Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Dan Deacon and Epic Man
Listed: Dan Deacon + Epic Man
If you've seen Baltimore electronic one-man-party Dan Deacon play live, you probably had a good time. You probably didn't assume, however, that in addition to being a hilariously innovative performer, Deacon has a masters degree in electro-acoustic composition. His new album, Spiderman of the Rings, his first for the Carpark label, is a monumental leap for Deacon, and is one of the most exciting, off-the-wall records we've heard all year. It lives up to everything Deacon has brought during the past few years to his live shows, and more.
1. Michael Nyman - Experimental Music & Michael Azerrad - Our Band Could Be Your Life
These books should be assigned reading in elementary school education. If every 10-14 year old read these the world would become so awesome. Let it be known both books are written by Michaels!
2. Donovan - "Catch the Wind"
My mother was a big Donovan fan. Since she transcended into the realm of all that is awesome, whenever I hear Donovan it reminds me of her. This song, in particular is just so beautiful and simple that at times I'll just listen to it for hours. It's especially great on 18-hour+ bus rides between shows where I won't see anyone I know for days. It just puts me in a wonderful place.
3. Terry Riley - A Rainbow in Curved Air / Poppy No Goods Phantom Band
This record is enormous. AWESOME AS FUCK. As many times as I hear it, it's never grown old or tired. Riley's all-night shows, street performances, and compositional aesthetic have inspired me, as a composer/performer, more than any other. I would give the most lots of anything to see him perform either of these two pieces. Like 10 gold coins turning into all gold coins. Also, his webpage is awesome!
4. Kevin O'Meara
One of the most humble and talented people I have ever met. Hands down, Kevin is the unsung hero of the Baltimore music scene. He's known mainly as a relentless (yet thoughtful and compositional) drummer, but I've never seen him touch an instrument that he couldn't make sing. His presence here has shaped the scene in Baltimore in the most positive of ways. It's like when he sleeps another of him rises to do even more rad stuff. Video Hippos and Blood Baby are his primary bands.
5. People who have shows in their home
Be it a house, warehouse, apartment, parents house or whatever, people who invite music and people to watch it into their homes are the most important part of underground culture. Without these places everything would stop and die. Most home promoters make no money, risk eviction, fines, theft and damage to their things, criminal charges and filth yet they do it anyway. What we need are people on the inside: noise-cops and noise-government officials. Book the cops and landlords bands and we won't get shut down!
The quartet Z's is one of the most skillful and dedicated groups I've ever had the pleasure to see live. Reading from hand-notated scores, the ensemble almost effortlessly changes the entire atmosphere of a space with the sickest of all massive riffs. Brilliant and beautiful. And unlike most killer ensembles these guy's are really nice nice, genuine people. The recordings are equally powerful and moving. Hopefully [this is] the direction all music and musicians will go.
7. Earl Brown
FUCK I just wrote this long thing about Earl Brown and then some how deleted and didn't notice until all my undos were used up. Fuck me. Anyway, Earl Brown is an awesome, an often overlooked, American composer. He laid the foundation for graphical notation. He is like the Arab On Radar of the "New York School" of the 1950's. His set of set Nine Rare Bits, for One or Two Harpsichords, is my favorite of his works.
8. My Dad
Thinking of my father without thinking of music would be impossible. Since before I can remember my family's gatherings have been set to the music my father loved. He taught me what being young and living really is. He showed me the importance of sacrifice and community and the impact music has on a community. He is the coolest person on the earth. He is like the Fonz mixed with Snoopy mixed with the concept of ice cream.
9. Milton Babbitt - All Set for Jazz Ensemble
Known to most as the stuffiest and grumpy composer of American avant-garde, Babbitt gets a lot of shit. He wrote mathy, extremely strict and academic music during the peak of chance and free composition. He was a giant nerd amongst a bunch of jockish pre-hippies who, while they claimed to embrace all sounds, mocked and bullied him, calling his work oppressive and needless esoteric. He wasn't suave or good with the press like Cage was. He came across as a jerk and a square, and maybe he was. But he was an awesome fucking composer and he didn't give a shit if anyone else cared. His piece All Set is really beautiful. Being composed in 1957, the piece is clearly influenced by the impact of the free jazz movement, which was quite ripe by then. Yet, All Set, like the rest of Babbitt's' work, is anything but "free." Its ridged and angular, composed down to every last aspect of the sound. It's nice to hear this collection of instruments playing this style of music. (A note on Nyman's Experimental Music: The slams on Babbitt and the rest of the avant-garde is the biggest drawback of the book. What's the deal Nyman? Why the beef?)
