fresh and vital to me and has influenced so much that came later on. The layering of rhythms and samples, combined with the noise elements, found-sounds, repetition, minimalism… the groove… It’s all done with such mastery and clarity that still continues to inspire.
Zeichnungen Des Patienten O.T.
Some Bizarre (1983)
This revelatory recording combines sounds from different sources in such unusually musical ways. The reverberations of loud machinery blend with very soft sounds, removed from their natural dynamic space. Rhythms made from asymmetrical cycles, overlaid… dynamic, vibrant and sometimes violent, sometimes fragile sounds merge and subsequently emerge from the fabric of the pieces.
The Necks’ latest album, Three, will be reviewed in Jazzwise #251, out on 16 April