“I don’t like a single Daft Punk track. It’s something in their aesthetics that sounds like plastic to me.” Tigerskin discusses his all-time favourites (and not-so-favourites).
What’s the first record you ever bought?
I bought Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon cassette tape on my way home from guitar lessons in a second hand store when I was 10 or 11. I just liked the cover art. I had to rewind several parts a couple times on my Walkman the first time listening. Still one of the greatest pieces of art ever done in recorded music. Hands down. First vinyl LP I ever bought was Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures. Second hand of course.
The first time you remember hearing electronic music?
The Tornados – ‘Telstar’. My father had a tape machine in the late 70s with tons of reels, basically German Schlager and 60s/70s pop music. He had recorded some outtakes of Jean Michel Jarre‘s Oxygene and Equinoxe, as well as stuff like Gershon Kingsley‘s ‘Popcorn’ and The Tornados’ ‘Telstar,’ one of Joe Meek‘s more successful recordings.
New wave and punk came up and in the late 80s, where I spent my days, synthesisers were for losers, organs for grannies. Only in recent years, due to the availability of rather rare LPs on YouTube or blogs, I rediscovered Joe Meek’s amazing studio work and found out that ‘Telstar’ hasn’t aged at all, at least for me.
Your favourite ever record?
Billie Holiday & Ray Ellis Orchestra – ‘Lady in Satin’. I once read an article about Ray Ellis where he said how much he disliked the recording sessions because Billie Holiday was too wasted and how much he loved it after hearing the finished record. It’s probably the saddest record ever recorded and the masterpiece of one of the greatest singers ever. These recordings are kind of proto-songs for what I would like to achieve one day.
The guaranteed floor-filler?
Josh Wink – ‘Higher State Of Consciousness’. There is no such thing as a sure thing. A track that fills the floor in one place can totally clear it in another. Depending on the place, the crowd, the age of the track, the year you play it or the country you play at, and whatever other reasons there might be. But a couple of times I was given a hard time finding my way into live sets, having to play right after a DJ who finished with Josh Wink’s ‘Higher State Of Consciousness’.
The guilty pleasure?
Richard Clayderman – ‘Ballade Pour Adeline’. I always liked beautiful music better than the raw, cool kids stuff. This one’s a pop classic. I always told everybody how much I hated it. Kids would have stoned me but I was lying. The truth is, it’s exactly how I like my music to be: simple, loopy, with a little story and the majestic element, melancholy. And it has ‘that string’ on it too.
The last track of the night?
Uffe – ‘When The Sun Rose’. A friend asked me to help mixing Uffe’s first two EPs for Pets Records and Get Physical back then. I still play it in my sets from time to time as final track or encore. It’s truly beautiful.
The best chillout record?
Brian Eno – ‘Ambient 4: On Land’. There’s too many to name a few. Long ago, a friend borrowed some records from a public library (does anybody remember that?) and stored them at my place for a week. I don’t remember much of the other records in the package, but some of the more experimental stuff, Frieder Butzmann, Karlheinz Stockhausen and this beautiful Brian Eno record also made it into my collection later. I used this a couple times trying to fall asleep. Didn’t work.
The record everyone loves but you hate?
Daft Punk – ‘Da Funk’. You probably won’t find many people who dislike Daft Punk. I don’t like a single one of their tracks. It’s something in their aesthetics that sounds like plastic to me. It’s either the digital vocoders or the ‘distorted’ bass sounds. Haven’t decided yet. I stop dancing when it goes like this.
The soundtrack to a lazy Sunday afternoon?
Pantera is for Sundays. Since forever. This was the last rock music I was into before electronic music took over. I was a so-so rock guitarist and had decided to start recording songs completely by myself with the help of tape recorders rather than to fight with a band’s lead guitarist about how loud each of us has to be for the bass player, drummer, keys and singer to still be able to hear themselves play or sing. I played in various totally unknown bands and on stage for fair audiences a couple of times, punk rock and ballads. You know… late 80s stuff. It was good fun.
Pantera was the opposite of where I was at the time, but as a musician it’s good to raise the bar high. My favourite studio album of the era with an overall sound that became a standard later – even though this is not the first and only record with ‘that’ 90s rock sound.
The record you’re proudest of?
I’m proud of all my works but the best ones I just did for myself. The first Dub Taylor album is special because it was the only album I ever did where the label gave me total freedom to do whatever I want. It’s not the best music ever recorded and it’s rather experimental and the production wasn’t too good but hey… it’s me. Took me less than two weeks to finish alongside a nine-to-five job and the CD version included my very last rock music demo recording from around 1993 as a ‘hidden’ track.