The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Compiling & Filing: Jan St. Werner's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , April 30th, 2015 11:23

With his operatic performance-cum-radio play Miscontinuum released as an album earlier this year, the Mouse On Mars man takes Nick Hutchings on a trawl of his favourite avant-garde and experimental records

Can_1430392589_resize_460x400

Can - Future Days
Can were a bunch of geniuses having a good time together. None of them is trying to top what the other is doing. I really love Can and Mouse On Mars loves Can.

They were the soundtrack to my time in Cologne. After I left school I moved to Munich first, but it didn't work out too well. I couldn't stand the city and it didn't like me either. When I went onto Cologne it was all open skies, and I felt like I'd been set free. At the time I was listening to Future Days because I loved the music so much, because it was so organic and warm. It was only years later I realised the relevance of the title, as it was the soundtrack of the future ahead of me.

I was not a fan of electronic music for a long time and it took me a while to shake my prejudice. I was always a big Queen fan and on each record they always had a little sentence that exclaimed, 'No synthesizers used', even though they were spending years and millions of pounds on production. Being a teenage idiot I always thought that music without synthesisers meant it was 100% certified good music. When I saw bands play live, the people behind the synthesisers were always the most boring. They had the worst haircuts, the shittiest clothes and no idea about how to move their bodies. It was always horrible and the sounds they were using were really shit stuff.

It was probably the sampler that made me start to appreciate the keyboard. It was all about percussion, it was all about organic sounds and Future Days was the link from the organic world of played or 'real' music to the more abstract ideas of what sound can do.

Last week I met Damo Suzuki for only the second time. I had met him before backstage at a Seefeel concert in Cologne, but I got to know him better because we worked on a sound installation for a museum space close to Cologne. He still has the same incredible energy and momentum from the time of Can, which is really a 'do it' energy. He's very much into concerts and live performances. He's not so much into recordings, which is much more my thing. I really respect the energy that he has in performance though. He's always playing full risk. Holger Czukay, however, had both immediacy and really well laid-out production skills...


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.