Joe Meek & the Blue Men – I Hear a New World  

This was the pet project and unreleased concept album by legendary bedroom producer Joe Meek, recorded in 1959. A record about outer space, but with a skiffle band to ground it with one foot on earth. Sounds effects created through low-fi techniques like blowing bubbles in water through a straw. Meek used to set up tape machines in graveyards to record the sounds of ghosts, and finally killed himself and his landlady in 1967 in his flat on the Holloway Road. I have lots of Meek compilations, but this album in its entirety is fantastic.


Kevin Rowland – I Can't Tell the Bottom from the Top


This knocked me out in 1999 when it came out. Apparently the record was an utter disaster selling about 500 copies and seeing him bottled off stage at Reading Festival. At the time my friends and I had started an art movement in Bedford, with a manifesto entitled Maximum Irony! Maximum Sincerity. We were seventeen years old and with no real art history knowledge or anything like that. Anyway, Kevin Rowland's song seemed to perhaps have something to do with what we were up to. I sincerely hope it isn't ironic, I don't think it is. Anyway, I decided to revisit it recently and found it as joyous as ever. And I saw him perform with Dexies last week, a cracking 10min version of Come On Eileen...

Girl Unit – Wut  

On Night Slugs label last year-ish. I listen to this a lot, and on the odd occasion recently that I have DJ'd, mostly together with Ed Atkins, this is one of the things I look forward to playing.


Sun Ra and his Arkestra – I'll Wait for You


One of my favourite artists is certainly Sun Ra. His ability to fuse politics and music through science fiction, mythology and Jazz is really something remarkable. If I ever want to transform the studio I'll put Sun Ra on the PA. The Sun Ra Arkestra is still performing, minus Sun Ra, and I've seen them three times recently. The last residency at Cafe Oto was one of the single best live music experiences I've had not counting the plentitude of adolescent memories; there was a slow number about half way through that was completely devastating, they are a really exceptional group, something set up that can continue long after the figure-head has exited planet earth.


The Modern Lovers – Old World

A figure that has really somehow affected me is Jonathan Richman, but particularly this Modern Lovers record. Recently I was in a show curated by my friend David Raymond Conroy, loosely about sincerity, which took it's title from the Jonathan Richman song "A Plea for Tenderness". David edited together a plethora of interviews from Jonathan Richman to include in the show, kind of framing Jonathan's whole persona as a performance, although no one's sure. This track though is sincere and perfect, I like the way he positions himself as infatuated with the 'new world', punk, the 60's etc, but also captured by a nostalgia for the innocence of the 'old world', looking backwards and forwards at the same time.

Johnny Parry Chamber Orchestra – Rebuild it Piece by Piece  

This for me really is studio music, as within my studio is a recording studio which I share with Johnny Parry, so whenever Johnny is recording an album I hear ever moment of its evolution, every take and every meticulously recorded part. Luckily, as well as a friend and collaborator (Johnny is also in my band the Grubby Mitts), he is still my musical hero, and pretty much everything he does is remarkable, especially the new material with the twenty or so members of his new Chamber Orchestra. This track, Rebuild it Piece by Piece uses a technique that both Johnny and I are fond of, assembling lyrics from found sources; and in this case Johnny's collection of generic uplifting phrases coupled with his string arrangements produces something I find deeply moving.

Arthur Russell – Lucky Cloud  

Originally I though the best way to do this Studio Music was just to see what the top ten tracks were in my "top 25 most played" list on Itunes. However the top ten were pretty much taken up by two artists, Arthur Russell and Jim O'Rourke. Somehow Jim O'Rourke has not made this list as I couldn't pick one. But what I love about both these two artists is their eclectic outputs, united by absolutely singular voices. Jim O'Rourke makes twisted songwriter records as well as abstract improvised electronica and covers of Bert Bacharach. Arthur Russell is really special, I love his minimal classical pieces and his disco but particularly the World of Echo. I recently bought the documentary on him called Wild Combination, which shows the breadth of the territory he charted and originality of his entire output.

Carl Stalling – Marching Elephants  

Carl Stalling wrote much of the music in the golden age of cartoon. I've recently been giving a lecture, a sort of manifesto or performance piece, called Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape, which looks at physics in cartoons to loosely propose a possible future for art making. In the process I've been immersing myself in all things cartoon, and have always loved the ability of Carl Stalling to imitate sounds on traditional instruments whilst remaining inside a scored piece of music.

Bob Dylan – Forever Young  

For Dan, to whom I owe so much, so many cd's of his remain forever unreturned in my collection, remembered fondly when I hear so many different songs x

Shellac – The End of Radio  

This is the John Peel session version, I remember sitting out on the street listening to it on the car radio when it was broadcast, the car doors open, sat with friends, I still remember the feel of the concrete under my hand. It stopped us all in our tracks, absolutely something to aspire to, gives me shivers ever time, kind of the final word in song writing, a vehicle for all emotion, a song about communication.


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