1. Japan – Swing
From the album Quiet Life and forward, these guys all made great music. David Sylvian has been a big influence.
2. The ORB – Little Fluffy Clouds
Love this album, ‘Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld’ with a perfect opener, still play this a lot and a new album that sounds very interesting is on its way.
3. Kraftwerk – Neon Lights
Anything from these guys, everything is great, this one did something special for me.
4. Art Of Noise – Paranoimia
‘Paranoimia’, original from ‘In Visible Silence’, ambient house maybe? Fantastic album and followup to ‘Who’s Afraid Of The Art Of Noise’. Had this in my discman for a whole summer back when it came out.
5. Whignomy Brothers – Wombat
Kompakt Total 7 is my favourite Kompakt sampler. I just loved all the tracks on this one, the fantastic Sonntag by Robert Babicz, SCSI 9, Triola with a lovely remix by Whignomys, The Rice Twins, Oxia, the whole album. Everything Robag Whrume is a part of, hits me right in the heart.
6. Led Zeppelin – Down By The Seaside
Physical Graffiti, I have no words for how much I love this album. First time I heard Led Zeppelin I was ten years old and it just blew me away, and here you have a bit of everything they are so good at, mixing different styles on one album. Real eclecticism.
7. David Bowie – Joe The Lion
Probably my favourite album by Bowie. With Tony Visconti and Robert Fripp and the one and only Brian Eno. And, giving us the brilliant Black Star as he left this world….
8. Yukihiro Takahashi – Extra.Ordinary
The voice and drummer of YMO’s third solo album. Including guest appearances by Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera and 80’s fantastic producer and brain behind New Music, Tony Mansfield.
9. Yazoo – Bad Connections
This album changed everything for me, I went from a prog rock and punk fan to also being an electronica fan over night. It led me on a journey into a new world of sounds. All the great artists experimenting with electronics in the 80’s like OMD, Depeche Mode, China Crises and more obscure artists like Cabaret Voltaire, Gardening By Moonligh etc…
10 Thomas Dolby – One Of Our Submarines
Last one is from the fantastic Thomas Dolby. This one from his debut album. Just excellent and a huge inspiration. This is the live version, notice the coolest “drum machine” ever.
Robert Solheim – Land (Aquavit BEAT)
A year after releasing part one, Aquavit BEAT founder Robert Solheim offers up Land, the second part of his latest album project. Norwegian artist Robert Solheim is a top solo studio hand but also busy collaborator who has held residencies in Spain and gigged all over Europe while picking up fans such as Sasha, John Digweed and Herman Cattaneo. His sound takes in dark electronic pop as well as more underground grooves and this double album took inspiration from his first project, Current, which was more ambient, downtempo, and melodic-house focussed. In his own words Solheim says, “The albums are inspired by the ever changing weather, storms, rain, sunshine breaking through the clouds, thundering waves breaking in from the sea, the silence in the woods and strolling around rural roads and beaches on Averøy on the West coast of Norway where I grew up. I didn’t want to rush it because I wanted it to be perfect in the sense that it had to reflect feelings from my hometown.” This moving musical journey opens with the deep techno of ‘Siste Magnestisk Drag’, which is detailed with frosty static and grey synth clouds overhead, but eventually they break to allow lush synths to shine through. ‘Kristiansund Radio Lytter’ is a hypnotic track built on dub chords and warm, rolling drums that encourage your mind to wander. More smeared synth work adds scale as you sink ever deeper. The midway point is marked by the gorgeous ‘Baal I Fjaera’, a six minute downbeat opus with gently propulsive rhythms overlaid by exquisite ambient chords and keys that twinkle and sparkle in the distance, it’s a comforting place to be. The spacious ‘Skip I Horisonten’ is a soothing deep house track with evocative leads and watery chords enveloping you from every angle. Last of all is ‘Terraforming’, a final ambient piece that suspends you in a heavenly sky space with rays of light and drifting pads all adding to the calming effect. This is another meditative album of ambient, house and dub soundscapes that are rich in detail and lush in design.