Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: British whisperers Rameses III and Philadelphia's most hated band, Clockcleaner.
Listed: Rameses III + Clockcleaner
Rameses III are Spencer Grady (guitars, noises), Steve Lewis (guitars, percussion), and Daniel Freeman (keyboards, processing). The trio has played with Jack Rose, David Grubbs, Christina Carter, Fursaxa, James Blackshaw, and Sir Richard Bishop. The band, named after an Egyptian pharaoh of the 20th dynasty, play slowly and purposefully, pressing twinkling folk passages into elongated ribbons of song. At times, each guitar note seems to emanate from beneath an invisible surface, lingering for a few moments only to drop back down and be replaced by another. Honey Rose, their latest effort, came out on Important Records in February. Freeman took part in this week’s Listed.
1. Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (RCA)
I thought I'd use my list to try and explain my contribution to the Rameses sound as well as listing some cool records. Growing up as a rather shy and introverted kid, it was the warm buzz of synth oscillators that grabbed my attention first and, in particular, the almost entirely home-recorded sound of the second Eurythmics album. This band became rapidly uninteresting to me when they dropped the electronics but, for one extraordinary album, the likes of the sweaty heat haze of "In The City" showed me how to weld guitars and electronics together and how making albums perhaps wasn't quite the black art it sometimes appeared to be.
2. Diamanda Galas - Saint Of The Pit (Mute)
This was the only record my little sister ever pleaded with me to turn off because it was truly scaring the life out of her. And no wonder: multiple octave operatic vocals, Hammer Horror church organs bellowing out the last gasps of a dying world and the shrieks of a thousand demons breaking their chain leashes: truly Gothic. A little weird listening to it now that I'm a Christian as it is fervently anti-Church in places but it's still an amazing example of towering audio architecture.
3. This Mortal Coil - It'll End In Tears (4AD)
Tender, lush, romantic, adventurous. I loved this record when it came out and many, many years later it became an important reference point for Rameses as it became a bridge between my electronics-based sound and the others' use of electric and acoustic string instruments.
4. The Young Gods - L'eau Rouge (PIAS)
The Young Gods come from the great tradition of avant garde European bands like Can, Neu, Faust and Einstürzende Neubauten. Taking their name from a Swans record they surpassed all their influences and, with a sampler, a drum kit and a voice, they melted and re-forged metal, classical and fairground riffs into something truly new and into the heaviest electronic music on the planet - I've had bruising all over my ribcage from one of their gigs.
5. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works Volume 2 (Warp)
Mr James had already bonkered my brains out with the mad acid riffage of "Didgeridoo" and then surpassed all my expectations with an entire double album of ambient techno genius. And no fluffy whale noises, inappropriate beats or New Age / Second Summer of Love hippy-isms either: this was concentrated and mature introspection of the highest order. The original other Aphex Twin Tom Middleton didn't do half bad either with Global Communication's 76:14.
5. Ed Rush / Nico / Trace / Fierce - Torque (No U Turn)
Not exactly a direct Rameses influence to put it mildly but a very important record in my raving history: rave, hip hop, reggae and the Blade Runner OST jacked in, hyped up and running riot all over London - it's no wonder drum and bass pretty much stopped evolving for me at this point ... there was practically nowhere else to go but repeat an admittedly addictive formula.
6. Thomas Köner - Nuuk (Big Cat)
When I'm low and no other record can reach me, Thomas' music always does. I could have picked any of his albums but this was the first I came across. I have no idea why the imagined sound of arctic winds and rumbling tectonic plates speaks to me so deeply but I am very glad it does. You can hear the Köner influence in the first track off our "Matanuksa" album in the thunder rumbles and white noise wisps.
7. Jon Hassell / Brian Eno - Fourth World Volume 1: Possible Musics (Editions EG)
Oddly I bought this album, played it once and then put it on the shelf. Odd because when I played it for a second time about five years later I was stunned at how good it was. African drums, smeared Miles Davis Indian trumpet and stratospheric synths stirred together into the laziest tropical swim.
8. Eyvind Kang - Live Low To The Earth In The Iron Age (Abduction)
OK, hands up, we've been nicking from this record for about the last four years! An extremely strong influence on Rameses and a great snogging record to boot (snogging my lovely wife that is, not the other chaps in Rameses, nice as they are).
9. Steve Roden - Transmissions (in be tween noise)
Another great wife snogging record. So simple: just ancient tapes of satellite transmissions manipulated and looped and left running for just over half an hour. Sounds great on honeymoon with night crickets joining in through the wooden shutters of a Andalucian mountain cottage.
10. Kevin Drumm - Sheer Hellish Miasma (Mego)
I thought I'd end my list with my favourite noise record ... seemingly created by a rabid zombie attacking their Marshalled-up guitar with a chainsaw whilst simultaneously tickling a thousand car alarms with dynamite. In a wind tunnel. During an earthquake. It makes me very happy when I listen to it and it has been a major, if obtuse, influence on my solo album (which I might even finish one day).
Clockcleaner guitarist/vocalist John Sharkey has led the trio since June, 2003, having previously been a member of Cleveland's thrashcore wrecking crew Nine Shocks Terror. Bassist Karen Horner (formerly of Readyset) and ex-Rallycap drummer Richard Charles round out the lineup. Clockcleaner whips their own material into a sardonic concoction of angst and bared teeth. Onstage Sharkey plays the tightly wound frontman, crouching, lunging, spitting through their antisocial numbers in a singsong bellow, all the while, assaulting ears with his barbed guitar playing – the nearly exclusive use of minor bar chords; post-hardcore chugging riffs; the vicious sonic shrapnel produced by his use of a quarter as a pick. The band's new album Babylon Rules is out now on Load Records. Sharkey contributed some of his favorite songs in this week’s Listed
Ten Tunes to Snare Pelt
1. David Lee Roth – “Yankee Rose”
That guitar has its head on straight. Really knows how to talk to girls.
2. G.G. Allin - “Women I've Never Had”
This is a song with a sexy agenda.
3. Television - “Foxhole”
"The flashing sword / has been explored. / The perfect slice / the perfect slice of life." What we're all looking for in the boneyard.
4. Red Hot Chili Peppers - “Super Secret Song Inside”
Eight words no woman can resist.
5. G.G. Allin - “Gimme Some Head”
It don't hurt to ask. Or to demand.
6. Danzig - “She Rides”
Both parties get a kick out of this position.
7. Cro-Mags - “Seekers of the Truth”
"Gotta make our move, get in the groove." Even virgins can grind their hips to this one.
8. Aerosmith - “Lord of the Thighs”
It's a crown we'd all like to wear.
9. Metallica - “Fade to Black”
Never had much luck with urban tail.
10. Black Flag - “Kickin' & Stickin'”
This is what it's all about.
By Dusted Magazine