Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: British music royalty Chris Carter & Cosey Fanni Tutti and Brooklyn producer Zach Saginaw.
Listed: Carter Tutti + Shigeto
Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti
From birthing Industrial music as part of Throbbing Gristle to the Aktionist extremities of performance art, from ‘conform to deform’ dancefloor moves to hermetic electronics, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have left an indelible mark across four decades of counter-cultural activity. That mark became a bit more noticeable last year when the duo reissued four of their celebrated 1980s albums on in-house label CTI (Heartbeat, Trance, Songs of Love & Lust and Exotika). After recording as Chris & Cosey for more than 20 years, the duo switched to their surnames in the mid-2000s, and are now joining forces with Factory Floor’s Nik Void on a Carter Tutti Void LP, which is slated for an April 3 release on Mute U.K. The first glimpse of the album can be heard on Mute’s YouTube page.
1. Joe Meek - I Hear A New World
I first heard a mono cassette of this obscure album in the late ‘60s and it blew me away. It just sounded so fresh and unusual—and just plain odd. Like nothing I’d heard before. It was this album that inspired my early tape manipulation experiments in the ‘70s. I grew up (literally) across the road from Joe’s studio, he was a local “celebrity” and my mum and dad knew all sorts of gossip about him.
2. The White Noise - An Electric Storm
David Vorhaus’s album is one of the most underrated yet groundbreaking electronic albums of the 20th century. It also features the wonderful talents of Radiophonic pioneer Delia Derbyshire. I went through at least three vinyl copies because I played it so much in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
3. John Barry
I’ve been listening to his wonderful compositions since the very early ‘60s. I have more of a preference for his work from the ‘60s and ‘70s, classic tracks such as “The Knack,” “Seance On A Wet Afternoon,” “The Wrong Box,” “Walkabout,” “The Girl With Sun In Her Hair,” etc. but I enjoy pretty much anything he’s written. His use of melody is genius. A legend.
4. Dudley Moore
An unusual choice I know and obviously he was a great comedian (as was partner in crime Peter Cook) but he was also a brilliant composer and jazz pianist. I absolutely love his laid back fluid playing style, he makes it sound so easy—I’ve tried to emulate that a number of times (poorly). He also composed some outstanding film soundtracks (Bedazzled, 30 is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia!, etc.). “The Millionaire” is one of my all time favorite instrumentals.
5. The Goon Show and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
I’ve been listening to The Goons since I was about six years old. Although it was on a small transistor radio under the bed covers at night and most of the script subtleties and much of their surreal humor was lost on me then. But The Goon Show introduced me to the work of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. I found their use of weird sound effects captivating, enthralling. Almost every sentence was punctuated with a one extraordinary sound after another—and it was all done live. Absolutely inspiring.
Cosey Fanni Tutti
1. Igor Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring
I was about 12 when my high school music teacher played us this as part of our studies of classical music. The pagan ritual story of the ballet it was written for—a dance of death as sacrifice to the god of spring—fascinated me and the music was really evocative. It tweaked my imagination in a way other classical music just didn’t. Music that creates a sense of the audio visual, an intense atmosphere, is expressive of and triggers body movement and extreme emotions is where my heart lies.
2. György Ligeti - Requiem and Atmospheres
Watching 2001: A Space Oddity on acid in 1968 and hearing this music was mind-blowing and my experience of music was further expanded... along with my mind.
3. Jimi Hendrix - Purple Haze
What more can I say? He was so utterly different in every way to what was then the mainstream. There was a kind of mystery to him too but this song was so expressive of the mood of my youth and his guitar playing was phenomenal, unique. In retrospect I think my own approach to playing guitar must have been inspired by his. Getting the instrument to speak the sounds you feel. It’s all about feeling and communication.
4. Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen
I still listen to this whole album. It played a huge part in my life after I left home at 17. It’s beauty and tenderness both lyrically and musically is so brilliantly and eloquently executed without being twee or depressing. It’s personal. And that’s something at the forefront of our work.
5. Captain Beefheart - Safe As Milk
I listened to so much Beefheart. It was so raw, guttural, unapologetic and excitingly weird at the time. The back story to how he used to work with the band when recording was also kind of seductive. I guess I took on board the visceral nature of the sound and his unabandoned free approach to constructing sound.
6. Pink Floyd - Set the Controls for the Heart of The Sun
I saw Pink Floyd quite a few times in the late ‘60s, one of which was at an open air festival. They played this and the notes drifted across the field and I felt consumed by the sound. I wanted to be able to generate that feeling myself, to feel it again and to be able for others to have that overwhelmingly wonderful feeling. It was more about my awakening of the physical power of sound than the track itself, so I guess this track represents another pivotal epiphany moment.
7. The Velvet Underground - White Heat White Light
Absolutely full of uninhibited energy, anger, sex, beauty and thrust. “The Gift” particularly stood out to me. The narration of a story in this intimate manner could have been instrumental in some of the more narrative tracks we’ve done. That sense of unease, like you shouldn’t be listening, a polarizing effect.
8. Nico - Desertshore
I’d heard Nico on The Velvet Underground and Nico and loved her voice and delivery but this whole album is my favorite of her solo work. The power of her voice and the minimal use of (what was then) strange music with the odd choice of lyrics extricated from the depths of her soul. There were no female vocalists like her at the time. She was unique.
