Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Top 10 gateway albums (well 9 and a label)

A top 10: not the best by these artists (necessarily) nor my favourite (ditto) but albums that led me elsewhere. In no order other than the first.

Bowie: Low
This is the ultimate album for me. It exploded my appreciation of Bowie into another level, introduced me to Eno (properly - I had No Pussyfooting but didn't understand it) and effectively reinvigorated my interest in Fripp (really via Heroes, but also through his solos on Eno albums). Bowie thus cemented his place as one of my musical triumvirate, who I see as the key to my musical life.

  • (Interesting addendum: I remembered John Schaefer of WNYC soundcheck doing a program on Music that changed My Life, & Low was the one identified in his blog - I emailed him about the similarity of our response: found it again


King Crimson: Larks Tongues in Aspic
The complexity and excitement of this album grabbed me, and this era Crimson is my favourite, though it took me back to earlier albums (I had a lacunae between this and In The Court...). Delivered an ongoing love of Fripp's work tht continues to now with the soundscapes available through DGM live.

Brian Eno: Another Green World
Opened my eyes to ambience and to all things Eno. Following his work has been a musical revelation and he will pop up a couple more times. Plus the album has a cover by Tom Phillips who became my favourite visual artist through various gateways, including Starless and Bible Black (King Crimson)
Other Eno doors

  • Discreet music: I would like to include all 10 Obscure albums, but this isn't about labels. Long form ambience on this album, but all the 'modern' classical available on the label (see also Irma)
  • Thursday Afternoon: my first cd purchase, before I had a player.

Easy Rider Soundtrack
The first album I bought with the first paycheck from my first job. The start of the addiction

Steve Roden:splint (the soul of wood)
That music can come from obscure sources, that ambience can be minimal and engrossing, that one person can encompass music, painting, installations and sculpture. My regret is that I haven't seen the real thing yet. An entree to his music and the 'lowercase' world

Alan Lamb: Primal Image
I want to mention Darrin Verhagen and Dorobo anyway - he introduced me to so much great music - a true pusher! But this album opened the world of found soundsources, field recording, label aesthetics and more. An effective route to people like Aube.

Phillip Glass: Einstein on the Beach
I bought and played this album and discovered the wonders of minimalism and its divisiveness - described by one listener as the most boring thing they had heard. A PG concert was the most exciting one I have been to, I think

Miles Davis: Jack Johnson sessions
While finding mispriced items in the early days of downloads (for example, for a day the John Lennon box set was $15) I found the Miles sets. When they first came out I saw them and loved the packaging but wondered why people would pay so much for them. When the sets popped up for the price of a single album, I thought why not. And could see the attraction (sort of): they contain tons of interesting music. I wouldn't pay big bucks, but I have enjoyed them all and allowed me to explore and delve further into the amazing world of probably the cross over artist.

Muslimgauze: not sure which one
Can't remember which it was, but have so many now. Something of a deadend really, a highway to nowhere else - but through Terry Bennet and the Muslimgauze site I have found some other musc. But Muslimgauze is so big, a drug of its own.

John Kannenberg: Stasisfield
OK, it's a label. But it was probably the first web label I came across at &etc; John sent me a cd of their first year. The label showed me many people and also led me to a (troubling - I overdid it a bit at work) almost infinite world of freely available music on the web.

eM (Michael bentley) and Larry Kucharz
More of another thank you - they were people who gave me support when I went solo reviewing

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