Recently, NEWdOG Records announced the release of “Once Only” – the most recent record by prog-rock supergroup – Eternal Return. Following XS Noize’s request, the bass-player of Eternal Return, member of Porcupine Tree, Twinscapes, Metallic Taste Of Blood, O.R.k and solo-artist – Colin Edwin chose his top 10 the most frequently listened to records all through the lockdown.
Bab L’ Bluz – Nayda
I can trance out and listen to Gnawa music all day long, and as I’m unable to go anywhere these days, it’s a welcome form of vicarious travel. You can really hear where the blues come from after listening to Gnawa music, and it seems to be a form of music that readily absorbs and develops, Bab L’Bluz are a great example of a modern take on a very old form. In a similar Gnawa vein, Fangnawa Experience by Fanga & Maalem Abdallah Ginea and the band Electric Jalaba are also on heavy rotation.
Goat – New Games
The intense minimalist band from Japan, rather than the Swedish band of the same name. Sort of like Nick Bartsch’s Ronin but even more fanatical and disciplined. Music for over-anal types or psychopaths (or both) perhaps, but for some reason, I can usually concentrate on boring tasks much better after listening to this. It’s like resetting my brain.
Glintshake – Польза
I copied the Cyrillic title from the album text, but I have no idea what it means, a crate-digging Bandcamp discovery from a couple of years ago but still a favourite. Sounds a bit like The Au-Pairs, This Heat, Talking Heads and maybe Gang of Four meeting up somewhere and having a jam, but in Russian, it’s a lot of fun. A favourite in my car, although of course, I am not driving much these days.
Deftones – Ohms
At least 2020 bought us a new Deftones album and a very good one too. I remember the first time I saw Deftones live, watching from the side of the stage at a festival in Germany, one of their first performances after they’d been inactive for a few years. They had a less than an ideal slot in the mid-afternoon, but they were fantastic, and the sense of rebirth was palpable. After that and despite not really connecting with their earlier records, I totally “got it” and I’ve followed them ever since.
John Foxx – Metamatic
Metamatic used to be a favourite a long time ago, but I hadn’t listened to it for years and years. I’ve recently revisited it; it seems perfect for our now empty, alienating urban landscapes. It’s eerie, sparse, also pretentious and flawed but it manages to sound simultaneously dated and yet also quite futuristic, which messes with my head. Amazing also to think that the cultural climate of the 1980’s allowed for John Foxx to appear on Top Of The Pops robotically singing a song about an Underpass.
Givt – Datenverarbeiter
I sought out several obscure Jaki Liebezeit collaborations after reading Jono Podmore’s excellent biography “Life, Theory and Practice of a Master Musician” last year, which is well worth a read. “Givt” is sonically engaging, and has Jaki Liebezeit playing as inventively as on any Can-record.
Cappella Romana – Lost Voices of Hagia Sophia
I don’t know anything about Medieval Byzantine chants, but I know what I like. A choral album of very old sacred chants recorded live and then processed through a software model of the Hagia Sophia’s acoustics in Istanbul. I read that the modelling involved popping a load of balloons inside the building and recording the sound to capture the reverb’s characteristics, recording nerds will know this as an impulse response convolution reverb.
The importance of the reverb can’t be overstated, added to the voices, there’s an amazing depth to the sound, and it’s a true sonic time travel experience, hearing what it must have been like to listen to those chants in what was once the biggest dome in the world.
Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou – May Our Chambers be Full
Not just an unlikely meeting that really works very well. For me this album is a great soundtrack to this winter of isolation, it’s dark and primal, and something about this album really delves down into the subconscious somehow. Transcendent is probably the right word.
Killing Joke – Extremities, Dirt and Various Repressed Emotions
A bit scary to realize this album came out over 30 years ago as I clearly remember a younger me getting it (on cassette) when it first came out. I am not even sure if this would be my favourite Killing Joke album, but it’s stood the test of time well and still sounds intense, raging and furious to my ears. The album’s themes of environmental degradation and corporate greed are as relevant now as ever. The song Slipstream has taken on a new meaning for me in these time frozen lockdown ever-present moments – “Time means nothing to me anymore”…..
Inna Zhelannya – Izvorot
According to a Russian friend, Inna Zhelannaya sings songs “like your granny would”. My granny never sang anything like this for sure. Izvorot is predominantly new interpretations of ancient Russian folk songs with an almost funky but very trippy, psychedelic vibe, a killer rhythm section. Apparently, mushrooms grow in abundance where these songs come from so the shamanic element is never far away.
I also like to listen to Inna’s mighty bass player Grebstel to try and steal his ideas and admire his amazing tone and feel.
Get ‘Once Only’ by Eternal Return