Sunday, March 30, 2008

Into the Unknown: Rock Revival's Top 20 Avant Garde Experimental Tracks

Image:Laurie Anderson-Bright Red.jpg

Pushing the boundaries has been a constant feature in the history of rock and beyond; sometimes beautiful, sometimes unlistenable, it can pave the way for the less adventurous, keep them honest, grate the ears, fascinate;

Here's twenty tracks that do just that:

1. Man-Erg: Van Der Graaf Generator

Critically acclaimed prog rock , massive in Italy in the 70's

2. Drone: Autechre

Glitch that blows your head off

3. Lumpy Gravy: Frank Zappa

OK, i was trying to stay away but this is something esle

4. Venus in Furs: Velvet Underground

Included because it was so experimental in it's time, the first post-rock band ?

5. Flying Teapot: Gong

Jazz-prog from the 70's

6. Jesus Blood Never Fails Me: Gavon Bryars and Tom Waits

If your not moved by this your a worry

7. Raising the Titanic: Gavin Bryars

Only he would try and create a piece to capture what the Titanic Quartet sound like underwater

8. Amon Duul: Phallus Dei

70's Krautrock, prog rock from Germany

9. Different Trains: Steve Reich

Definitely not rock, Steve Reich is a modern composer, pretty minimalist, repetitive but certainly hypnotic

10. Hamburger Lady: Throbbing Gristle

Best band name ever ? Maybe not but is this what it sounds like inside an aliens head ?

11. Cut Up Piano and Xylophones: Fridge

Exactly as described

12. There is No There: The Books

The Books cut up eveything, esecially words to create a stragley beautiful sound set to a cut up beat

13. Excellent Birds: Laurie Anderson

Ahead of her time: developed a "tape-bow violin" in the early 70's that uses recorded magnetic tape on the bow and a magnetic tape head in the bridge.

14. Oh How the Boat Drifts: Mum

Glitch from Iceland, the home of Sigur Ros and Bjork

15. My Head Feels LIke a Frisbee: Shpongle

Contemporary psychedelia

16. Let My Fish Loose; Aphex Twin and Cocteau Twins

What a great combination: Apex Twin is seen as "the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music", Cocteau Twins are 80's dream pop

17. Everything in it's Right Place: Radiohead

No list like this is any use without Radiohead

18. Jetty : Tortoise

Seminal post-rock

19. Let Us Attend to Present Business: Evan Parker and Eddie Prevost

Atonal jazz, beautiful and cleans your teeth at the same time

20. Cocoon: Bjork

Accessible, beautiful but still pushing boundaries

Image: Courtesy Warner Bros

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