Every Friday, Dusted Magazine publishes a series of music-related lists compiled by our favorite artists. This week: Los Angeles producer Ramona Gonzalez and New York metal maven Nader Sadek.
Listed: Nite Jewel + Nader Sadek
Nite Jewel is basically one Ramona Gonzalez, a native of Oakland now quartered in Los Angeles. Gonzalez is a passionate creator and thoughtful student of moody electro-pop and DIY funk, affiliated with the East Coast neo-disco outfit Italians Do It Better and the unclassifiable Angeleno artist/musician collective Human Ear. She introduced herself with the 2009 EP Good Evening and upped the ante with last year’s Am I Real? EP, with cynical dance tracks and aching odes to botched communication. Like her friend Ariel Pink, she records exclusively on an
8-track and creates songs that are melodic, infectious, haunting and pervasively “off.” This week’s Listed is Nite Jewel’s Top 10 musical inspirations during last year.
1. Brian Eno - Another Green World plus Eno’s biography On Some Faraway Beach
Gave me the drive to bring a few musicians/engineers/producers together in a room and experiment with music. Over time, songs emerged, much like with Eno’s process. I was inspired by the idea of finding a space explicitly for making mistakes and trying out new things, all the while recording in hi-fidelity.
2. Anna Domino - “Review” from East/West
Most inspiring female-led recording from last year.
3. Collie Ryan - “We’re Gettin By” from The Giving Tree
I know what Collie means here.
4. Prince - Erotic City (12” Mix)
Writing a song that makes strangers want to have sex with strangers.
5. Prefab Sprout - “Desire As” from Steve McQueen
Dam-Funk noted that Paddy from PS has as sophisticated a songwriting sense as Paul McCartney. This particular song has an undeniable depth in its lyrics, arrangement, chord changes and sound palate. It’s got it all!
6. Steely Dan - “Deacon Blues” from Aja
This song has got some of the best lyrics and vocal phrasing known to man. It can also make a grown man cry.
7. Joe Mubare - “The Stars Won’t Fall Down” from Mubare
I don’t know anything about this guy except that he is German. This is like some bizarre ‘80s electronic spoken word. I don’t ever fall for that type of stuff, but this is genius. I love the drum programming and synth sounds.
8. Sensation’s Fix - Fragments of Light
A nice blend of instrumental and vocals (both silly and serious). Progressive without being too difficult. Analog warmth. Inspired the idea that guitars and synths can make something called an “Air Painting.”
9. Agincourt - Fly Away
Beautiful, sophisticated folk record with some jazz and pop twinklings. I love how this record sounds; all the instruments sound perfect for the delicate, easy breezy vibe of the record. It’s light and airy, but deep, too. (Thanks to Tim Koh)
10. Woo - “Wallpaper” from It’s Cosy Inside
I’ve used this for years in mixtapes and what not, but I can’t stop. This is some of my favorite instrumental music. This has got to be the best intro ever conceived.
Nader Sadek’s new album In The Flesh may be his first foray into recorded music, but he’s been a mainstay of the metal world for quite some time. The New York artist was responsible for Mayhem’s 2009 stage imagery (which featured exceptionally detailed silicon renderings of impaled heads and entrails) and has worked closely with a number of other metal acts. For his own musical outing, Sadek and his core band are joined by members of Mayhem, Sunn 0))), Morbid Angel and more. His use of petroleum-based raw materials in his art is not coincidental to the environmental themes explored within his music.
Due to my attention deficit disorder, I don’t have an all-time favorite for anything. I change my mind like the wind. But for now I can say this:
1. Theory in Practice - Third Eye Function
This album is full of technical stuff, but has a lot of very simple, catchy riffs that break up the “techy” feel. It twists and turns, and you can never predict what’s next, or whether the amazing riff you just heard will be repeated. You can feel the songs were engineered. They each have different vibes and guitarist Peter Lake has complete control of the structure and melodies. He understands when to make something unexpected. Simply put, you will never get bored of this one. I absolutely love it.
