Listed is Dusted Magazine’s series of music-related lists compiled by artists we admire. This week: deep thinker Matthew Friedberger and bass producer FaltyDL.
Listed: Matthew Friedberger + FaltyDL
Matthew Friedberger is one-half of Fiery Furnaces, the sibling rock duo that perplexed indie fans for a good portion of the 2000s. Along with his sister, Eleanor, he constructed a playful, proggy pop that many feel peaked on the 2004 LP Blueberry Boat (others disagree). Matthew’s solo work has been, if anything, even more unbounded, opting for sprawling, often instrumental sounds that thumb their collective nose at traditional songcraft. Beginning in 2011, he released eight vinyl-only albums via a subscription series called Solos, and followed those up with the 45-track Matricidal Sons of Bitches last year, a soundtrack of sorts to nothing in particular. Friedberger is also a real talker, telling Assembly Journal in 2010 that: “Music is still a “prestige” item. The music you like is now more important for first impressions both for the way you’re formulating yourself and the way you interact with people. Music is still educating people about whether they’re cool or not. ... People are just as happy with the talk about the object, or the talk about the processes making the object, being interesting. They don’t mind that the object or the processes themselves aren’t interesting. There’s no difference to them. They’re very happy with having Vampire Weekend in place of Elvis Costello. As the media gets smaller and smaller, because of closer small-worldness I guess, success is the only thing that’s interesting.” You can find the entire interview via archive.org’s Wayback Machine, but do read his contribution to our Listed series first.
1. Eddie Harris - Eddie Harris Sings the Blues
The great (late) Eddie Harris, Chicago’s own. Millions of people bought his records — or at least a presumably large number of people bought a million of them. What else is rock music, or whatever, supposed to sound like? It’s supposed to sound like this, yes? And if you don’t like it, keep on listening to it until you do. Please.
2. Oscar Levant - Charlie Chan At The Opera OST
Don’t wait! Straight away go and watch Charlie Chan at the Opera! Hear, and watch a bit of, the “opera” Oscar Levant wrote for it.
3. Oscar Levant - An American in Paris, Gershwin’s Concerto in F
Yes, Oscar Levant, again and again! Don’t just watch this bit, watch the whole movie. C’mon! Acting by Oscar, smoking by Oscar, narration by Oscar, opening the Coke bottle by Oscar. And so forth. And the other parts, too. Oh yes! You’ve seen it before? Don’t like that sort of thing? You know what we say: Get real. Why not, buddy? Ask yourself that. But don’t tell me.
4. John Zorn - Flimworks VII: Cynical Hysterie Hour
Which of John Zorn’s Filmworks records will I pick? This one, of course. No offense to Spillane or Bribe (though those aren’t Filmworks), or all the others. But this one is more… relevant to me. For instance: there is a very nice (older) blog devoted to Zorn’s work by Scott Maykrantz: Scott writes, “I’m glad I bought this one, but it’s not something I listen to for pleasure. [...] If you have no idea what these tracks were written for, you might be annoyed or confused. Once you find out this is the soundtrack for an animated TV show, it all makes sense.” I am mystified by this attitude. Isn’t hearing the music out of context, especially for this composer, an opportunity, a bonus? If you know what the music is illustrating, or what it refers to, it becomes rather less interesting. You can argue about whether that works as a general point; for this tremendous album, I think it certainly does apply.
5. Jürgen Knieper - The State of Things OST
Or pick one of his other films. I like the Falsche Bewegung theme. The great Jürgen Knieper. I don’t know how easy this music is to purchase, but if you can, please purchase it. And play for your pals. Get a load of it here in the meantime.
6. Charles Balfour - The Iron Horse
Way back when, when a fella thought not just the train but the whole train station went on up to Perth.
A chap came up and rood his cap he wore a yellow band, man / He bade me gang and take my seat, says I, ‘I’d rather stand, man’ / He asked if I was going to Perth, says I, ‘And that I be, man’ / But I’m well enough just where I am, because I want to see, man / He said I was the greatest fool that e’er he saw on earth, man / For ‘twas just the horses on the wheels that went from this to Perth, man / And then he laughed and wondered how I hadnae more discernment / Says I, ‘The ne’er a ken kent I, I thought the whole concern went
I quote from Karl Dallas’s One Hundred Songs of Toil.
