What I am currently listening to…

I am a fanatic user of Last.fm. Whenever I listen to a song either on my MacBook or my iPod, this information is sent to the Last.fm service which dynamically creates the chart shown above. It shows the artists I’ve been listening to during the past week. Here is what I feel about some of them:

Radiohead

I has just discovered Kid A which is an album that Radiohead did in 2000 just after OK Computer. I’ve been listening to it a lot this week and I love it. OK Computer is a fantastic album but Kid A is arguably better in the sense that it is much more experimental. I love artists who don’t rest on their laurels after having obtained a massive success and try to innovate.

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD)

I discovered electronic music in the 80′s listening to Depeche Mode. But Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and Art of Noise also played a big role in my musical education. OMD was very successful during this era with countless hits and platinum albums. A few days ago, I found out that OMD also liked experimenting and released very interesting tracks on the B-sides of their hits. All those B-sides have been collected on one CD and I’ve been listening to that lately. Furthermore, they also reworked some of their tracks for John Peel and I’ve also been listening to those.

Moby

I am a fan of Moby since listening to Go and then Play. I’ve been listening to his last album, Last Night, this week and there are some real gems on it. Moby is the grandson of Herman Melville hence his choice of artist name. The next step for me is to listen to the ambient version of Hotel. I’ll do that when I’ll have some free time at home without the kids jumping on me…

Avinash Meetoo

I like listening to my own music. They remind me of that saying: “1% is inspiration and 99% perspiration.” Composing, recording, arranging, mixing and mastering your own music is really really satisfying. And, remember, “la critique est facile, l’art est difficile.” I really need to start working on my third album. I do have some (relatively complete) tracks waiting for that elusive magic dust.

Depeche Mode

I am a die-hard Depeche Mode fan. This has been the case since 1985 when I was introduced to them by a good friend of mine, Yash. Since then, I have bought all their albums, lots of DVDs as well as a substantial number of singles. For new kids on the block, here is an excellent best-of courtesy of Last.fm:

Asian Dub Foundation

I’ve only discovered them two days ago. I’ve been listening to one of their best songs, Rebel Warrior, repeatedly since. Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:

Ami bidrohi!

I am the Rebel Warrior

I have risen alone

With my head held high

I will only rest when the cries of the oppressed

No longer reach the sky

When the sound of the sword of the oppressor

No longer rings in battle

[...]

Ami Bidrohi!

Yes the unity of the Muslim and the Hindu

Will end your tyranny

Ami Bidrohi! Ami Bidrohi!

Tricky

Considered by some to be the god of trip-hop ahead of Massive Attack and Portishead. I’ve have just discovered his 1995 album, Maxinquaye, and I’m hooked. The music and vocals by Martina Topley-Bird are close to being perfect.

I know that different people listen to music for different reasons. Personally, I don’t like to do what some call background listening. I rarely play some songs and do something else in parallel. For example, I am not listening to music while writing this blog entry.

What I like is foreground listening or active listening. I like playing a song or, better, a whole album and read about it and its creators on Wikipedia or Last.fm. I also love reading the lyrics at the same time as, like many of us, I have a lot of difficulties grasping them when they are being sung…

I wonder what would happen if music was banned?!?

Comments

  1. Laurent says:

    Hi Avinash,

    If you want to experiment artists I’ll recommend you these three though I’m afraid you already know them.These artists are -> Emmanuel Santarromana, Ulrich Schnauss and William Orbit.I discovered them from a friend in France 2 years ago as I was searching for non-popular artists who make good or even better music.
    Also,have you listened to “Third” album from Portishead ?

    Laurent.

  2. Hi Laurent,

    Thanks for the tip. I already know Ulrich Schnauss and William Orbit (more through his production work than for his own music though.) As for Portishead, I am a fan and I like their “Third” album a lot…

    I’ll have a look (or rather I’ll listen) to Emmanuel Santarromana.

  3. David Channe Vy says:

    Hmmm…Clearly your profile shows a ‘slight’ preference for DM tracks! ;)

    Hey, I remember Maxinquaye! Wow, it’s been quite some time since I last listened to Overcome, Hell Is Around The Corner and Aftermath…brings back fond memories! :)

    I bought Tricky’s debut album back in 1995 when Trip Hop and what the press used to call “The Bristol Sound”, was taking emerging from the underground scene mostly with Massive Attack’s widely successful 1994 album, Protection.

    Maxinquaye was one of the many albums that played in loop on my Discman, together with Portishead’s Dummy (too bad there were no iPods in the mid 90s, and we had to carry all those CDs around!). Tricky’s subsequent albums had some decent tracks, but slowly got more experimental and less accessible. Suprisingly, his new release, Knowle West Boy, takes the opposite direction: very accessible and by far one of his most radio-friendly work in years!

    Portishead’s Third is also one of my favourite album this year. Hopefully Massive’s upcoming album will be as good.

    Albums that stayed on my playlists for the past twelve months includes: Hooverphonic – The President of the LSD Golf Club, Tycho – Past Is Prologue, Ochre – A Midsummer Nice Dream and Lemodie, Squarepusher – Hello Everything, Sigur Ros (with album names too complicated to type!)…and a couple of tracks from unsigned artists that I found interesting: like Adam Fielding, The Deep Elements, Anitserk, Danny Patterson, etc…

    As for my all time ‘classics’, the list is quite lengthy. What immediately comes to mind: Recoil (Alan Wilder) – Unsound Methods, Future Sound of London – Dead Cities and ISDN, Bjork – Homogenic, Fluke – Rissotto, Porcupine Tree – In Absentia, Yann Tiersen – Amelie (Soundtrack), Orbital – In Sides, Lamb – Lamb, Photek – Modus Operandi, Autechre – Amber and Tri-Repetae…

  4. If alternative/indie is your poison too, then I warmly recommend Amy Mac Donald, The Do, Saint Etienne, Blonde Redhead and The Long Blondes.

    I am also listening to Lucinda Williams and Bird York.

    Cheers,
    Aadil.

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