Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Scandinavian post-rockers Tape and New York pianist Vijay Iyer.
Listed: Tape + Vijay Iyer
Six or seven years ago, Tape would have gotten slotted under the post-rock banner faster than some scrub could have written “They’re the Tortoise of Sweden.” Others might have drawn a parallel with the expansive melodic bathos of Sigur Ros. Such comparisons are within sniffing distance of the truth, but they miss the understated bliss this trio emanates. Tomas Hallonsten and Johan and Andreas Berthling craft somnambulant figurines that thrive on hypnotic repetition, tightly woven layers of melody and tasteful flecks of ambient noise. The band just released its fourth album, Luminarium on Hapna Records
1. In einem jahr mit 13 monden
A great movie by Reiner Verner Fassbinder that inspired me to move to Germany. (Andreas)
2. Star band de Dakar - Sala Bigue
I was riding in a taxi the first time I heard this traditional Sengalese song. I asked the driver what it was and had to get it. Amazing music from the ’60s! (Andreas)
3. Songs:Ohia Ghost Tropic
Great record, I especially like the quality of the recording and the general production of the album. It inspires to record lo-fi sounding instruments in hi-fi. (Andreas)
4. Mahmoud Ahmed - “Bèmen Sèbèb Letlash" from Éthiopiques 7
Hypnotizing groove, I can’t really figure out what’s going on here … and it’s a very nice feeling. I have no idea what the bassplayer is doing. (Tomas)
5. Pugh - "Här kommer natten" from Ja dä ä dä
Swedish classic from ’69, with Jojje Wadenius and Loffe Carlsson. It seems to me that they struck gold with everything they touched around this time. (Tomas)
6. Pharaoh Sanders - "Love is everywhere" from Love Is In Us All
What can you say... just great spiritual music. (Tomas)
7. Aki Tsuyoko - Ongakushitsu
A timeless classic, by Japan’s unsung keyboard queen. Truly organic sounds. I’ve been fortunate to open a show for her once outside Nagoya. (Johan)
8. Dungen - Tio Bitar
Their best album, while we wait for the new one in october. Saw a live show with new material here in Stockholm a while ago that was fantastic. (Johan)
MySpace.com/musettes. One of my favorite bands right now. Themes that sound familiar yet unheard. Piano, accordion, violin, whistling and acoustic guitars. Debut album on the way. (Johan)
Mr. Iyer is one of the most talented jazz pianists working today. The self-taught composer learned his trade by listening to American jazz at a young age and meshing those sounds with non-Western traditions, including those of his parents’ homeland of India. He’s recorded a bevy of albums since the turn of the century, all of which have been hailed by one jazz rag or another. In fact, Iyer was voted the No. 1 rising jazz artist and the No. 1 rising composer in the Downbeat Magazine in both 2006 and 2007. This year, Iyer turned that promise into product, releasing two critically lauded albums, Tragicomic and Fieldwork’s Door. The Village Voice described him as "the most commanding pianist and composer to emerge in recent years." We agree.
1. Jimi Hendrix - "Machine Gun" (from Band of Gypsies)
Dark, explosive, ominous, celebratory, blues-drenched, shamanistic. The guitar is pushed into areas no one thought it could go, showing us things we thought we didn't have to see. This is quintessential political music - a stunning unity of form and content. Drummer Buddy Miles' hair-raising grooves merge with the joy, sorrow, and sheer improbability of Hendrix's careening guitar, and the tragicomic lyrics about violence's fearful symmetries are literally fused with the guitar as he doubles his own voice ("tearing my body all apart").
2. John Coltrane - "Transition" (from Transition)
Coltrane's classic quartet at its best, with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones, cracking open the barest of forms, exposing an entire spectrum of being, with searing clarity. You can cry to this, it's so righteous and true.
3. Alice Coltrane - "Oh Allah" (from Universal Consciousness)
A gorgeous tone poem that stops you in your tracks - string section trilling, Jack DeJohnette's bed of percussion, and Alice Coltrane's Wurlitzer organ, intoning like a preacher, flying like an eagle.
4. Andrew Hill - "Smokestack" (from Smokestack)
It starts with an impossible rhythmic vortex from drummer Roy Haynes and two bassists. Suddeny through the storm, the steady clanging bells of Hill's two-handed chords. This is intricate, vivid, beguiling piano-trio music with some serious x-factors (such as the fact that it's actually four people). Hill was a hero, friend, and mentor of mine.
5. Saul Williams - The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust
Well, Saul, you kind of crushed it with this one. I'd always known you had the power, intensity, and focus - you just needed music that was on that level, and now you got it. Trent gets you; he keeps the tunes clean and bruising so that you can artfully combust. A musical/lyrical/performative connection that no one might have dreamed possible before we entered this inferno of a century.
6. Rough Americana (Morgan Craft + DJ Mutamassik)
Check it out here: www.roughamericana.com/music-group-12.html It sounds like orchestrated collisions - I suppose in a lot of ways it is. This mom-and-pop duo of urban rebels holed up in the Italian hills have much to tell you.
7. Abida Perveen - The Incomparable Abida PerveenQawwali's real deal, even according to the late great Nusrat. Check out some live YouTube clips of her with the ensemble, and be mesmerized. This record played during the birth of my daughter - that's how much I swear by it.
8. Ramnad Krishnan - VidwanA gem of a recording of impeccable, soul-stirring Carnatic (South Indian classical) music, recorded for Nonesuch in the label's early days.
9. Asian Dub Foundation - "Buzzing" (from Rafi's Revenge (also on Time Freeze: Best of ADF)
The original Desi musical insurgents, for whom there could be no difference between musicmaking and community activism. On the surface it's 90s UK jungle, but there's something else going on here in the realm of what music can mean. I can listen to this all day.
10. M.I.A. - "Bird Flu" (from Kala)
I know this is a year old and everyone has already loved on this record, but what can I say, I'm still down. This to me is the logical successor to ADF: militant third-world junkyard collage - folk drums, kids yelling, glitchy digital chortles; the repercussions of globalization in a b(h)anging shuffle.
By Dusted Magazine