The first thing I loved – it’s so unique. I noticed something new listening again today, there’s an electric piano playing a normal 12 bar blues rhythm under most of the song. How odd is that?
David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes (Official Video)
2. Harmonic 313 – Köln
Anything by Mark Pritchard. The super-ambient one he did a couple of years ago was just beautiful, but I’ve had a soft spot for this melting gem for ages, here under his Harmonic 313 moniker.
Harmonic 313 - Köln
3. Plaid – White’s Dream
Plaid are my longest-standing friends in music. Too many to choose from 10+ albums but this is pretty lush. It’s from the OST for the film Tekkonkinkreet, directed by Michael Arias.
White's Dream - Plaid / Tekkonkinkreet Soundtrack / A Michael Arias Film
4. Charles Webster – Secrets Held
Charles is brilliant, with such a deep and heartfelt connection to everything he makes. This one is from his recent album ‘Decision Time’ and has some guitar by me towards the end.
Secrets Held (feat. Emilie Chick)
5. Mykki Blanco – Wavvy
I was totally addicted to this one when it came out – what a tune and what a vid, bold as love.
Mykki Blanco - Wavvy - Directed by Francesco Carrozzini
6. Cocteau Twins – Cherry-coloured Funk
I was surprised to hear that the Cocteaus were Prince’s favourite group because they were so un-funky, but the sheer romance and beauty in their music is timeless, and Liz Fraser’s meta-lyrical style makes the songs impossible to cover and all the more special for that.
Cocteau Twins - Cherry-coloured Funk
7. The Durutti Column – For Rachel
Manchester music soundtracked my teens, and Vini Reilly is one of the guitarists I looked up to when I first started making sounds – I’d got hold of a delay pedal and would spend my days in a surfy paradise. I think you can hear some of his influence in my guitar work (e.g. Plaid’s ‘Ralome’).
The Durutti Column - For Rachel
8. The Groop – A Famous Myth
The vocal melodies from Play Flights were sketched out using the Alchemy synth in Logic, then I asked a local female choir to come and record them in my living room – it ended up being quite a big part of the album sound. I’m pretty sure this soundtrack was an influence somehow.
A Famous Myth
9. Fairport Convention – The Lobster
I’ve always been into folk music – the witchier the better. I love this insane folk horror track from the first Fairport album, set in the mind of a lobster (naturally).
10. Kate Bush – A Coral Room
As brave as she is brilliant – this one totally floored me when I first heard it, this is a song about grief and the passing of time.
A Coral Room
Mason Bee Lumito (inc. Charles Webster Remixes)
Mason Bee (aka Benet Walsh) is the multi-instrumentalist who, for many years, has been a co-writer and touring partner with Warp’s seminal UK electronic act Plaid. Last year he showed off his natural flare for melody and beautiful arrangements on his acclaimed debut album. It drew on folk, electronic and psychedelic sounds to serve up ever-morphing landscapes made from field recordings, acoustic instruments and DIY studio techniques. He now kicks off his 2021 with another innovative and enigmatic new single.
The gorgeous ‘Lumito’ has a groove constructed from clicks, zips and hits, while there is true beauty in the lead melody that drifts up top. Perfectly combining the synthetic with the acoustic, this naturalistic track has a lush sound with breezy vocal coos and live jazz drums that swell all around you as you gaze on in wonder. The accompanying music video is a perfect visual reflection of the record from creator Bob Jaroc (Plaid, Fatboy Slim, Paranoid London) which seamlessly mixes vintage textures, artificial intelligence, lasers and classic oil and dye techniques, weaving Mason Bee’s track into a psychedelic magic carpet ride “through the conception and birth of the Lumito moon”.
mason bee - lumito (official video)
Revered UK veteran Charles Webster has been a core part of the underground for decades. Known for everything from house to downtempo and everything in between, he is associated with cult labels like Peacefrog and Defected. Last year, his ‘Decision Time’ album provided another sumptuous serving of his signature sounds with plenty of contemporary flourishes. His first remix here is a gorgeously airy and delicate fusion of folk, indie and electronic into a track that encourages daydreaming. The delicious Deep Dub is just that – something primed for getting lost in while it plays loud on a basement sound system, and the Reprise is pure ambient beauty with soul-enriching flutes, keys and smeared vocal sounds that help you ascend into the sky.
Out now… Mason Bee Lumito (inc. Charles Webster Remixes) (Pollen Kit Recordings – PK007)