Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: Pop purveyor Jack Tatum and San Francisco noise progenitors Factrix.
Listed: Wild Nothing + Factrix
Young Virginia man Jack Tatum started making synth-pop under the Wild Nothing moniker three summers ago. Spring 2010 brought the projectís first full-length, Gemini, and a rolling list of critical applause. DustedĎs Jennifer Kelly wrote of its overall vibe: "Like rainbows, soap bubbles and cherry popsicles, Tatumís songs are partly beautiful because they are so fleeting." Wild Nothingís latest, Nocturne (Captured Tracks), is more of that same emotive effervescence, and thatís a good thing. Benjamin Ewing wrote of Nocturne, ďItís hard to think of a more reliable, compulsively listenable formula for new wave guitar pop romance than the one that Wild Nothing has so quickly perfected.Ē Tatum brings his exquisite taste to this weekís Listed.
1.David Bowie - Letís Dance
This has always been my favorite Bowie record. Say what you will about the production (which I actually love), but this record is such a perfect example of good pop music. Itís danceable but also manages to include so many interesting twists in the songwriting that you can totally listen to it as much more than just a "fun" album. There isnít a song I donít like.
2. Clan Of Xymox - Clan Of Xymox
It rules. It can get pretty dark at times but then there are all these unexpectedly beautiful moments like in "Equal Ways." That song is so pretty to me. "7th Time" is a jam, and Iím obsessed with the choir synth sounds in "Stumble and Fall." Been trying to find something comparable on my own and failing miserably.
3. The Cleaners From Venus - Midnight Cleaners
This was recently reissued by Captured Tracks and I couldnít have been happier. I really feel that Martin Newell is a hugely important and underrated songwriter. The entire first half of this record is flawless. "Corridor Of Dreams" is a gem. Midnight Cleaners definitely fits in nicely with a lot of its contemporaries (there are moments that remind of XTC and Robert Smith), but these songs seem to be timeless in a way that a lot of records from that era arenít. Heís also extremely inspirational as a home-recorder, having done everything at home himself.
4. Fleetwood Mac - Mirage and Tusk
Couldnít decide. Mirage is more concise and has some of the Macís finer pop moments, but Tusk is such a weirdly raw record. To imagine making Tusk (the most expensive record ever made at that point by the way) after the success of Rumours is just crazy. Lindsey Buckingham is crazy. Just listen to "The Ledge." I wish I made music in a time when a label would let you spend a million fucking dollars on your record and then you deliver that song. Like, what? It sounds like it was recorded in trash can with a bunch of people singing who didnít know the words or melody.
5. The Go-Betweens - Spring Hill Fair
Iíve listened to "Bachelor Kisses" and "Part Company" more times than I care to admit. I love this whole album but those two songs alone would be enough for me to say this is one my favorite records ever.
6. This Mortal Coil - Itíll End In Tears
This is my most-listened-to record, no joke. Not many perfect albums exist but this is certainly one of them. Who would have guessed that it would come from essentially a 4AD covers project? There are a few original pieces here though, and Simon Raymondeís "Barramundi" is my favorite instrumental piece of all time. It is what my heaven sounds like.
7. The Poppy Family - Which Way You Goiní Billy?
This is a fairly new one for me. I found this record at this ridiculously awesome record store in Danville, Va., of all places, that is only open on Saturdays. Itís a Canadian psych-pop/country(?) record from the late Ď60s. Honestly I donít really know what you would call it. "Beyond The Clouds" has become one my favorite songs in recent memory though.
8. Prince - Purple Rain
Love Prince. Love several Prince albums. Iíve just listened to this one the most ,probably. For such a popular album I feel like itís surprisingly weird? Maybe itís just me. Anyway, It doesnít get much better than "The Beautiful Ones" and "I Would Die 4 U."
9. The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
My relationship with The Smiths is in constant fluctuation. It seems that Iíve gone through numerous bouts of Smiths fandom since discovering them in high school. Our tour van has a tape player and for awhile my stash of Smiths tapes seemed to be the only tapes getting played. Iíve heard every Smiths song to excess at this point. Smiths songs donít even feel like songs to me anymore. They just exist deep in my psyche. Havenít been listening to them much lately but anytime I hear a Smiths songs I canít help but stop and listen. The Queen is Dead is an obvious classic.
10. The Zombies - Odessey And Oracle
One of the best records ever made, easy. Donít really know what to say. Itís just a staple.
Amongst the myriad stars of the post-punk galaxy, Factrix never really burned bright, though not because they werenít any good, quite the opposite. Formed in San Francisco in 1978, the trio of guitarist Bond Bergland and multi-instrumentalists Cole Palme and Joseph T. Jacobs had broken up by 1982 with only two landmark albums to their name ó 1981ís Scheintot and 1982ís California Babylon, a document of their live collaborations with Monte Cazazza. In sharp contrast to the esoteric output of their fellow Californians Flipper, Tuxedomoon and The Residents, the music of Factrix was dark, oppressive and haunting, similar in many ways to the Industrial proto-noise of U.K. bands Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire. Building their nightmarish tracks using driving, muted electronic percussion, scabrously psychedelic guitar solos and harsh, hazy vocals, Factrix distilled a form of post-modern malaise that has seen them elevated to cult status in the 30 years since they parted ways. With Scheintot and California Babylon recently reissued on Superior Viaduct and new material in the pipeline, Bond Bergland has put together a list of crucial influences in the development of Factrixís sound.
1. The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat
Speaking of time travel. More psychedelic than anything that came out of S.F. and it continues to reveal more with each listening. A great rock-íní-roll band captured in an uncompromising position. "Too busy sucking on my ding-dong," indeed.
2. The Rolling Stones - Their Satanic Majesties Request
"The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World." Thereís so much fantastic Stones music, but this record is the one. The last record they made with Andrew Loog Oldham and Brian Jonesí last large contribution to a Stones album. "Gomper" and "Citadel" alone make it a must-have.
3. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland
Side three of this record is it for me. "Rainy Day Dream Away" and "1983 A Merman I Should Turn To Be." The penultimate listening experience. I used to put on headphones and see how loud I could handle the UFO landing at the end of the side. The greatest guitar sounds.
4. The Master Musicians of Jajouka - Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Joujouka
Brianís final hurrah was to flange the Joujouka musicians, bringing some of the oldest rhythms and sounds in the world to the forefront of the 20th century. A supernatural sound that seems to have always been there when the sun goes down.
5. Alice Coltrane - World Galaxy
All of her records are amazing, but the organ solo on her version of "A Love Supreme" is probably the most bad-ass thing anyone ever played.
6. Sly and the Family Stone - Thereís A Riot Goiní On
I love Sly. And this is his masterpiece. Which is saying a lot considering the incredible amount of deserved hits he had on his run. But "Riot" says it all. A brutal album with loads of hidden beauty.
7. Kraftwerk - Man Machine
I remember seeing a hip Latino kid walking down Mission Street with this record under his arm in 1980. I knew something was going to happen that would be new in music. When the robots started dancing dance music exploded.
8. Sonny Sharrock - Guitar
I first heard this when I was on tour with Saqqara Dogs. What he did with a Les Paul and a Marshall is unbelievable. The sensitivity and depth of this duet with himself is unique to the history of the recording arts. My favorite guitar player since Jimi.
9. The Animals - The Best Of The Animals
This record is imprinted in such a way that whenever it gets quiet in my head I hear these songs. I listened the hell out of this before I even went to school. Before The Beatles and The Stones, there were The Animals.
10. David Bowie - Low
Bowie and Eno prefigure the next fifty years of music. Time travelers.
By Dusted Magazine