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Listed: Spektrum + The Quails

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Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists determined by our favorite artists. This week: Spektrum and The Quails.

Listed: Spektrum + The Quails


Spektrum describe themselves as "freaky dark and good modern day funk. We like to let the music do the talking and the talking is dirty, flirtatious, mystical fun for your aural pleasure." The band has been working together as a four-piece for three years, while vocalist Lola Olafisoye and keyboardist Gabriel Olegavich have written music together in the studio for about four years. Their live sound is much grittier than their recorded product, with no use of sequencers, drum machines or sampled music. In addition to Olafisoye and Olegavich, the group also includes Teia Williams (bass) and Isaac Tucker (drums). Their debut album, Enter the .... Spektrum, is out now on Glitterhouse in Europe. Spektrum are performing every weekend in Europe all spring and summer and are looking to perform in the US soon.

Spektrum's "life as a band" top 10 turn-ons, in no particular order:
1. The 'Reclaim the Beach' parties - These are held on the beach of the River Thames in central London, in front of the Festival Hall (!? yes there is actually a sandy beach there at low-tide). They are free parties, have DJs, fireworks & live bands. We played there many times in 2002 & 2003, and we premiered two Spektrum songs, "Lychee Juice" & "Free-fall," there & it was a wild & amazing atmosphere. When the tide comes in the party has to end, but nobody wants to leave the beach until the last minute...and a few feet get wet.

2. Eating on tour - We're always so happy when we get lots of food that we don't have to pay for. There was a restaurant in Porto, Portugal which comes to mind, where the servings were phenomenal; enough meat for four stomachs in each serving...A good bowl of broth is always good for bonding between friends and especially musicians. It seems that all the people we've worked with in the music world (especially the Playhouse crew) love good food. We are a nightmare to any promoter with a generous pocket.

3. Sexuality - the mystique, the allure, all the associated things....

4. Independent music - Brand new music that is pushing for change (like ours) is escaping into the via independent labels: like Grand National's new EP, releases on Erratica records, Whitey (on PPQ), RJ Valejio (on Type), Simian Mobile disco, Big Apple Records (great new electro/dub-step from Croydon). Also there's Nonstop Records - our studio's in-house label - which is knocking out some nice stuff too (featuring both Gabriel and Lola, and Gabriel's cousin Caspa Codina).

5. Yoga - Always good if you can find time to do it...Grounds you, energizes from the inside out...Lola did 2 hours yesterday! Isaac hasn't done it for ages & is limping to work at the moment (he can barely touch his knees; though he does like a bit of "downward dog" occasionally) Teia does it once a week -a "sun salutation". Gabriel does it when he's stretching behind his mixing desk trying to plug in some leads...

6. Refreshments - You can never drink too many liquids...especially when it's Cachassass (that Brazilian rum), or Lychee Juice. Gabriel loves a big glass of Guava juice & milk (mmmm). Lola prefers herbal tea; especially Yogi Tea - licorice flavor (but is also partial to a little whisky, Baileys or brandy). Teia likes Long Island Ice Tea; Isaac a Depth Charger (a lethal mix of tequila, vodka jagermeister & absinthe)- he used to play bongos at a Cheesy West London Bar & that drink was the only way to get him through the night (he was fired last month)...

7. Independent clothes - These are important to us as we all are individual styles and don't want to succumb to the giant powers of fashion. Small independent designers are the ones with the fresh ideas and like us, are not afraid to take risks. This girl "prankster" lives up the road in New Cross and is wicked for freaked out stage attire.

8. Pirate radio stations - That's where you find the most interesting music and phone-ins in London. There's Galaxy 102.5 fm - a station with "reasonings"; Station fm - North London's original reggae & soul-loving pirate; Mystique - East London's hip-hop & Grime; Ghana Fm - Great West African music & unusual adverts; And then there's Resonance who actually have a license - which is amazing as they play alternative sonic art & stuff...

9. Good sound engineers - We use an electronic drum kit, so if we can't hear it in the monitors properly our gig becomes an "air-drum"-fest & everyone gets frustrated. When we have a great sound, we can really enjoy it. We can't fake our eargasms.

