1. Lou Reed, John Cale & Nico | Berlin (Le Bataclan '72 Live Version)
The whole album is pretty much my favorite recording of Lou Reed/The Velvet Underground songs there is. Particularly on Berlin I find it beautiful how tranquil and careful Lou Reed is singing, as if each word was a card from a Tarot stack carefully put down on a table. When he's singing one sweet day there's so much weight within those three words it splits your head open. One of the most powerful live performances I've ever heard on record. Of all time.
2. Nikki Sudden | New York
Apart from the fact that I really love Nikki's Music and the ferociousness of this track, I also picked it 'cause there's a personal connection here. My good friend Danny Hole, who played drums on most of the tracks on my new record, used to be Nikki's drummer before his sudden demise and, while I was living in New York, playing and recording with Danny, I really got into Nikki's stuff. I mean literally, I even have an old jacket of his at home.
3. Fai Baba | Boogaloo
I got to know Fabian alias Fai Baba as I produced his record The Savage Dreamer in my studio about two or three years ago and we subsequently became close friends. I really like this track as it's such an odd but catchy song. One of those tracks where you can't really understand how you would come up with something like that. I really like his playful carelessness with which he sometimes would treat his ideas, only to end up with something like this.
4. John Frusciante | Ants
This album and all associated recordings was really important to me growing up. Listening to it up and down for years, I was struck by the fact that, still after all this time, new angles and details kept on popping up. Beautiful messy stream of Consciousness 4-track recordings.
5. Disco Doom | Killers
When I lived in Zürich a couple of years ago, Anita and Gabriele from Disco Doom were the first musicians I got to know. I had an exhibition at a gallery where I've put up 10 amps and speakers in a half circle turned up all the way, humming along, and they played a show there with their other project called J&L Defer, naturally choosing to play on those amps. Apart from the fact that they're a great live band, recorded incredible songs like this one, they've always been a good example to me as to how far you can get by just keeping on doing something throughout the years and keeping up your confidence.
6. The Mean Streaks | Manis Gate
My friend Paul Jones from New Zealand, with whom I also have another band called Cabbages, sent me this song years ago when I met him. I don't know much about this band except that they were great and countless incredible stories I've heard from Paul. In his words They split up a few years ago... Not sure if they were ever together... First time I seen them they were a complete shambles… One guy fell asleep on stage and the others were in such a sorry state they tuned up for the entire show. Right up my alley, you might say.
7. Cabbages | Cloudbuster
As I mentioned before, Cabbages is a pretty new band I formed with Paul Jones, an eclectic wizard of many trades, among others preparing curries after 4000 year old recipes delivered from some Sanskrit cookbook or writing great songs. I include this for several reasons. For one, because we're all hustlers and I gotta milk that promotional cow, but mainly because starting this band with Paul has been a pivotal point in my personal and artistic, can I call it, career?... Endless lysergic nights of wired up discussions about everything from Harry Nilsson to Zen Buddhism as well as bouncing ideas back and forth has shaped much of who, at least think, I am at the moment. Today? Or not am? Go buy it on Bandcamp.
8. Delmore FX | A (from Japan Tape)
I met Elia Buletti a.k.a. Delmore FX who's also running the Berlin based tape label Das Andere Selbst while I was living in Geneva about 7 or 8 years ago. We became really close friends and he pretty soon thereafter moved to Berlin and I started to come here regularly. First as a guest, recording and hanging out at his home and now I live here too. Anybody who knows me knows also that Elia has always been a very important person in my life, partly shaping the way I think and make Music, especially in my early stages when I was beginning to release songs as Great Black Waters (dead moniker). He also was the first person to release my Music.
9. Can | Oh Yeah
Great song. I was about 16 years old when I discovered Can and hugely influenced by their aesthetics, sound and studio techniques. Oddly enough, years ago I received an old mixing desk that was built by Hermann Hogg, the incredibly obscure and now probably deceased Swiss Electronics engineer that built a big part of Irmin Schmidt's recording gear, including the infamous Alpha 77 multi effect unit he used for his organ.
10. William S. Burroughs | Summer Will
Really good selection of William S. Burroughs' tape experiments put together by Genesis P-Orridge, Peter "Sleazy" Christopherson and naturally Burroughs' closest associate James Grauerholz whom I've had the luck to meet by - you could say or not say - chance when I drove from Detroit down to Lawrence, KS, listening to the Naked Lunch tape on repeat and somehow finally ended up sitting in a garden having coffee with JG after he'd shown me around William's old house.