Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: British jam sessioneers Gnod and Canadian composer Kyle Bobby Dunn.
Listed: Gnod + Kyle Bobby Dunn
Gnod are a Manchester based collective of sonic freaknicks that peddle in the realm of sprawling, drugged-out space-rock. They’ve been likened to a heavier version of Sun Ra’s Arkestra via Acid Mother’s Temple, and their musical voyages both on and off wax have become storied affairs. Since 2007, they’ve had a slew of micro label releases on cassette, vinyl and CD-R on labels such as Not Not Fun, Blackest Rainbow, White Hills Music and Sloow Tapes, as well as a few self-releases. Last year saw them reunite with White Hills for a 2nd collaboration aptly titled Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II. Their most recent release is a split LP with A Middle Sex on the Blackest Rainbow label.
1. Shit & Shine - Cunts With Roses
Rhys (Notorious Hi-Fi Killers/ Drumcunt) gave us all a copy of this on CD-R when Gnod supported the Hi-Fi Killers in 2007 (it was actually the 1st ever Gnod gig) and we weren’t prepared for the sheer brutality of what we heard — it certainly left its mark on the Gnod psyche. This record is a good representation of $&$, relentless brutality without a care for the listener’s eardrums. When we put this on, it either sends people running for cover or moving closer to the speakers for more. Separates the wheat from the chaff. Then the dark brews come out...and we can’t remember the rest.
2. Sunburned Hand Of The Man - Jaybird
This album was doing the rounds just before the formation of Gnod. It opened our minds to what was possible in an improvised situation, a live jam. It’s pretty random improv music but builds towards a groove, stays there a bit, chills a bit, maybe hits another groove or maybe someone takes it somewhere else. Sunburned as a band had an influence on the creation of Gnod, being a collective rather than a band with fixed members. Creating jams on a theme rather than having songs with a fixed set of bars, notes, whatever. Jaybird gave us a lot of good ideas at the right time.
3. Tony Conrad & Faust - Outside The Dream Syndicate
This is a Gnod tour van favorite and always makes an appearance on long drives through Germany. The repetitiveness of that kick/ snare/ kick/ snare on the first track left a lasting impression on us. It taught us that if you have the right fundamentals in place, you only need a little to go a long journey.
4. The 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds of The 13th Floor Elevators
Perhaps the first psych-rock record? (This was) pre-synths too, so Tommy Hall used a jug to make oscillations. Amazing simple but effective bass parts. Some of the best guitar lines ever. One heck of a hard-hitting drummer. Roky’s screaming vocals. A masterpiece! Nuff said.
5. Grimetapes - Slew Dem Vol.1
A bit of grime is good for the mind... Hit Grimetapes.com and get downloading! There’s loads of really heavy sessions on there. It’s British, it’s heavy, it’s dark and it makes you feel like you’re made of steel.
6. Butthole Surfers - Locust Abortion Technician and/or Psychic Powerless Another Mans Sac
Butthole Surfers are in inspiration to weirdos everywhere. Can’t decide which of these two is best. Locust Abortion Tech has the mighty “Sweat Loaf” on there but Psychic Powerless... has “Dum Dum” on it which goes dum der didly dum der didly dum, etc. Why God.... why??
7. The Fall - Our own compilation
There are far too many great Fall tracks to mention, but it’s hard when it comes to choosing the best Fall album. Who Made The Nazis, Wings, Fiery Jack, Hip Priest, Rowche Rumble, Tempo House, Rebellious Jukebox, Smile, etc., etc. There is no one Fall album that is the best. Even the best versions of the best tracks are not usually the same album version. The Peel Sessions and live tracks usually have the most energy.
8. This Heat - Deceit
So many good individual tracks on this album and they all work together as a whole, making the album sound kind of like a concept album. It feels like it has come back in time to us after the nuclear holocaust. One of this country’s best ever bands. A model of a band that plays interesting, organic, original music. Vital.
9. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
An important record in the eyes of many. Can you imagine a world without Black Sabbath? If you ever see a car with Black Sabbath on the side, get in that mofo and drive it. I guarantee you won’t regret it!
10. Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Safe As Milk
Oh yeah! EEEEEEELLLLLECTTTTIIIIIIIICCIIIIIIITTTTTTTYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! So many good moments on this album. You can play it to death, come back to it a few weeks later and it still sounds fresh. It’s also by far the most danceable of all Beefheart’s records and probably the only Beefheart album you can get away with putting on at a party, but I suppose that all depends on the type of party.
Kyle Bobby Dunn
Kyle Bobby Dunn is a neo-classical and modern drone composer/performer based out of Brooklyn. His minimalist compositions display a terse attention to patience and space and have garnered comparisons to Morton Feldman and LaMonte Young. In early 2010, he released the A Young Person’s Guide to Kyle Bobby Dunn which made waves in the New York Times, and this year his track “Runge’s Last Stand” appeared on the SMM: Context compilation from Ghostly International.
1. Arvo Pärt - Te Deum / Tabula Rasa
Hearing Te Deum on CBC Radio 2 when I was in 6th or 7th grade was pretty difficult. It stemmed a lot of new thoughts, but also was the first time to put a lot of frustration to bed. I recorded his music (both from these releases) on a TDK 60-minute cassette and it soundtracked my walks to schools and from place to place. It’s really been more than an inspiration for music — music just doesn’t really matter once you’ve heard the thick or thin of this gentleman’s works. Both these titles are good places to start.
2. Satie - 3 Gymnopédies & Other Piano Works - Pascal Roge
The slower the Satie is played, the better. Listening to Roge’s renditions put you side by side with the master. Like listening in a soothing dream. Each of the works is timeless and heart wrenching but I find it all too easy to return to. I love it in these wintry months the most, but it truly helps me slow down — and living in New York, that’s just what one needs. This or the Naxos release is perfect.
3. Feldman - Palais de Mari (Aki Takahashi) / Violin & String Quartet (Fong & Rangzen)
Getting lost in space and time and realizing the two are so horrific, cyclical and untrue - never felt so good. I think Feldman’s music (like Satie’s) is best played slowly and quietly. It brings out the genius emotion in his work and stamps its mark the deepest.
4. Silvestrov - Symphony No. 6 / Piano Sonatas
I began listening to Silvestrov around the time I heard Arvo’s music. He creates a unique and delicate tapestry of dramatic and emotional textures, which he suggests are otherwise sacrificed in much of contemporary music. "I do not write new music. My music is a response to and an echo of what already exists," he has said. In 1974, under pressure to conform to both official precepts of socialist realism and fashionable modernism, Silvestrov chose to withdraw from the spotlight. In this period, he began to reject his previously modernist style. Instead, he composed Quiet Songs (1977), a cycle intended to be played in private.
5. Bach - Violin Concertos / Cello Suites (Alexander Rudin)
These two discs on Naxos are full of impact. I feel sort of foolish talking about the sheer power and beauty in Bach’s music. These guarantee repeat listens and again, really good winter listening.
6. My Bloody Valentine - Isn’t Anything / Loveless
I am torn between which is the better of the two, but the sounds and moods on these albums have burnt massive holes in my mind for years.
7. Angelo Badalamenti - Fire Walk With Me OST
This and Blue Velvet‘s soundtrack were my introduction to the gorgeous work of this film composer, but his FWWM score is perfect. I spent too much time getting lost to this as a youngster and am now paying the price.
8. Labradford - Prazision
I was going into 8th grade in the summer of 1999 and first heard a large profile on Labradford from Patti Schmidt’s “Brave New Waves” on Canadian radio one night. “Splashdown” and “Disremembering” were like nothing I had ever heard and still alternative enough to play around friends, for some reason.
9. Red House Painters - Songs for a Blue Guitar
Always introspective and deep.
10. Mark Isham - The Hitcher OST
Been liking this a lot for a few years. Some nice haunting and desolate moments.
By Dusted Magazine