Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Brooklyn hypnogogist Dan Lopatin and Norwegian producer Joachim Dyrdahl.
Listed: Oneohtrix Point Never + diskJokke
Oneohtrix Point Never
Dan Lopatin, as Oneohtrix Point Never, bases his analog synth work on something called ďgrid layerage,Ē which basically replicates and stacks rhythms and sounds so many times that the identity of his equipment breaks down into a to create a gorgeous haze. His 2009 album, Rifts, was voted the second best album of the year by The Wire and catapulted Lopatin out of the avant-garde niche and into the blogosphere, which jumped all over the hints of New Age and darkwave that laced his drones. His new album Returnal comes out June 22 on Editions Mego. (Full disclosure: Lopatin worked at WNYC in New York at the same time as Dusted editor Otis Hart, but neither knew it at the time.)
1. Ravel - Gaspard de la Nuit
The second movement titled ďLe GibetĒ is maybe my favorite piece of music (ever). Chords shift around like giant tectonic plates in an irregular, unstable dance somewhere between the feeling of letting-go and something definitively sinister. My mom told me once that I do a similar thing, as in modal playing where thereís a tonic but the countermelody is shifting all around it. Then I sort of realized that mostly all Ďdramaí in pop music today is based on that tactic. Woah.
2. Christian Fennesz/Ryuichi Sakamoto - Cendre
Iím going to sound like a total Ebert, but this is a masterpiece of modern impressionism and wouldnít be out of place in the ECM catalogue. Zoomed out ecologies with Mahler-esque dissonant activity happening throughout, but not frequently enough to feel imposing or dramatic. In fact, I have no idea what Iím supposed to feel when I listen to a record like this. My Information Architecture professor explained to me that the terms "sunset" and "sunrise" were archaic remnant from a time before astrophysics etc., but has stuck with us because the sentiment is nice and weíre creatures of habit. The bittersweetness of pomoís break from that habit, I think, is beautifully depicted on this album. Whereas I think for someone like Debussy, there is a grandeur to nature that is more diametric; it is either celebrated or feared.
3. Herbie Hancock - Sextant
I had Sextant and Where Have I Known You Before on a c90 that was the provenance of my sister and had two sides of Duran Duran records on them before I taped them over. Iím not saying Iím cooler than my sister, but I am. I used to listen to this record religiously while driving around with my best friend in his Dodge Daytona around Wayland, Mass., where we grew up. What makes this record so insane is the interwoven-ness of the Mwandishi sextetís earth jazz terrain with Dr. Patrick Gleesonís ultra square and silvery machine funk pingggs. The most amazing sequence of harmonies and tones I have ever heard begins when Buster Williams introduces the upright bass on ďRain Dance.Ē Shortly thereafter Herbie makes his exposition on Rhodes and the group congeals into an orchestra of amphibious data centers.
4. Tricky - Maxinquaye
Maxinquaye was the sole reason I bought a Roland MS-1 [sampler]. This mood of this record is undeniable and so deep. For me, itís like Tricky took Aphex Twinís "Grass" and blended it with R&B vibesÖ equaling perfection. More than any other record from that period, I feel like Maxinquaye totally foreshadowed a lot of whatís happening in music today on labels like Tri Angle, Emotion, Hippos In Tanks to name a few Ė super narcoleptic, creeping, sample-heavy bliss/haunt. I still jam this record a lot, but only during the Ďpurple hoursí from 2-6 a.m.
5. Vangelis - Invisible Connections
This record seriously is the most bonkers Vangelis record ever. If you played it for me blindfolded, Iíd think it was a Keith Whitman tape, or maybe even something Raster-Noton or Mille Plateaux would have put out 10-plus years ago. It doesnít have a shade of "music" anywhere on it. Super abstract and cold synth blip-zones that are offset perfectly by Ďsilencesí and slathered in dense, long reverb. The packaging is really great, too, since itís that totally classic and austere Deutsche Grammophon layout, but the primary image on the front depicts a man and woman touching hands through thermal vision. Class.
6. Group Home - Liviní Proof
While the rhymes on Liviní Proof are kind of weak, this is Premierís greatest moment as a producer. The best tracks on it have this sort of swung-asymmetry that most people are familiar with through tracks like ďRobin Hood TheoryĒ off of Moment of Truth [Gangstarr]. The reason why Primo is better than say, someone like RZA (who he shares a lot of traits with), is because he is so much more nuanced with the way he times his cuts, and he creates these minimal tapestries out of the ends and beginnings of phrases that are totally melodic but still not quite Ďcorrect.í Itís perfect music. If I had to pick one jam off of it, itíd probably be the title track, but ďInna Citi LifeĒ is probably the darkest primo beat ever.
