Who Are Your Teachers?

I was inspired by @blockchainyouth to write this post. It's an opportunity to reflect on who inspired me as a musician, and to consider what led me down the paths I've gone down...

Steve Reich

He's been making music for over 50 years, and for me is one of the key composers of the 20th Century. I discovered him studying music in the 1990's, and was fascinated by his minimalist music technique, as well as his use of technology, from tape machines, through to video samplers. A few years later it was good to see him influencing The Orb, with one of his pieces sampled on Little Fluffy Clouds. Here's one of my favourite Reich recordings, in which he contemplates his Jewish heritage, and how train journeys across America in his youth compared to those taken by European Jews during the Second World War....

David Bowie

He's a true musical chameleon, with the ability to transform himself into whatever suited, from the easy listening swinging sixties vibe of Love me Till Tuesday, through the rock of Ziggy Stardust the ambience of Heroes, to the Drum & Bass experiments of Earthling. Bowie showed us that you could do whatever you wanted. I was lucky enough to be in the audience at this gig, one his last performances, at the Isle of Wight Festival in 2004...

Frank Zappa

I'm not sure where to start with Frank Zappa. He's experimental, outrageous, a perfectionist, prolific. His work spans 60's experimental rock, prog, classical, funk. Some of it is certainly an acquired taste, and not for the feint hearted. If you're looking for an introduction I'd start with the first track I heard of his, and move on from there...

Aphex Twin

It's difficult to pick electronic artists that have inspired and influenced my music, there was so many over the years, from Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and μ-Ziq through to The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers & Daft Punk. I'm going to highlight Aphex Twin though, as one that has been especially exciting inspiring.

Here's the first Aphex Twin track I remember, seeing it on what seemed like an endless loop on a cable TV music channel in the early 90's. I wouldn't have called myself a fan at that time, that came later when I heard Selected Ambient Works Vol 2., and Come To Daddy, but it was my entry point back in the day. Enjoy...

That's my starters anyway, maybe somebody else would like to pick up the baton?

I'll leave you with a fantastic performance from Otis Redding, live in Norway, 1967...

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