All of the songs listed below were personally chosen by the artist or blogger above. I got in touch with a lot of artists and bloggers who were all kind enough to get back to me and take part in Desert Island Discs. If you’re unaware of the concept behind Desert Island Discs, check out the basic pitch I gave the artists and bloggers I got in touch with. You can support the artists featured by clicking on the album cover and buying their music.
While I (Jess) did research on the track selections for the Jensen Sportag intro just over a month ago, their remix of Teeel‘s “Ojai Valley” caught my ear not only for its contrasting transformation, but also for his wide-spanning vocals and perceptive lyrics. As I make my way into researching his catalogue, take a look at the influences and must-haves of James Smith for this week’s Desert Island Discs; it should be apparent through the selection how he gets his preference for painting a Kubrick-ian vision with his music.
Wendy Carlos – “The Funeral of Queen Mary”
Obsessed with the 1971 film, A Clockwork Orange, I cannot express my passion for the heavenly synth-drenched soundtrack. Walter, now Wendy Carlos composed the soundtrack with MOOG synthesizers, which was one of the first times electronic music was featured in film. This song takes me right back into Stanley Kubrick’s timeless classic. A perfect way to start my day on the island.
Air – “New Star in the Sky”
Two of my favorite french producers make the sweetest and most romantic electronica using their massive instrument collection. I’m sure you’re familiar with their soundtrack work in “Virgin Suicides” “New Star in the Sky” is one hell of a sexy track that is a mix of of 70s prog rock, spacey experimental and elevator porn music that’s sure to tell a beautiful story. The vocoder vocals blew my mind when I heard this song live.
Tycho – “Dictaphone’s Lament”
I’ve pretty much broken the “Past is Prologue” album from Tycho from playing it so much. Scott Hansen creates some of the most amazing music and is also a fantastic visual artist as well. He’s perfected his craft and created a brand. I can honestly listen to his music on repeat, especially if I was stranded on an island. Beautiful melodies and distant reverb take me away to that special place in “Dictaphone’s Lament”.
Telefon Tel Aviv – “The Birds”
“The Birds” is an amazing electronic composition from Josh Eustis and the late Charlie Cooper. This song takes flight into a beautiful dream of pulsating synths, stuttering drums, epic vocals and drowning pads. Telefon Tel Aviv have created an own-able sound and have been at it forever. True pioneers in electronic music.
John B. – “Midnight Air”
I’m a big drum n bass fan and John B. is one of my all-time favorite producers in this genre. He’s written everything from beautiful trance inspired electrostep tunes that utilize gorgeous strings, layered pads and vocals to wicked bass heavy, rinsed out old school jungle. No matter what style, John B. conveys an idea and nails it every time. His electro/80s approach takes drum n bass music to another dimension and has it’s own uniqueness. “Midnight Air” is a personal favorite that I’ve listened to hundreds of times.
Tool – “Lateralus”
Tool is one of my favorite bands and write some of the most intricate and thought provoking music. They’ve managed to stay creative and true to their art and not selling out too bad. In Lateralus, Maynard James Keenan’s verses form the first few Fibonacci numbers, ascending and descending. They always put thought and emotion into their songs, videos and live performances. They are truly amazing.
Aether – “Anywhere”
This re-imagining and use of vocal sample “I’m not going anywhere” is amazing. Aether’s entire album could play on the island forever and you would get a full range of emotion from happy to sad. Nostalgia and good vibes come off this track leaving an amazing impression on the soul. Aether takes Vinyl dirt, smooth ambience, thumping drums, hints of guitar, sweet sample hooks, puts them in a blender and everything comes together like it was meant to be.
The Album Leaf – “Red Eye”
The Album Leaf aka Jimmy Lavalle has developed his own unique style of easy listening with his signature rhodes piano, live strings and vintage synths. With the help of Joshua Eustis from Telefon Tel Aviv, The Album Leaf get a nice treatment of glitch, bleeps, and hits. “Into the Blue” is an amazing album and one of my favorites and I feel “Red Eye” captures the essence of the entire concept in this epic 7-minute track.
Silver Sea – “La Lluvia”
This song from the first album of Silver Sea, one of my side projects with guitarist, David Payne. This music is actually perfect for chilling on the beach and relaxing. “The Lluvia” (The Rain) would be a good song for the end to the the day, sitting in my man-made hut and watching the sun set. Tropical rains trickle down to replenish the island which ends up casting a rainbow in the sky. Perfection.