As he releases new Magnetic Fields album 50 Song Memoir, Stephin Merritt doesn't delve into the past for his Baker's Dozen list but instead gives tQ an A-Z of some contemporary favourites, from Japan to Marc Almond, bawdy cockney songs and the BBC Radiophonic Workship. Pic by Marcelo Krasilcic
M: Master Musicians of Jajouka - Brian Jones Presents The Pipes Of Pan At Jajouka
The seizure-prone should avoid listening to this particular album while driving. H.P. Lovecraft's "muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin monotonous whine of accursed flutes" could be a record review (instead of the music of the blind idiot god Azathoth), and there is also strange sinister chanting in an eldritch tongue (Maghrebi). But if the CD reissue is to be trusted (which is a subject of much controversy), they are chanting sentiments no more sinister than "Your Eyes Are Like a Cup of Tea." Partly because the major local crop is marijuana, many Western visitors have discovered and rediscovered Jajouka and its remarkable music, which is considered trance-enhancing and therefore an aid to meditation (and self-medication). Phasing and echo effects added by Brian Jones pointedly undermine the expectation of field-recording authenticity.