10. Making music - Well, it's stating the obvious but...when it comes down to it, the one thing that is a true & never-ending turn-on for us is living, eating, breathing, shitting, vomiting, and making music.

The Quails:

San Francisco's the Quails include guitarist Jen Smith, bassist Seth Lorinczi (ex-Circus Lupus) and drummer Julianna Bright (formerly of the Electrolettes). All three members sing and write songs. The band formed in 1999 and released We Are The Quails shortly thereafter, following up in 2002 with Atmosphere. Mr. Lady released the band's most recent album, The Song Is Love.

1. The Pretty Things - SF Sorrow - I hear something different every time I listen to this record. There are so many layers to it and this incredible melodic sensibility. Lovely, washing vocals and psychedelic mayhem. Seth tells me it was recorded on 4-track too, which just blows my mind. Itís so amazing to think about all these 60ís bands, so many of them my favorites, and how creative they were with minimal technology. And assloads of drugs.

2. Bert Jansch - Nicola - All or most of Mr. Janschís albums have been recently re-issued. Gorgeous gatefolds with beefy vinyl. I love the version of ďGo your wayĒ on this record, a song Iíd only heard sung by Anne Briggs (also a Julianna fav) before. The guitar playing is incredible and I love his sort of chuckling, conversational voice. But I canít stop playing ďGo your wayĒ. It's so beautifully sad.

3. Deerhoof - Milkman - I think Deerhoof are the very best thing happening in music right now. Their shows are only ever transcendental experiences for me, where the roof comes off, where I inevitably find myself halfway through the show shocked to be standing in a room full of people. And their records just keep getting better and better. Or closer to the experience of seeing them live.

4. The Zombies - Odyssey and Oracle - Seth and I had the distinct pleasure of seeing the Zombies in San Francisco in February. At one point Rod Argent announced how dear it was to be playing all the Odyssey and Oracle numbers since they'd broken up the band before touring that record. I practically choked up! To imagine this record of perfect, perfect songs not making them stars. Well, it was a delight to see them, even with the rather wanker-ly guitarist that tours with them now. Colin Blunstone's voice was still golden, still saturating and honey coated. And I'll never tire of this gorgeous record.

The Clash - From Here to Eternity - A recent release of live classics from the heyday. All the favorites are here and performed with such ferocity, it is easy to recall while they remain so legendary. Sometimes when listening to this record, I hear the wall of sound and the collective force of the four musicians and imagine that the energy that is made by rock and roll has some kind of positive effect on humanity.

2. Mission of Burma - Vs - This music is so inspired with its layers of sound and complexity but at the same time, in essence, this is a collection of pop songs. Also, this band inspires me for its sometimes political and contemplative lyrics. Definitely, this is important music.

3. The Gang of Four - Entertainment - I haven't listened to this record in a while but feel that it is a major influence on our band and on my guitar playing in particular. The songs themselves are so dance-damaged, it really establishes this genre of music. The angular guitar is sparse but cutting, which, to my mind, makes it very dynamic.

1. Lungfish - Love Is Love - The perfect name: Like its namesake, this band occasionally leaves its habitat (Baltimore) and, defying most evolutionary principles, survives in an impossibly alien atmosphere (the world outside Baltimore). Slow-moving, contemplative, even prayerful music. They were actually in the studio with us when we recorded our last album; unbeknownst to each other, we both made albums with the phrase "Is Love" in the title and an image of a tree on the cover.

2. Prisoners - Last Four Fathers - Iíve always loved music which transports you to another time and place, perhaps one thatís completely fictitious. This band played throughout the Ď80s but never seemed to really break out of their English hometown. It references a lot of the music of the Ď60s that I love ó- Small Faces, Kinks, Seeds -ó but it has its own feel. Rocking, moody, soulful and mysterious. In hindsight maybe itís a bit alcoholic/angsty. But even now it takes me to that special secret musical place. Not in the pervy way.

3. Mission of Burma - Signals, Calls and Marches - Jen really stole my thunder by picking Vs.Öitís still my favorite album of all time. So Iíll take second-best with Mission of Burmaís first EP. I love all the contradictions in this band: Poppy, political, angry, dirty, and according to witnesses punishingly loud. They had it all. Glad they survived to come back and show us all how itís done.

By Dusted Magazine

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