1. OutKast – Aquemini – Rosa Parks
My first big love right after the emancipation from random radio bullshit back in my teen years was HipHop music. So many genre defining masterpieces from that certain era still stand the test of time and this is an extraordinary example. Experimental, still catchy and without any creative boundaries. The total opposite of the generic contemporary autotune boredom. Yes, this is where I start to sound like a sad old guy!
2. Daft Punk – Discovery – Face to Face
Before I took a decade long detour into punk and hardcore, „Discovery“ was my first intimate encounter with electronic music. Since I were and still am a huge fan of Japanese Anime, it was the video concept for this album that „tricked“ me into the record, but it was the music that never let me go. The soundtrack to my last year on high school hasn’t lost any of it’s sexiness 20 years later.
3. Hans Zimmer – The Rock OST – Hummel Gets The Rockets
What a weird movie. Michael Bay plus Nicolas Cage combined in a batshit dumb action opera filled with cheesy braindead 90s dialogue. But Hans Zimmer’s magic fingers raised this cinematic trainwreck to a whole new level. I ran out of the theatre, bought the soundtrack and listened to nothing else 4 weeks in a row. The main theme is stuck in my head ever since.
4. Jun Senoue – Sonic & Knuckles – OST Lava Reef Zone Act 1
As a kid of 90s culture I got into gaming during the 16bit era. The driving soundtracks of all the early Sonic games resonated with my young self, while my older me has a profound respect for the composers of that time who composed those little masterpieces on such limited hardware. It’s an endless source of inspiration up until today.
5. Poison The Well – The Opposite of December – Artist’s Rendering of Me
The very first LP that got me into hardcore music. All this raw energy blew me away in the early 2000s and still gives me goosebumps every time I stumble upon it in my nostalgic Spotify playlists. A „Poison The Well“ shirt is the only merch item I sported straight throughout all my musical phases over the past two decades.
6. Funeral For A Friend – Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation – Bend your Arms to look like wings
Speaking of phases. These welsh guys carried me through the glorious emo ages of the new millennium, the belated teenage angst years of my generation. This particular record still carries a lot of emotional overweight, hidden in plain sight between heartbreaking vocal melodies and exceptional guitar riffing.
7. Zoot Woman – Living in a Magazine – Living in a Magazine
A timeless electro pop oasis that could easily be released nowadays even though it originated in 2001. Playfully orchestrated tunes over a monotone kraftwerky foundation. This band deserves a far brighter spot in modern pop history.
8. The Faint – Wet From Birth – Paranoiattack
This record filled the gap in my personal transition from hardcore to electronic music. Pure and energetic, angry and punkrock. Without actually being punkrock. I really miss this kind of attitude in non guitar music today. Let’s bring it back! Side note: The intro of Paranoiattack has one of my favorite bass riffs of all time.
9. Jimmy Eat World – Bleed American Cautioners
My initial intention was to keep the focus of this list out of the guitar zone, but then I realized Jimmy Eat World was missing! This iconic album is such a brilliant piece of songwriting that is unmatched even by the band itself. The density of hits on this record makes it the black hole of Indierock.
10. Sakanaction – 834.194
Japanese pop culture in all of its glory is one of my guilty pleasure obsessions. What I like about J-Pop in particular is it’s rare approach not to care about realness or credibility but to be passionately absorbed in total and absolute cheesiness. In many cases they go way too far and beyond western tolerance limits. Sakanaction does the opposite. This band is ironic, self aware and funky as hell. Still the melodies are beyond epic. Their Youtube plays are in the millions although you might have never ever heard of them up to this point. Enjoy the rabbit hole.
Deckert ‘1-1 EP (inc. Parsifal, Everything Counts remix)’ (connected)
After two standout releases on this label already with Aaaron, Deckert now gets around to his own solo release on the mighty connected. This debut solo EP by Deckert is named after the iconic first stage of the first ever Super Mario Bros, which originally originated in the 80s, just like the producer himself. He is a German artist whose early tunes made a big mark and he is now part of the Berlin underground thanks to his unique take on contemporary house music. The fantastic title track sets the pace with raw drum patterns and sawing bass hits, which are interrupted by two bold climatic twists. ‘Sakura Dust’ is another fresh offering that continues Deckert’s deep obsession with Japanese pop culture by relying heavily on the sample of a Koto, a traditional far eastern string instrument, which fulfils its harmonic arc over the whole length of this ambitious and emotional sonic tale. First up to remix is Italian-Swiss composer Parsifal, a well-known face who runs his own Kinesen label. His interpretation of ‘1-1’ adds new layers of melody and breadth to the minimalist approach of the original track and tells a story of its own. Finally, Everything Counts aka Teodora “Toshka” from Bulgaria and Chris Leon take ‘Sakura Dust’ on a melancholic ride by intensifying the East Asian foundation to its core.
Deckert ‘1-1 EP (inc. Parsifal, Everything Counts remix)’ Label: connected Release: 31st July 2020 Cat No: connected059