While its dirty, corrupt and totally polluted, the city of Baltimore is awesome. The community of artists and musicians here is second to none. I'm proud to live here and work amongst some of the most awesome and truly amazing people. Ecstatic Sunshine, Video Hippos, Ponytail, Blood Baby, DJ Dog Dick, Jimmy Joe Roche, OCDJ, Sand Cats, Wzt Hearts, Lexie Mountain Boys, Santa Dads, Allen Mozek, Dina Kelberman, Deathset, April Camlin, Wildfire, Lizz King, Blue Leader, Height, Post Typography, Double Dagger, Human Host, Ed Schrader, Thank You, Twig, Blades, The New Flesh, Carly, Marc Brown, Beach House, Arboretum, Kevin Sherry and countless other bands and individuals shape the Baltimore I have come to love and call home. Sadly, like most wonderful places, greed and corporations have started to destroy it by making it harder and harder for us to have shows in our homes or even have homes at all. But I think Baltimore will hold up the fight for a while. Until 2012 anyway, which is all that really matters, right?
”I always wanted to make exciting music. The stuff that made the hairs on your neck stand on end. That magic factor that could be about a song, a sound, a voice, a rhythm, or just silence.........space......”
That’s Paul Epworth’s mission statement, and as the pseudonym Epic Man, he’s never come closer to perfecting it. While the young Brit is most well known for his remixing of Bloc Party and The Rapture, he’s also released solo material as Phones for the popular Kitsune label and arguably the best song of 2006 under the moniker Epic Man. “More Is Enough,” featuring lyricist Plan B. on vocals, was the most intense adrenaline rush we’ve felt in some time, and we’re sure it will receive more and more attention as 2007 unfolds. Paul has promised more recordings before the year is out, but for now, you’ll have to settle for his entry in our weekly Listed series.
1. Talk Talk - Spirit Of Eden & Laughing Stock
These two records changed how i listened to music. Having been introduced to them later than their release by a friend who at the time was feeding me lots of electric Miles, Coltrane and John McLaughlin and it really blew my mind. I wanted to know how the fuck they got this sound. Several years later I was lucky enough to work with both Mark Hollis and Phill Brown the master engineer behind the results and get the LD on the whole thing.
2. Can - Ege Bamyasi & Tago Mago
After having listened to the former record for a number of years, Mark Hollis gave me a list of records I should own and Tago Mago was included. It didn't have the same impact on me as Ege Bamyasi. then again i guess you can only discover Can once. Leibezeit's drumming, Czukay's synth work and Karoli's guitar playing drove me nuts and I'd still love to make a record as soulful and forward thinking as either of these now.
3. Miles Davis - In A Silent Way
Hypnotic, still and beautiful, this record made me grow, up if only a bit. It was like a breath between the intensity of all the Dischord records and Touch & Go stuff that filled my days at the time.
4. Dub Narcotic Sound System
I looked at the widescreen appeal of Calvin Johnson's solo project and realized I could potentially make music, produce it, press it and get it out without playing anyone else's game. And what's more it could be funky as fuck.
5. Richie Hawtin
F.U.S.E. was the first of Hawtin's work i heard. A friend had been feeding me lots of Plus 8 records and Kenny Larkin's music too. The whole machine funk aesthetic became something that i aspired to do and has recently been coming out in some of my remixes.
6. Captain Beefheart
I'm gonna go against the art house music fascists and say the record i adore of his is "Clear Spot". Maybe it was more contrived than his other recordings but i loved the odd soul angle that he hit with it. Marimbas, mandolins, backing vocalists, sun, zoom, spark.
7. Fela Kuti
I remember first hearing his music in a taxi by chance and made the driver turn it up to blasting! He was a revolutionary. Took the corrupt despotic regime of Nigeria head on and was physically beaten many times. His music resonates still clearly in bands like !!!.
8. Steve Reich
He was one of those artists who everyone around me seemed to discover at the same time. Think I was in to this during my weed phase when I could sit and listen to "6 Marimbas" over and over again without being slightly concerned how much time I was wasting. It was a discovery that repetition can itself be minimal and the gradual changes Reich uses can be very powerful. Both he and Phillip Glass are prime exponents of this. Manuel Gottching's "E2-E4" became the record that fills this space now, if not only because it's an hour long, but because it also showed me where Larkin, Hawtin and Carl Craig found their dancing feet.
9. Nation of Ulysses
Loved the music, loved the way they dressed, the manifesto, the energy. I always regretted not seeing this band live. See also Big Black and the Pop Group.
10. J Dilla
Along with DJ Premier , these guys are the producer's producers for beat makers. Though Jay Dee was fairly recent discovery for me, I'd known plenty of his work over the years. I was really gobsmacked once i began to dig into his less well known beats and tracks. His widescreen, psychedelic sound is dirty, beautiful, hooky, infectious, heavy and delicate all at the same time. His sense of timing and looseness, his pillaging of the history of production techniques outside of hip hop and his ear for melody made this man unique. An insider's secret and a really, really sad loss to music. I fell in love to his sound.
By Dusted Magazine