7. Sunn 0))) - Monoliths and Dimensions
The closing track on what I think is Sunn 0)))ís greatest record, "Alice" is closer in spirit to Debussy than drone, and is the moment I became a Sunn 0))) lifer. Is that a flugelhorn? What is the difference between that and a French horn? I donít know. I thought I didnít like either, and was proven wrong. The rest of the record is the sound of Wagner crawling across an infinitely long kitchen floor for a glass of water. One of the only records from the past few years that has taken on gift-that-keeps-on-giving status on my Winamp player.
8. So - So
So, in my universe is a sort of heavily abstracted, parallel universe sequel to Loveless. If you donít hear that, then thatís fine. I could have picked another Markus Popp release, but this record was a huge influence on me and is consistently in my Ďtop five sexiest records of all timeí list.
9. Double Leopards - Halve Maen
Another life changer Ė I saw DL for the first time in í03 at the Hampshire College tavern and it was the first time I felt holistically connected to a performance; I wasnít even there. I canít tell you the countless purple hours spent blazed, analyzing the checkered inner gatefold and floating on the darkest clouds of my life. This is the quintessential floorcore record of all time.
10. Jon Hassell - Aka/Darbari/Java
Future Javanese horns cutting through liquid opaque metals in an endless spiral toward some beautiful zone in between music and landscape. Hassell is a colorist and a topographer. Then later, a musician.
Joachim Dyrdahl played classical violin from the age of 5 but was blown away by Norwegian DJ Olle Abstractís radio show at 15. That early introduction sparked his passion for electronic music, and now 13 years later, diskJokke is now a key player in Osloís respected disco scene. Things are going so well, he recently gave up studies in mathematics to focus full-time on music. The 28 year oldís latest record is titled En Fin Tid, which means "happy time" in Norwegian, and comes out June 22 on Smalltown Supersound. diskJokke shares some of his biggest musical influences for this weekís Listed.
1. V/A - Sounds Like E.T.
In short, this unofficial Danish record contains the musical themes from various films, including the 1982 film E.T., played on syntheseizers with a disco band under them. I should say Kraftwerk is my first love of electronic music, but I have to be honest: this is it. Itís both my first meeting with electronic music and also my first real memory connected to the impact of music alone. My brother had it on tape and I strongly remember sitting in the back of our car with this on my walkman using up all the batteries rewinding and playing the E.T. theme over and over with shivers down my spine on every listen. I bought the picture disc a couple of years back and sadly it seems to have lost that effect on me now.
2. Carl Craig - Paperclip People
At 16, I was pretty sure that music was going to play a key role in my life. The problem was that I didnít really like any. I was playing the violin but this genre didnít give me satisfaction. Jazz was too mature, rock and pop music was for a different kind of people. Although hip hop was starting to grow on me, I could never really feel the lyrics talking to me, I guess due to lack of experience and cultural references. I had heard Prodigy and had some sort of rush, but had a distinct feeling there was something better out there. (Of course in 1995, disco was nonpresent.) Then the Norwegian goverment started a radio channel for the young. Saturday night was for dance music and this was one of the first tracks played. I felt it like a religious awakening, and shortly after bought my own copy on 12" and my first pair of decks to play it on.
4. Aqua - Barbie Girl
This was No. 1 in the charts here in Norway. I absolutely detested it, and became angry with every encounter of it. Music was at this time in my life connected to my identity in an -- in retrospect -- unhealthy way, and this track, for me, represented all the things I hated about mainstream culture. I was in a club with some people from my school against my will, knowing I didnít fit in with the crowd, trying to act cool instead of having fun. I was feeling more and more miserable by the minute, and when the DJ after some time played this song, I almost lost it and was about to leave. Suddenly a girl appeared, not knowing my state of mind, and tried to pull me with her down to the dancefloor. I naturally protested wildly and somehow managed to say something about how much I hated the song. She then looked at me with a smile and told me to appreciate the irony of the song, instead of getting all mad. I stopped, thought, and during the next few seconds, I realised that this music was different from mine, it wasnít meant to be taken seriously, and more, it wasnít even taking itself seriously. It didnít represent the decline of modern culture, I didnít have to fight it with every muscle; it was made just for fun. There I was, all locked in this EMO track for years, and now I had left it just before the song ended.
3. Tim Love Lee - Confessions of a Selector
As a loyal follower of electronic music, I had never paid much attention to organic music. And when this was picked out by the clerks of an Oslo record store, I didnít even listen to it. I put it back but it somehow got stuck between the other records I bought and followed me home without my knowing. Well at home I discovered the mistake, mumbled an oath due to the fact that I had paid for it, but took it all back when I put it on. Genius sampling, great beats, a totally crazy musical structure and a feel of constant beach holiday connected to it. It shifted my view of what could be dance music and led to the discovery of Idjut Boys, Groove Armada, Organic Audio and after some more time; house music with one foot in each camp.
