MUSIC I ENJOY
When I was around six years old, I recall my father liking Montovani, my mother enjoying the Shadows and my brother having a strong preference for the Rolling Stones and Ramsey Lewis. I, at the point, didn't really have a clue ...certainly non of the above floated my boat.
In fact, it was a piece of music I heard while out shopping with my mother that starter my musical ball rolling. We'd visited a Sheffield music store, Wilson and Pecks, and my attention was drawn to an enjoyable sound. I remember asking my mother what it was and, enthused by the fact I appeared to be taking a liking to music, she bought me the LP. It was a classical LP called Dance Macabre.
My new LP had given me a taste for music. We had a Dynatron record player and everything we played crackled with a fairly muffled sound. The stylus was full of fluff, but the sounds were exciting. It was the start of a what was to become my biggest passion.
It was only a short time after that first LP when I started to buy my own records. The classical music interest didn't last long. I was soon discovering a world of glam rock. My first single was T-Rex's Get it on, followed by Lou Reed's Walk on the Wild Side. Then I heard Ziggy Stardust and soon became an avid Bowie fan, searching out everything he had ever recorded. At school the well-off Bowie fans used to talk about the great stereo effect where Mick Ronson playing guitar came through one speaker while the sound of Bowie's guitar was louder through the other. I never enjoyed that sound experience.
Bowie lead me to Brian Eno, to Roxy Music, to Robert Fripp, to King Crimson, to Faust, to Kraftwerk, to Neu, and to Tangerine Dream. Towards the end of the 70s I was listening to almost anything German and so, it seems, was half the bands in Sheffield. The Sheffield music scene, towards the latter part of the 70s, gave rise to some great bands, such as Cabaret Voltaire, ClockDVA, Vice Versa (who went on to become ABC) and Human League (prior to the girls joining).
It wasn't just Enoesque/electronic music that appealed. I had a wide collection of music from Indian Classical (introduced through Ravi Shankar). Minimalists (Steve Reich and Philip Glass). Kate Bush (I was in love with her). And, not forgetting the hippy bands such as Gong and Hawkwind. I was going to one or two gigs at Sheffield's City Hall every week.
Gary Numan and Tubeway Army replaced my love of Bowie as he drifted off into that horrible era of Scarey Monsters, Lodger and Tin Machine. The 80s saw my drifting from the safe realms of new romantics and gay/bland pop to darker industrial music and anything electronic. Tangerine Dream continued to deliver, but bands like Throbbing Gristle and This Heat started to catch my attention. I also had an embarrassing enjoyment of new age music and bought loads of flute, piano and harp music from the New World label. Eno continued to deliver superb album after album, but it was one band that took pride of my collection - Popol Vuh. I discovered this German prog-rock band while watching the Werner Herzog film Nosferatu and ended up roaming the country's record shops for their hard to find vinyl.
CD singles and the Future Sound of London pulled me into the world of electronica and dance. What was really pleasing was to hear old favourites, such as Steve Hillage, reappearing with bands like The Orb. This combi brought 70s hippy music into the 90s with drum machine beats and trancy sounds.
Around 1995 was a great time for me in terms of music. It was the time when the DJs started to become rock stars. Sasha and Digweed delivered some awesome dance collections, such as the Renaissance Mix. Even Tangerine Dream tried to get in on the scene, which is ironic considering they were arguably the god fathers of this genre! Oh and we can't forget the mad bird Bjork and her one-time partner Tricky. Both playing off beat rhythms with unusual vocal treatments.
Towards the end of the decade I'd stumbled upon Locust, a very different style of music from Mark Van Hoen and the legendary Peter Namlook on the now very sought after FAX label series.
By the year 2000 I'd started to feel bored by the ambient scene and took a brief step into drum and bass. In my mind LTJ Bukem lead here, but it all started to become repetitive very quickly, so Indie paved the way for a more strummy and melodically musical selection including Elbow, Doves, some Coldplay and more recently Hooverphonic. I also discovered Porcupine Tree and No-Man, both fronted by genius Steve Wilson, and the Icelandic band Sigur Ros who've now become quite big in the UK.
These days I have less time to listen to music, but still enjoy the odd Bowie track and my latest discovery is Susumu Yokota...back to electronica.
Well I've missed shed loads of great music I own from this brief overview, but have highlighted just a few magical moments. Clicking on the menu links to the left will give an in-depth look at the discographies of a selection of artists I've enjoyed over the years.