Listed: Colder + Radio Berlin
French electronic artist Marc Nguyen Tan (a.k.a. Colder) released his debut record, Again, to much fanfare last year...in Europe. Again, which features an elaborate and smooth blend of downtempo electro and loungey vocals, was only recently released in the U.S. on Trevor Jackson's Output imprint. Tan is also a visual artist and has performed thoroughly throughout Europe, but his appearances in the US have been few and far between. He takes the stage at Rothko in New York City on May 14.
This a chronological "top ten" list of the major and most important crushes I had with music, since i was a kid:
2. Einstrurzende Neubauten "Tanz Debil" (on Kollaps) - I was fifteen and had this friend who used to pass by my house and bring records. I got stuck on that track for quite a while, bought the record on vinyl, CD, and then cassette, just in case. I was surprised, a few years later, to see that The Jesus and Mary Chain were using it as an intro for their gigs.
3. Coil - "Teenage Lightning" (on Love Secret Domain) - Bought in a record shop when I was 16 years old. I also caught on later with "Red Skeletons" on Black Light District and then "Emergency" on Music to Play in the Dark.
4. Current 93 and Douglas Pierce - "Hello Angels" (on Swatstikas For Noddy) - Heard for the first time around the same time, borrowed the record from a friend. This is also how I got addicted to most of the World Serpent's key artists, like Nurse With Wound, The Stapleton/Tibet Duet, Sol Invictus, Boyd Rice, Chris and Cosey and Cindytalk S.
5. Skinny Puppy - "Church" (on Bytes) - 17 years old in a club in London during a school trip.
6. Brian Eno - "No One Receiving" (On Before and After Science) - 18/19 years old. I knew his work as musician and producer for Roxy Music and the Talking Heads. I also knew his conceptual ambient pieces but never paid attention to his own pop songs until I bought that record and Another Green World. These are my favorites now.
7. Durutti Column - "Sketch for Summer" (on Valuable Passages) / Chris and Cosey "Red October" - The first one was borrowed from a friend's record collection, the second one was first heard in a club, still in the UK. I've never been a great fan of Durutti Column but had a crush on this one track. I just regret they didn't keep on that kind of work a bit more.
8. Nick Drake - "River Man" - 24 years old. Heard on the radio while coming back to Paris by car. It was a bad time for me then, a mix of different professional and personal issues and problems. Even if the track sounds really sad, I understood it as a vibrant message of hope and determination.
9. Jandek "European Jewel" (on Ready for the House) - 26/27 years old, while listening to Songs in the Key of Z, a compilation of the worst artists and bands in the music history. I know that Kurt Cobain used to say that Jandek isn't pretentious but that people who listen to him are. Maybe I am, but I'm quite fascinated with this guy who has secretly released records for ten years or more and accessed the position of a cult artist. Somewhere it goes far beyond the casual concept of music. Here it seems like the music is the man. Even if most of the time it sounds harsh, rough and ugly, in the end it sounds "real," which is the most important for me.
10. Vincent Gallo "Laura" / Mark Hollis "A Life" - 28/29 years old. Heard the same day, I bought Vincent Gallo's record in a shop after a screening of Buffalo 66. Right after that I went to a party with a friend where there was this DJ playing weird things like David Hykes and the harmonic choirs - a quite unusual playlist for a party - and then " A Life" from Mark Hollis.
Radio Berlin is a four-piece from Vancouver, Britsh Columbia. The band has toured North America several times since their inception in 1998 and have two full-lengths in the books (1999's Sib-Ling and 2001's The Selection Drone). With a sound best described as rhythmic post-punk/new wave with early goth stylings, Radio Berlin has garnered many comparisons to bands like Pornography-era Cure, Joy Division, Wire, Josef K, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, only backed by a rhythm section one would expect from a band like Clikatat Ikatowi. The band is currently charging up again, planning extensive touring in the latter half of 2003 and 2004 and re-configuring with a slightly altered lineup. The band currently features a song on the new Kill Rock Stars compilation, Tracks and Fields, and are recording an EP to be released this summer.
Jack Duckworth's top ten tapes on tour:
2. - Electroparty mix - I made this mix tape for [bandmate] Lyndsay [Sung] last fall that encompassed a lot of rare electro/punk stuff from 15-25 years ago. It's a super fun listen and keeps you focused on those long drives on the road. Features The Associates, Nitzer Ebb, Kas Product, John Foxx, The Normal, Front 242, Fad Gadget, etc.
3. Destroyer - Your Blues (Merge) - Dan Bejar is a good friend of ours and I often run into the guy running domestic errands in Vancouver's "Commercial Drive" district. This album is a good listen. All of those MIDI instruments and Dan's trademark social commentary are a nice afternoon listen for driving the Americas.
4. Crass - Stations of The Crass - Chris dragged out a lot of his old punk/hardcore collection for the trip. This LP got some regular rotations on the road. Crass are a fave Radio Berlin listen. This album is interesting as it has this one pretty good "disco" track that Eve Libertine sings.
5. Wackies b/w Ike Yard - Chris' roommate Josh (who plays in Jackie-O Motherfucker) has a very large and interesting record collection. On the A side is an awesome Jamaican reggae/dub compilation called Wackies that contains a lot of one-off gems from artists from the 70s and 80s. Not sure who though as the only info on the cassette was a Dymo label. The B side is this incredible rhythm/dub/proto-goth LP by a band called Ike Yard that is worth looking for.
6. Depeche Mode 101 cassette - Bringing us back to our younger days, this cassette was a fun and regular listen in the van. The recording quality for it being a live recording can't be beat and hearing David Gahan yell "THANK YOU!!!!" between every song is entertaining on its own.
7. Chromatics - Plaster Hounds - Our friends Nat and Adam recorded an incredible album last summer and we got a nice, in-depth listen to it driving over the Cascades at 1 AM in the morning. It's a very rich yet raw recording and there is definitely a mood on the album that allows the listener to go somewhere else with the music, if that makes any sense.
8. Black Mountain / Pink Mountaintops - This crew is unstoppable! Formerly known as Jerk With A Bomb, they've re-christened themselves as two different "projects," and will both be releasing records on Jagjaguwar to flex some muscle. We've known these cats for years; be it as roommates, bandmates (Josh was a previous drummer in Radio Berlin), or attendees of the same East Vancouver backyard BBQs.
9. Cocteau Twins - Garlands - I think we only listened to this once on the trip but it's a good, atmospheric listen for those long drives. This is a classic one for me and the grooves on my LP version are getting deep.
10. The Intro mix tape - This one actually didn't get brought out on this spring tour but did in our fall 2003 tour and I'm remembering it now. Chris made a mix tape which started in the "A" section of his record collection, taping a song off a record and then cutting it out right before the vocals came in. He successively did this right into the Ns or the Ps or something. It was pretty funny.
By Dusted Magazine