Zach Saginaw takes his performing name from a Japanese grandfather, his cerebral, luminous beats from training as a jazz drummer and his electronic underpinnings from self-taught explorations of IDM, dub step and ambient music. His latest album, Lineage, out now on Ghostly, explores rhythmic complexities with a serene, unruffled calm, exploring family roots, personal growth and childlike innocence in glowing tones of synthesizer.
1. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
Undoubtedly a common pick when listing influences but I can’t help myself. My first jazz albums I could call my own were given to me by my father when I was in sixth grade. A Love Supreme was one of them. It was one of those albums I always listened to all the way through and always went back to through out my entire life. After a while it became a symbol of hope for me—something that felt like it was always searching. Searching for a way to let out something huge and unexplainable but the love of the search was so strong and certain it didn’t matter that you couldn’t see the end. Kinda how Coltrane would take these insanely long solos where it seemed like he was reaching farther and farther out and then—getting there but knowing it could have gone deeper. It was the strongest kind of hope. Like faith. It’s an album that reminds me why I love music and why I love playing it.
2. Miles Davis - The Complete Concert 1964: My Funny Valentine & Four and More
This was basically his “second great quintet” (Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams) minus Wayne. Instead, George Coleman was on tenor sax. I feel this quintet was greatly overlooked. The communication and spontaneous interaction going down between all of them during this concert is unreal. Every single one of them doing their roll perfectly, filling in every gap with the most tasteful, classy and complex ideas. Truly a taste of improvisation at it’s best in my humble opinion.
3. A Tribe Called Quest - Low End Theory
Fifth grade. My homie Jake is over at my house and brought his older brothers copy of Low End Theory. I was so intrigued by the “beats.” I had not yet made the connection between jazz and hip-hop. It was pretty clear to me even at that age how big a part jazz played in the forming of this music.
4. Nas - Illmatic
This was the first rap album I ever bought myself in a store. It was at Warehouse Records in Ann Arbor. I was there with my friend Dave in 1995—seventh grade. At that age I had just started “going downtown” and hanging out, skating, playing at arcades, buying Marvel cards and comics and whatnot. Warehouse was a common place to check out music, band shirts, posters, etc. Dave was always putting on new music and pointed it out. I was into Tribe Called Quest and he said I would like it. I got it. He got it, too. I had never in my life heard lyricism at this level. Such complex multisyllabic rhymes with such strong execution and dope cadence. Nas was on top. It changed the way I saw rappers.
5. Slum Village - Fantastic Vol. 2
This was my proper introduction to Jay Dee. I had known the name for some time but didn’t know what was up at all. I remember hearing Fantastic Vol. 2 for the very first time in 2000, junior year of high school in the parking lot right after it was released. I was like, “Damn, these beats are insane! What? He made beats for Tribe? What! And The Pharcyde? And he’s from Detroit?! What?!” And it was on. The swing and pocket those tracks had were infectious. It changed a lot for me and how I looked at hip-hop. I started listening to tracks only for the instrumentals and starting buying more instrumental albums.
6. Aphex Twin - Richard D. James
One of the most influential electronic musicians of all time in my opinion. For me it has this chaotic balance to it. Experimental, beautiful, melodic, atonal, menacing, angry, happy, sad, funny, creepy, complex, pop and more—all working together in harmony. Not to mention so ahead of its time.
7. Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children
This was B.O.C.’s first public album on Warp. Seventeen tracks of lush, analogue melodies and field recordings, old ‘70s nature tapes and all of it is intensely manipulated and sculpted. I had never heard such distorted and warm pads before. I had never heard anyone combine such vast ambiance with head-nodding, crunchy break beats. The combination was bliss for me. There is probably a bit of Boards in everything I do whether I know it or not.
8. Dabrye - One/Three
This came out in 2001 and most likely, the tracks on it were composed well before then. This album changed my life in the biggest way possible. It made me decide I needed to start producing. All my friends had gotten into production before me. I was always the guy they got to play drums and sample but never took part in the beat-making side of it. I heard Dabrye’s One/Three and it all changed. I had never heard such alien sounds (taking influence from the 1960’s experimental electronic scene and Detroit techno) mixed with the most soulful, human touch imaginable. It was like Dilla in the year 3000. His attention to detail was unmatched. The minimalism and power of the tracks were undeniable. Dabrye quickly became a favorite. Eleven years later I now have the pleasure of working with him side by side. One of my greatest accomplishments.
9. Telefon Tel Aviv - Fahrenheit Fair Enough
Simply a must-have for me in the history of IDM. In terms of “micro” sounds, blips, clicks, clack and hisses, these guys were my favorite. They would create these beautiful, emotional soundscapes with guitar, rhodes, etc.—but then candy-coat the whole thing with sprinkles and Chiclets of white noise, vinyl static and intensely syncopated spiraling rhythms trailing off into the distance. It’s perfect marriage of post rock and electronic futurism in my opinion.
10. Idol Tryouts - Ghostly International Volume 1
For me, this is one of the best record label compilations ever created. It’s the perfect introduction to Ghostly if you need one and has something for everyone on it. This release shows both diversity and passion. Tradition and the new. It showed me how nobody has to be locked in by a specific genre of music. It also got me more into the “art” side of the label. I remember how much I loved the comic on the inside of the 12-inch as well. Damn you, Ghostly. Got me hooked after that one. Ha!
By Dusted Magazine