SIDE A | by Valentin Toma
Here’s a list of 10 songs that aren’t my favourite, but certainly meant something once. Consider them some sort of milestones in my Music exploration trip.
- Elvis Presley | Suspicious Minds (Mark James Cover)
One of my earliest memories as a child is falling asleep at night listening to my father’s Elvis Presley tapes. That was the first Music I got really into, when I was only a few years old. I think I memorized all the lyrics, without even speaking English. That was fun.
- Manowar | The Crown And The Ring (Lament Of The Kings)
Then, as a teenager, I got into Heavy Metal. And for some reason, my favourite tracks were the cheesy melodic battle hymns of Manowar. Here’s one of the ballads I used to enjoy. Sick.
- 2 Unlimited | Workaholic
I think it was this song that drew my attention towards Eurodance Music. I grew a bit bored with the guitar/bass/drums formula of Metal, and became fascinated by the endless possiblities in Sound Synthesis. But having no mentor/Music connoisseur around, I started with the Mainstream.
- Raver’s Nature | Hands Up Ravers!
Still, I was more fond of Rave/Happy Hardcore/Hard Trance Music. I had this song on a very poorly recorded tape, with no tracklist. I played it over and over. It took years until I finally found out what’s the artist and title. No Shazam back then, how did we even manage…?
- The Prodigy | No Good (Start The Dance)
This was the song that got me into The Prodigy. After buying Music For The Jilted Generation, I looked for their first album (and pretty much anything else they did), and realised I already knew songs like Out Of Space or Weather Experience, but without knowing the artist. There was really no one that sounded quite like them.
- Jeff Mills | The Bells
And then The Internet arrived. I met Felix and other people that were listening to and producing Underground Electronic Music. So I started to discover all kinds of genres, to trade mp3s and browse the Web for interesting Sounds. My first love was the Minimal and Detroit Techno. When I decided I really want to produce Music, in 1999 (well, the first attempts were around 1996, but…), it was Techno. And The Bells is one of the classics.
- Busta Rhymes | Woo-Hah!! Got You All In Check
I wasn’t digging Hip Hop at all in my youth. I think it was this song (possibly the remix with Ol’ Dirty Bastard) that made me interested. I hope it was this and not Puff Daddy!
- Aphex Twin | Come To Daddy
This song is how I found out about IDM. And listening to IDM made me and Felix want to start our Makunouchi Bento project. Funny thing was, I heard Come To Daddy on TV (Viva, I think) and for me it sounded like a Hardcore version of The Prodigy’s Breathe. I went straight to my computer, connected to the Internet (oh, the Dial-Up days) and searched for Aphex Twin. Of course, it was impossible to find his albums in Romania in the 90s… And this was the first mp3 I ever downloaded, suddenly realising that there are alternative ways to find Music I’m not able to purchase.
- John Coltrane | Blue Train
I wasn’t paying much attention to Jazz when I was young. But at some point, I found myself listening to Jazz, late at night, at a local Radio station, before going to sleep. And I started to love it. Coltrane’s Blue Train album was possibly the first Jazz album I copied from a friend.
- Dr. Nelle Karajlic, Vojislav Aralica & Dejan Sparavalo | Bulgarian Dance (Black Cat, White Cat Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Black Cat, White Cat was a fucking hilarious movie. Went to see it at the cinema 2 days in a row. And the Music was really addictive. Imagine playing this really loud in the car, while going berserk. It might be this soundtrack that made me start digging into World Music.
OK, and now, here are a few tracks, from the all-time favourites I guess.
- Cylob | Rewind!
I liked this one very much, including the video starring Chloe Bruce. In a way, it inspired our Computer Boy Machine song.
- The Sabres Of Paradise | Wilmot
Addictive theme, I’ll never forget this one. Shantel covered it too, calling it Bucovina. Bullshit. This was an old Calypso song.
- Eat Static | Mondo A Go-Go!
Fast-paced Psy’n’Bass’n’Roll madness.
- Adam F | Circles
Probably my favourite Drum ‘n’ Bass track of all times. No idea what happened to Adam F after Colours… I mean Smash Sumtin’ was funny and sounded dope, Redman’s good, but still…
- Homeboy Sandman | Bad Meaning Good
Talking about Hip Hop. I recently discovered this MC who’s now part of the Stones Throw family. Quite interesting and different. Not your typical beat, either.
- Beirut | The Gulag Orkestar
This song gives me goosebumps. I’ve been lucky enough to see it performed live, and… Well, it gave me goosebumps, didn’t it?
- Antony And The Johnsons | Hope There’s Someone
Talking about goosebumps. Antony Hegarty’s voice is out of this World.
- Baby Dee | So Bad
Jesus got my Mom in there and beat her up so bad… ‘Nuff said.
