Despite sometimes working for hours in silence, we listen to lot's of and all kinds of music in our studio, either our own music or via Spotify, online playlists and radio stations (6 Music, WFMU etc). We also get to a lot of gigs and buy a fair amount of new music, usually on vinyl if available. It's quite hard to pick out individual tracks for this list as we often play through whole albums, but here's a selection of frequently occurring favorites.

Elton John – Amoreena  

He's made some dogs of records, but some of Elton John's early albums are amazing. Not only is this used as the opening soundtrack to one of our all time favourite films (Dog Day Afternoon) but it's one of those songs you can put on at any time and it just makes everything feel better. It's a great first-song-of-the-morning - it's like importing bottled sunshine from the early '70's, and great for combating any early morning blues.


Lou Reed – New York Telephone Conversation


There are more celebrated songs on his album "Transformer", but for some reason this is the one we find ourselves going back to most often. It has an evocative playfulness and charm, and goes from a weariness with the world to a love letter in one and a half minutes flat. Guaranteed to make you smile. 

Squeeze – Take Me I'm Yours  

AKA When Crispin met Finn.


The Beatles – You Never Give Me Your Money


The second side of The Beatles "Abbey Road" is maybe our favorite sequence of music ever, and this is the first song of what's know as the "Long Medley". It's difficult to pick one song out but this is a beautiful piece of music - sad, honest, uplifting, innovative - and this song in particular stays in the head for days after listening. It's even more amazing when you consider that it was made by four people going through a musical "break-up", marking the end of a prolonged period of creativity in which they laid out the templates for so much modern and contemporary music. Just goes to show, anyone that doesn't "get" the Beatles is a dick.


Camper Van Beethoven – Storms

In 2001 as an experiment to see if they could bury their differences to continue playing together, Camper Van Beethoven decided to cover Fleetwood Mac's double album "Tusk" in it's entirety. The record has moments of borderline hilarity and occasional rough edges that initially make you question if the band are taking it seriously, but their sincerity and musicianship quickly come through. The idea of remaking one of popular music's longest and most indulgent albums from beginning to end is such a perverse and wonderful idea, particularly as a test to see if they could still cohere as a band.
It feels as though it might fall apart at any moment but somehow they keep it up and create a record that's entirely their own. It's perfect music to struggle along to.

Delia Derbyshire – Happy Birthday  

Short and very sweet, a tiny gem from the brilliant Delia Derbyshire and the BBC Radiophonic workshop.

Fantomas – Charade  

Creative workaholic Mike Patton is an inspirational figure for us. Fantomas is one of his many diverse projects that regularly get an airing as we work. This track from the "Directors Cut" album of film soundtrack cover music is one of our favourites. It fuses the calypso beat of Mancini's original with tight passages of what could probably be described as death metal, all pulled along by Patton's multiple instrument and voice work. Also employing various members of Slayer, Melvins and Mr Bungle, it's evocative, sharp and fun. 
Apparently Danny DeVito is a big fan (really).

The Barbarians – Moulty  

We found this on the "Nuggets" compilation album of lost '60's garage rock singes. If ever there was a song to put on when you're feeling like the world is on top of you it's this. The self narrated story of the Barbarians' one armed drummer Victor "Moulty" Moulton and how he overcame his physical loss is both uplifting and defiant. Apart the bit at the end where he can't get a girl.

No Age – Fever Dreaming  

No Age are a good engine for the mind, particularly when you need to get your head down and push through a deadline. Their sound is concentrated, focused, and sometimes almost claustrophobic. You feel every drop of their energy is being channelled into their music (seeing them live confirms this). This track has a curious passage of ambience at the end of the song. Interesting. Also, one half of Crispin Finn (naming no names) had to visit A&E with a sprained neck from headbanging to this track. Hmmm.

Ween – Roses Are Free  

We love Ween, they're probably the most played band in the studio. As hard as it is to select just one of their songs for this list - they're a band of such amazing variety - this one always does the business. A perfect compliment to getting pre-pub, de-mob happy late on a Friday afternoon, it's also pretty much impossible not to air-guitar along with Dean Ween's guitar solo - the only guitar legend we know of that also operates fishing trip excursions in New Jersey. Excellent.

Bonus track:
Death Vessel – Mandan Dink

As introduced to us by our studio pal Richard Hogg, when all the work is done, signed off and thumbs up, this is the sound of happiness.  And yes, that IS a guy singing. 


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