Listed: The Dipsomaniacs + Hermann & Kleine
Øyvind Holm plays the role of guitarist and primary songwriter in the Dipsomaniacs, Norway's greatest psyche-pop ensemble. The Dipsos have released three already near-classic albums in Bumble-Bee Eyes, Braid of Knees, and Stethoscopic Notion. The latest The Tremolo Of Her Mind/The Strings Of Her Soul (on Free City Media) is quite the departure from the Dipsos' psyche-pop stylings, but it also may be their greatest achievement yet. Holm was kind enough to list some of his favorite recordings of late.
These lists are always hard to do, because you have to leave so many great records out. But still the ones on this list have meant a lot to me through the years, and I never grow tired of them.
1. The Beatles – The White Album (Apple) – This was the first Beatles record I bought with my own money. Thirteen years old. My impression of the Beatles' music was at the time based on the red 1962-1966 album. So needless to say, I was quite shocked when I heard it for the first time. But I still found it intriguing enough not to give up on it. For a period I had an almost religious relationship to the Beatles' music. I'm still a Beatlemaniac, and I love all their albums. But this is one is special. It may not even be their best, but still it has everything. Heavy metal ("Helter Skelter"), Music hall ("Honey Pie"), avant-garde ("Revolution #9"), country ("Rocky Racoon"), blues ("Yer Blues")...I could probably go on and on. The diversity of the album is mind-blowing, and still it holds together so well. In many ways it can be considered an encyclopaedia on 20th century music. A lot of the songs might not stand out on their own, but as an album The White Album is a diamond.
2. Paul McCartney – Ram (Capitol) – I've never quite bought the theory that John was the one carrying the creative torch in the Beatles. Their solo work, better than anything else, portrays clearly John and Paul's strengths and weaknesses as writers, and that it was the two of them together that made "Lennon/McCartney" stand out as the strongest companionship in the history of modern pop music.
3. The Jayhawks – Tomorrow the Green Grass (American) – Just rediscovered this one again. I remember being blown away by it when it first came out, and I was thrilled to realize it's still as amazing as I remembered it to be. Tight Everly-harmonies, razor sharp Neil Young-ish guitar licks, combined with heaven-sent melodies makes this a killer album. If there ever was an album worthy of the title "No depression," this is it. Pure joy.
4. Guided By Voices – Alien Lanes (Matador) – This is where it all started for The Dipsomaniacs. I heard Alien Lanes and realized that this is the way to go. Robert Pollard made me understand that I didn't need a fancy studio or a backstabbing label to release my music. I immediately started the recording of what was to become Bumble-Bee Eyes.
5. Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (Matador) – For much of the same reasons I love GbV, I love the early Pavement stuff. The first one, Slanted & Enchanted, appealed a lot to me because of its Velvet Underground attitude. On this one they still have the DIY- kitchen-sink attitude, but the music is so much more focused. The song writing is majestic! It takes years between each time I hear songs as good as "Range Life" and "Gold Sounds."
6. Olivia Tremor Control - Black Foliage (Flydaddy) – This one came out right before we recorded Braid Of Knees. For a while there I was totally lost in the whole Elephant 6 movement. All of a sudden all these wonderful new bands arrived, and for a split second I started to wonder if I was on the right planet after all. The dense layers of sound on this record inspired me to write "The water-choir's drowning." The way they combine these far out avant-garde soundscapes with great pop songs was a wake-up call for me. I've spent hours listening to it in my headphones, and I still discover new stuff. Black Foliage is a milestone in the stream of new 60s inspired records.
7. The Kinks - The Village Green Preservation Society (Castle) – In the period between 1966-1968, Ray Davies was almost unbeatable as a songwriter. Kinks released an untouchable line of singles and EPs. What's great about Village Green is that they've succeeded in making a great start-to-finish- album as well. There are no fillers here, what so ever. Village Green smells of English countryside, summer, tea & scones. A very welcome shot of vitamins indeed to get me through the cold Norwegian winter. Along with "Face to Face" this shows Ray Davies at his creative peak.