- Björk | All Is Full Of Love
One of my favourite female singers. I immediately fell in Love with this song, and Chris Cunningham’s video.
- Gultskra Artikler | Begushemu Vpered
Probably the only artist I know that sounds a bit similar to what we do. Gotta like that.
- Art Of Noise | Il Pleure (At The Turn Of The Century)
Hard to choose only one song from this amazing album, The Seduction Of Claude Debussy.
- Oi Va Voi | Yuri
How about a trip to Outer Space, with comrade Gagarin?
- Felix Kubin & Coolhaven | There Is A Garden
Uber-funny Love song, toilet water included!
- Henry Mancini | Lujon
THE soundtrack for holidays, lazy evenings by the pool. Plus Sexy Beast, plus Big Lebowski.
- Autorotation | Ginger Pants
Our friends from London, formerly known as Bleep. Highly recommended.
- Nagz | Pipi
Our friend from Hungary. This song is an instant classic.
SIDE B | by Felix Petrescu
- Moses | Hollow
One of the best Pop tracks I’ve ever felt and one of the tracks I associate with urban spleen. Sometimes I feel like staging my own death just to hear this track from behind the crosses in a Romanian cemetery. Christian Dohber is such an underrated singer… This band and other Nordic bands were suggested to me by Jon from The Me Band, a long time ago.
- Sandro Perri | Circles
The perfect soundtrack for my childhood adventures: swimming and floating in Bega river, sleeping under the starry sky, reading kids books and eating zesty peaches right from the tree. Found it on Soulseek, like many amazing tracks I’ve enjoyed.
- Hanne Hukkelberg | Boble
Since I first heard Hanne, I felt a strange kind of Love. I idiotically-romantically felt that she and her Music could be my Life companions. Even if I don’t understand a word she’s singing, I consider this track being her goodbye Love letter to me (egotistical prick). I’ve listened to all her albums, so like the most good stuff in my life, I’ve found it with my own biased ears.
- Nick Drake | River Man
When I heard this track for the 1st time on MTV UK (a very long time ago when they used to play good Music) I simply stopped what I was doing that night: Making Love. This lyrical jewel made me grumpy and dreamy and I went for a night stroll in a park near my home, waiting for Godot. I was quite surprised but she understood what got into me…
- Jóhann Jóhannsson | Odi Et Amo – Bis
This piece casts a Magic spell over me. I’m totally frozen under the influence of Jóhann’s vocoded voice. Like a robot monk from a 60s Sci-Fi flick it drives me through centuries and it hacks into my internal clock. Works like a Real Time-machine. Found it on Soulseek, still the best source of strange and interesting Music I know.
- Bill Wells | Mizu Tori
I’m a Bill Wells fan and I like this Lemondale album the most from all his works. A nostalgic-sad summer song for me. It reminds me of the state of wonder when I spent my summer vacations watching Animes and I associate it with the Japanese saudade-like mood from Satoshi Kon films: Millennium Actress, Paprika, Perfect Blue.
- Robert Wyatt | At Last I Am Free (Chic Cover)
Found this track recently in one of The Avalanches mixes and I quite like its almost-like-a-march Minimalism and warmth. It speaks to me about Retro-Futurism, Small Internal Revolutions and Freedom. A very intimate message in a bottle. It makes me open my arms wide and embrace the bokeh of the Future.
- Manos Hadjidakis | The Urchins Down In The Meadow (Sweet Movie Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Found this song in Sweet Movie’s soundtrack and it’s stuck in my head ever since. It is one of the Music bugs that I don’t want to erase from my memory. It brings me Joy and Playfulness, it re-opens my appetite for Adventure and Mistery. When I listen the full soundtrack of this movie I’m feeling like Nick Carter from the Czech movie Dinner For Adele or like Fantomas. I am a twisted monster and I play it this way.
- Ennio Morricone/Joan Baez | Here’s To You (Sacco E Vanzetti Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
I heard this song 30 or more years ago on an AM radio, while I was in a summer vacation. I searched for more than 10 years to find it, but I did find it eventually. It’s almost requiem-ish structure constructed by the genius of Morricone and Joan Baez’ powerful (laic) Gospel voice are encarved in my soul forever. This is the anthem of my imaginary country.
- Efterklang | Hollow Mountain
I can describe it as Danish White Young Men Caustic Cinematic Blues, but it won’t make it much justice. This track/album, quite different from Efterklang’s previous stuff, is one of the best Musical trips I’ve had in latest years. Just imagine that all I like from Contemporary Music is in this hat, masterfully mixed: great poetic vocals, orchestral interventions, Acoustic experiments and lots of Soul. I played this track and this album all this year. And it never gets wrinkly. It also has an alternative version, somehow richer, recorded with The Danish National Chamber Orchestra. Best of Organic Electronica for me.