5. Beethoven - Violin Concerto
This concerto is connected to the time my heart was broken for the first time. I was nineteen. I was left by my great love and what I remember most vividly about this time in my life is the many weekends of DJing in Oslo house clubs at night with a forced smile and the following drive home from the city that led down to the ocean where I would sit in the car for hours staring out on the waves playing this while crying.
6. Tamiko Jones - Canít Live Without Your Love
Still a regular in my record bag, it came to me at a time when filter house was at its peak, I was not into disco and had only had a few hints that everything I was playing out was just subtracted from this music. So I was playing a bar and after hours of now seemingly pointless house music, I was getting tired and decided to play this random track off a Loft collection I hadnít really listened to. I didnít really listen either until people started coming up giving me credit for my choice of music, and they were right! it was really, really, really good! So now what to play after this? I had no idea, failed miserably and played house music that suddenly didnít sound so good anymore. Burned by this experience, I started checking up labels, artists, producers, clubs, DJs and everything from that era starting out from this record. And this pretty much got me walking down the street where I am nowadays.
7. Bruce Hornsby - The Way It Is
In 2005 I finally managed to get to Ibiza. Having heard and read stories about this fairytale island for years, I had a clear picture of what it would be like, only to get food poisoning a few hours after I landed. Therefore I was frequenting the path between my bed and the bathroom instead of the path between the beach and clubs for seven days (not to forget a trip to the hospital at one point when I was sure I would die), which also was the length of our stay. On the last day, I was feeling better, and after a bit of thinking, we decided to stay on the island for the next week as well. After having the meal of a lifetime on a small restaurant in the hills of Ibiza town, we took a cab to Cafe del Mar to see the legendary sunset. But instead of being served pointless new age soundscapes with flute solos on top like I had imagined, the DJ played original Balearic masterpieces. And so I had my newfound health, two jars of Sangria, the knowledge that I had another week in paradise - and when the DJ played this lovely song just as the sun was setting in the most spectacular way, I fell deeply in love with the island. It seems to be a lasting kind of love.
8. diskJokke - Flott Flyt
I know this seems a bit narrow minded, but the truth is that had it not been for this track, I would probably still be a bedroom producer with an academic career. This track was the reason Stevie Kotey picked up my demo and put me in contact with Prins Thomas for a release on Full Pupp. It got me a record deal with Kindisch although they couldnít get this track, it it got me my first gigs as an artist and it got Smalltown hooked and subsequently launched my artist career that would include numerous remix opportunities, 12" releases, gigs all over the world, a life as a full-time musician and thus a better life in general. It is also the song my girlfriend and now mother of our daughter heard on the radio and fell in love with me over before she met me. Or so she says.
9. Dr. Alban - Sing Hallelujah
As a youngster playing football I went to Grimstad one summer to play a cup, and at nighttime they had arranged a disco for us. We were all under 14 and had never been to anything like this, meaning I had never heard dance music at full volume on a PA with disco lights and girls dancing all around. I didnít quite get it until I heard the "lift-off" part of this tune, but in the middle of it it all became clear to me that this was a ritual I wanted to particapate in more often, there I was with slight chills down my spine, lights going bananas and sweaty bodies all around me. This song still is a secret weapon in my sets and can be deadly when dropped with the right crowd.
10. Prince - Purple Rain
The story behind my relationship with this song is pretty shallow, but since the previous ones are way too deep and personal this will be a nice way to wrap it up. This song defined and shaped my hate relationship with pop music for years to come, at the finishing ball of my second year in high school, it was time for the last dance and I was aiming for the girl I was in love with. Unfortunately I was cut off by another girl, who happened to be the biggest and worst looking girl in the whole school. It was impossible to get around her and when she asked me to dance this last dance with her the young and still too polite Joachim said yes, not knowing the full range of the consequences this would have. Well. I might have built it up too much, but while dancing with her I naturally ended up dancing next to the girl I was in love with and was forced to watch her start kissing another guy almost at the beginning of the song. We turned around, and there she was, still kissing this guy. And so it went for the next ... nine!!! minutes. I mean, who makes a song that long! ... Errr ... No comment. And in high school, nine minutes are a lot longer than a 30 year oldís nine minutes. The song seems to end all the time but never does. And if this wasnt enough, it hadnít gone unnoticed by my friends that I was dancing with the biggest troll of the forest, so it came back to bite me in the months to come.
By Dusted Magazine