7. Chuck Berry in the ‘70s
Speaking of Jürgen Knieper…there’s that little bit of Chuck Berry live in Alice in the Cities. And there’s the famous BBC TV show-concert, which gives you the idea, the notion, the dilemma, the situation, I’d say. Is he pleased? Is he angry? Forget about the meaning of his performance — what is the mood even? And by the way: what is the meaning of this music? Of his music, I mean. Hmm. I do know that when they erect a proper monument to Berry in St. Louis, next to the Arch and at least as high, it needs to be an obelisk.
8. Eddie Harris - Theme In Search Of A T.V. Commercial
Again, with the great Eddie Harris. After the hit version of a movie theme, after the Theme in Search of a Movie, there’s this. Before, and unrelated to, the album I Need Some Money. Most music nowadays is a Theme In Search Of A T.V. Commercial, some people say. Hmm.
9. Dick Allen - “Echoes of November”
In remembrance of yet another endearing Chicago White Sox team that didn’t win anything, let’s listen to the great Dick Allen sing about a month when baseball doesn’t exist. Star of the 1972 White Sox, among other teams, this record is billed as being by Rich Allen and the Ebonistics. Do you know the story of Dick Allen?
10. Art Ensemble Of Chicago - Thème de Yoyo
You know it, you love it! You know the slogan, too. Now, here’s an example of film music where people know the song but not the movie, perhaps. And when they do see a tiny clip, maybe they don’t like their previous associations interrupted.
Drew Lustman, a.k.a. FaltyDL, became one of the most respected American electronic music producers during the past five years. As bass music reverberated west from its London epicenter, the Brooklyn DJ was at the crest of the wave, recording for Planet Mu, Hotflush and Swamp 81. In 2012, Lustman started his own label, Blueberry Records, in preparation for the upcoming LP, Hardcourage, which will be released Tuesday, January 22. In this edition of Listed, Lustman explores 10 records that played pivotal roles in his evolution as a producer.
1. Aphex Twin - Richard D James
Easily the most exciting record at the time of purchase vs. longevity of pleasure. You know what I mean? I still get chills from it. It’s perfect.
2. Squarepusher - Feed Me Weird Things
I was a bass player in my younger, more self-centered musical days. This album blew the roof off the instrument for me. It was more tangible than, say, Jaco Pastorius. It was modern after all. And futuristic.
3. Plug - Drum and Bass for Papa
Luke Vibert is a hero. I think about releasing two albums in a year, and he does three without losing any sleep. This album introduced me to jungle in a way I could really get behind. The samples are super tight in only the way he can do it. Later, I discovered real jungle and this album makes me laugh now, but it’s still good fun.
4. µ-Ziq - Lunatic Harness
Such melodies from a bizarre, almost outsider artist. In fact, the next time I talk to Mike [Paradinas], I am going to call him an outsider artist to see what he says. He has one of the driest sense of humors on the planet and a heart of gold when you cut through his exterior, which I did over the course of two albums, half a dozen singles, and remixes for his label. This album shows the inner Mike.
5. Fela - Expensive Shit
Fela gets arrested, swallows drugs. Thus, we have Expensive Shit. Fucking class. Love this and all of his albums. Tony Allen is the heart of this record and has the timing of a swizz watch.
6. Boards Of Canada - Music Has the Right To Children
Brilliant record on Warp back in the late ‘90s. This is sorta how trip hop should have gone for everyone. Its classy but dated, in a way. Actually, no, it’s not really dated, it’s amazing. Yeah, it’s super good, made me want to make music.
7. DJ Shadow - Endtroducing
This record made me want to make music more then any other record. “How could a drummer do what’s on this record,” I thought… It opened my mind to drum programming and what was in store for me over the next decade of fucking around with MPCs. I owe so much to this record. Shadow can do no harm in my mind, no matter what he records or club he gets thrown out of.
8. Miles Davis - Live at the Philharmonic
Jazz has a long history of drugs, just like any other music.
9. John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
I don’t think anyone understands this album to its full, 100 percent potential, especially myself. It’s holy. He was operating on an other level far above the stars. I can’t listen to it more then once a year or so, it just makes me too focused. My brow hurts. I’ll listen again today, I think.
10. Def Leppard - Hysteria
Yeah? So what. What’s in your closet? I dressed up in a wig, tucked one arm inside my 8-year-old shirt and pretended to play the drums. My dad filmed me and my cousins performing the whole album. It will never be seen by anyone. I have burned the tape. But seriously, there are riffs I have stolen from this album…
By Dusted Magazine