2. Deicide - Deicide
Raw and uncompromising, this one of the sickest records ever. It is truly the musical equivalent of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead movies. Samples and phrases from the movie, like “Dead by Dawn” (a shriek that is chanted by one of the zombies), are used on the record. But that’s not what reminds me of the movie. It’s the atmosphere that the musicians managed to capture. The vocals are mind bending. “Carnage in the Temple of the Damned” has at least five different vocal styles, each of them completely different from the other. In one verse, singer Glen Benton uses a pattern that sounds like fast rapping, switches to a spoken-word sample, followed by angry growls backed by layers of high-pitched screams. The harmony created by the dual layers adds to the atmospherics and ambiance of the vocals, creating a profoundly intimidating voice that sends shivers down your spine.
3. Internecine - Demo
Undisputedly, the most brutal death metal demo ever. Former singer/bassist/songwriter Jared Anderson (Hate Eternal, Morbid Angel), David Foy Scalf, Brian Werner and Shannon Purdon put down some of the sickest songs I have ever heard. On this demo, you can feel a band jamming, the music is amazing, but the chemistry and the energy is something that absolutely demands attention. A lot of music now is composed by one guy who tells everyone what to do. I think with this band you can tell everyone had more or less equal say in their instrumentation. There’s something in the air that you just feel and can’t describe. I like to reference the demo as an inspiration to the album I just put together. Unfortunately, Jared passed away in 2007. R.I.P.
4. Deicide - Legion
Take everything that was insane about the first record, speed it up by about five times. and you get Legion. Yes, my fourth favorite album is my first album sped up! This album is just sick. Deicide learned a lot from their first record, and just crafted a sicker album. I love the first one more for nostalgic reasons, but in the pure evil and relentless aggression department, this album just kills anything out there.
5. Edge of Sanity - Unorthodox
My favorite Edge of Sanity album ranks pretty high. It has everything for me. It’s heavy, simple, Swedish death metal. The songs are solid, but I think it’s really the production that makes this album for me. For the first time I was hearing a lot of mixing and panning that was quite simple, but effective in the sense that you feel you’re in a three-dimensional space. While you are listening to the music, the space is created for you and you’re a silent spectator observing the lava-filled landscape.
6. Theory in Practice - The Armageddon Theories
Theory In Practice definitely loses it on this one, Why would anyone record an album as insane and complex as this one? Apparently, one guitarist threatened to leave the band if they attempted to do another album with this ambition. It’s a miracle this album was made. This one definitely needs multiple listens to be understood — way too much going on, which is overwhelming at first, until you listen to it several times and realize how it was built. The arrangements sophisticated and the guitar work is elaborate and intense.
7. Cryptopsy - None So Vile
One of the grooviest death metal records of all time, thanks to Flo Mounier’s creativity and great taste. It’s actually a very melodic album covered in dark rhythms and deep monstrous growls. Just like Deicide’s debut, everything about this album makes it a piece of art. The samples and sound effects congeal one track to another, giving it a sense of consistency and focus. My favorite songs are “Slit Your Guts” and “Phobophile.”
8. Broken Hope - Loathing
I listened to it a lot around 1998 and all my memories from that time come back when I listen to it. It was just a sick time for me, and it completely fit it. I had just gotten into much more extreme metal than before, and this album shocked me with the sounds and the absolutely mind-blowing lyrics.
9. Cryptopsy - And Then You’ll Beg
I’ve never heard anything like this before. Another mind-bending train wreck of groove and brutality. Again, so much stuff is going on that this needs multiple listens, but once you get there and you understand a fraction of it, you will worship this record.
10. Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II - Dialogue with the Stars
This album is very trippy. You have to listen to this album on very good headphones while lying in a desert, intoxicated, and staring at the stars.
By Dusted Magazine