Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: UK noise sculptors Fuck Buttons and Swedish folk artist Jakob Olausson.
Listed: Fuck Buttons + Jakob Olausson
Fuck Buttons is the duo of Benjamin John Power and Andrew Hung. The two Brits blend noise and classic chord progressions to make cinematic music reminiscent of both Sigur Ros and Black Dice. The group's debut LP, Street Horrrsing, is due next month on ATP Records. For much more on this band, check out our Destined feature, published last month. To say big things are expected from these two is an understatement. Ben and Andy were nice enough to take part in this week's Listed.
1. Suicide - Suicide
Behhhh buh behhhh buh behhhh buh behhhh! The unmistakable opening to "Ghost Rider," its pummeling kick drum accompanied by the revving of the Farfisa organ. It's pretty cool and I feel like I'm Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. There's a real sense of excitedness in this record, made in 1977; they couldn't have known what they had stumbled upon. The (limited) juxtapositions are awkward, the elements minimal, but there's something in restrained energy that's so explosive in interaction. Listen to this when you're just about to have an argument with someone. (Andy)
2. Colleen - The Golden Morning Breaks
My favorite kinds of dreams are where I wander and explore big houses. This is what this album sounds like, and I love it. The tools are easily decipherable; the delicate acoustic instruments and their inter-twining looping melodies are reverb'd to the point that their personality has smelted, leaving only their underlying property of being naturally environmental. It's enchanting and wondrous. (Andy)
3. Black Dice - Broken Ear Record
Black Dice make the most interesting unique music around today, no contest. This is the first record after departing from their live drummer, an element that probably restrained them more than opened options. This music is pulsing, energetic, ultra rhythmic and a joy to listen to. (Andy)
4. Nurse with Wound - Salt Marie Celeste
I didn't give much thought to the title of this piece until someone pointed out it was the name of a ship. I wish I was still oblivious to that fact, because the imagery that this provoked initially is also the more poignant: an old western-style ghost town. I guess the elements of a ghost ship and a ghost town are not too dissimilar -creaking wood, vast space, cyclical groans, the swash of wind. But the one difference is that in the situation of a ghost town, one could walk away. (Andy)
5, Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
She doesn't really give a shit how she comes across and as a result the music is full-on direction. It's very easy music to penetrate, but at the same time very powerful. Her voice is like this massive sword being wielded around in odd and unexpected ways. Really does knock you sideways. (Andy)
6. Boris with Merzbow - Sun-Baked Snow-Cave
The lonely acoustic guitar plucks that make up the first half of this album create an atmosphere very much like the title would suggest, a place of sheer desolate beauty. Purity in the white snow. Actually, you're almost half-expecting David Attenborough’s voice to come out and talk about the hardships of polar bears. But dread starts overcoming the serenity and one fears the coming of night, a devastating and fearful sound that strikes at one's psyches. This record is the calm and the storm as it were. (Andy)
7. Growing - Vision Swim
The first time I saw Growing live was in this tiny art-space underneath a shop in Bristol, which can't have been any bigger than 4 x 4 meters. They created this giant, uplifting, psychedelic super drone. I was totally in awe of the power of the sounds they made and I shut my eyes and allowed myself to be taken away in this warm bubble. Vision Swim is a slight departure from some of Growing's earlier more droned-out works, adopting more of a 'cut & paste/ collage' approach, but still retains their signature sense of overwhelming joy. It's embracing stuff. (Ben)
8. Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti - The Doldrums
Haunted Graffiti 2: The Doldrums has to be one of the best pop albums I've heard in a long time. To me, it sounds like there's a party going on in the flat below mine at 3 a.m. in the morning and they're listening to '60s radio whilst I'm laying in bed teetering on the edge of sleep. Capture that sound on an old 8-track and leave it out to bleach in a bit of L. A sunshine, and you'd kind of start to get an idea of what this record sounds like. It's nostalgic and endearing and kind of makes me want to stay up late. (Ben)
9. Stars Of The Lid - The Tired Sounds Of...
The sweeping orchestration on this album is stunningly beautiful and quietly hopeful. "Fac 21" particularly stands out for me. It's minimal, tranquil and dreamlike. At a recent show in London they covered Arvo Pärt's "Fratres" as an encore. I wasn't there unfortunately but I saw a video of it and it looked just awesome. Andy DJ'd at the show actually and they weren't very friendly towards him. Shame. (Ben)
10. Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power
This album is just a classic, isn't it? I’m particularly fond of the opening track "Search and Destroy." It's a great one to get you up and moving in the morning. so powerful and energetic. I read recently that when this album was first released, it sold really poorly. Strange, really, when you take into consideration how highly influential it's become. I hope I still have it in me when I get to Iggy's age. He's relentless. (Ben)
Jakob Olausson is a sugar beet farmer from Landskrona, Sweden who set the folk world a flutter in 2006 with his Moonlight Farm LP. His DIY dirges reminded more than a few of Ben Chasny or Matt Valentine. (In fact, Chasny said upon hearing the album, "Well, no reason for me to make music anymore. This kid hit it.") Olausson also recorded some CD-Rs as Joshua Jugband 5 before signing to the esteemed De Stijl label. You can read our review of the record here.
1. Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour
Think what you will about his music, but his radio show is pretty solid listening. Take some time off and sit down and listen.
2. Bo Diddley - Hey, Good Lookin
I got the UK 1964 press on Chess, and it has a much more classy cover than it's US version. This was the record I wanted as a kid from my dad's record collection. My eyes caught the big rastered monochrome portrait on the cover that up close looked like a mess of dots. My brother wanted it, too, so none of us took it. No bad blood. I found my own some years later. The record boasts some great lyrics and songs drift out of the standard Diddley beat, except for the opening title track. "Rooster Stew" tells the story of how the loser of the cockfight ended up on the kitchen table. Classic.
3. The Keggs - "To Find Out/Girl" 45
I'm not gonna kid you, what I have here is the boot. Real primal and pounding. So is the desperate heart of the singer. I always end up with this one in the stack when I go thru my 7"s. You can get the full story in the liners to Back From the Grave 5 & 6. So there is no real reason for me owning this version except that it's much more handy to flip a 45 with a beer in the other hand, than digging out two separate long players and try to find where to drop the needle.
4. Diabela - OST (cassette)
Fell asleep to this cassette in Toronto. And woke up the next morning playing it thru for times. This is the audio from the Polish film chopped to easy ingestion with mostly only the musical parts left. At first listen, I couldn't tell if the tape was this insane or had been altered with extra sounds and guitars, was told it hadn't. Seek it out on the LSD OTB imprint.
5. Sky Sunlight Saxon - "Beautiful Stars/ Universal Stars" 45
His voice has surely aged like fine wine. A lot stronger and deeper by time and the man is still a great performer. I kind of get the feel he made his lyrics up on the spot for the later works. Just roll the tapes! Kind of the way ad lib meister Kim Fowley did, but never mention that guy's name in front of Sky like I once did. His backing bands surely hadn't rehearsed the songs beforehand. The songs have a real loose feel, and end abrupt. The lyrics on both his 45's on Expression are fantastic streams of DOGS, stars, YHW and diamonds in the rough. The ghost of Father clearly present, as well as the sacred snow.
6. Ego Summit - The Room isn't Big Enough LP
Can't believe it's been 10 years since this puppy came out. Time flies. Mike Rep, Jim Shepard, Tommy Jay, Don Howland and Ron House teamed up and made one of the best albums of the 90's. Another guy from the same crew, not on this album but worthy a mention is Nudge Squidfish who on his own also sits on mountains of gems. Keep an eye on Columbus Discount records who'll do a LP reissue of Tommy Jay's "Tall Tales of Trauma" plus a Mike Rep & the Quotas 10". Can't wait!!
7. Parasites of the Western World - s/t LP
Late 70's teenage basement rats. I keep this one sandwiched between Eno and Electric Eels on the shelf. No glam moves here. Songs go from acid punkers to walls of curry wurst scented synth licks. A real stunner.
8. Hackamore Brick - One Kiss Leads to Another LP
A pretty laid back affair. Real warm feel-good record with very innocent lyrics, almost Jan & Dean like at times. The record's been compared to later day VU. Funny/ironic since that's what initially kept me away from this LP, when my bro offered up a spare near mint copy for merely 10 bucks. Looking at the cover they looked as far from the hip big city speed freak you can come. At that time I rather spent a hundred on the "Sweet Sister Ray" boot. Luckily I got around to get the HB LP later on when I heard it for what it was.
9. Screamin Mee-Mee's
Got introduced to this band as a teenager via "Hot Sody" on a Killed By Death record. I was hooked. Found the "Clutching Hand Monster Mitt" LP a year later in a record store in Madrid of all places. Puzzled by how the songs seemed so long eyeing the LP grooves. The sound that was in those was nuts. Luckily 10% of their recordings has been (re) released in one form or the other. Just got the news that there is a NEW CD out on Gulcher called "Plastic Hong Kong Door Bell Finger". I have mine ordered.
10. Lill Lindfors - Du är den ende LP
A real good record from a well-known Swedish singer and actress. Breezy and cool bossa influenced orchestrated pop. Hooks and harmonies to die for. Would recommend it more to Francoise Hardy fans instead of those into Gal Costa.
By Dusted Magazine