8. Pink Floyd - Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Capitol) – For me this is THE Pink Floyd album. I never cared much for Roger Water's post-war traumas. I love the childish innocence & the nursery rhyme -like approach of the songs. Syd's style was unique. Because the Syd Barrett saga is a sad one, there's also an emotional dimension attached to this record that, for me at least, makes me pick it out again and again. Simply put on "The Gnome" and you'll know why.
9. The 13th Floor Elevators - Easter Everywhere (Collectables) – This is another classic from the outskirts of sanity. I first discovered Roky Erickson through his solo material. "Two-headed dog" made a tremendous impression when I first heard it. For me Easter Everywhere is the standout record in the Elevator bag. The rough edges, Erickson's lyrics & delivery plus the fantastic electric jug used on every tack. I get dragged in. This is voodoo, this is hypnotic, and in the middle of it all they melt your heart with the absolutely wonderful DUST.
10. Love - Forever Changes (Elektra) – By many people considered the greatest record ever made. And what a glorious record it is. This proves my little hypotheses that crisis are good for your creativity. The band was almost breaking up before and during these recordings. They managed however to keep their act together long enough to finish this album But Forever changes is no Let It Be, or some other half-inspired swan song. Arthur Lee and his band mates dare take their music to a totally different place. Gone is the driving electric garage punk of their two first albums. Instead we get a near acoustic album augmented by soothing heart-tickling orchestral arrangements. I'm really sad I missed Arthur Lee when he played in Norway a while back. This record has inspired me in the past, and still is. It's one of those records I always bring to the studio for reference.
Hermann & Kleine
Hermann & Kleine are one of Germany's premier electronica groups. Thaddeus Hermann runs City Centre Offices, while Christian Kleine has received plenty of accolades about Valis, his solo debut LP on Morr Music. Together, they released Our Noise (available on Morr Music), one of 2002's dreamiest exhortations in electronic pop.
01. Algorithm Presents Void - El Grito (Botanico del Jibaro) - Algorithm returns. After great works on Counterflow and one 12" on Botanico del Jibaro (the new hip hop offshot of Beta Bodega), they explore the Panama invasion with their usual incredible deep sounds and haunting rhymes. This time also in Spanish. An essential hip hop release.
02. Hrvatski - Insect Digestion Melancholy (Planet Mu) – Killer 7" from Hrvatski who digs deep into the old school breaks, c64 sounds and his famous chaos. Just too good to be true
03. Eater - t.o.e. (Progressive Form) – Oh my god, Eater from Osaka kills everything with these two tracks. Almost krautrocky in length, Eater approaches electronic music from a completely different angle, works with strings and straight, wobbly beats. Music for which there are no words, yet.
04. Deadbeat - Wildlife Documentaries (~scape) – Software wizard Scott from Montreal with a new full length on which he is not as technical as usual, but works on his dubs in a more traditional way and gives the chords the space they need. Wonderful.
05. V/A - Mass Confusion presented by Funkstoerung (k7) – Fantastic compilation of new and upcoming stuff on Musik Aus Strom. It seems that Fakesch and de Luca finally want to relaunch their label. With this line up (Mr. Projectile, Metamatics, Lusine etc.), nothing can go wrong.
01. Joy Division - Still (Qwest) - Having read the book from Deborah Curtis recently in the tour bus, it seems that since 15 years I have a certain affinity to those depressive lyrics. Still shows very well the transition of JD from Warsaw times to Closer.
02. Secret Frequency Crew - The Underwater Adventure Hop Secret Treasure (Counterflow) – The deep blue as a topic to work on. Less conceptional as e.g. Drexciya, but even very mystic in it’s musical beauty.
03. Bernard Parmegiani - De Natura Sonorum (Ina-GRM) – I’m not sure if that’s called "electro-acoustic." For me, it’s rather interesting music made of "elements".
04. Bastro - Sing the Troubled Beast (Homestead) - David Grubbs and John McEntire´s Post-post Hardcore outlet. Also, they played one of the best concerts i´ve seen so far. (I think Codeine was their support act at this time)
05. Robert Wyatt - Old Rottenhat (Thirsty Ear) - Working class music! Contains the famous "age of self". It’s the only record I own from him (except an older Soft Machine LP.)
By Dusted Magazine