In my review (read) for his album 'The Western Lands', I called it "one of the most surprsing albums of the year" and I still stick with that. The two tracks are more varied than pretty much every album I've heard in this part of the musical universe. That made me wonder about the bands and people that influenced Belgian experimentalist Barst. So I asked him about his Songs With Stories. Shortly after, we received these fine tunes and the stories that go with it. The artists also mentioned "First of all, picking just 5 songs has really been a huge task, only five, almost an unbearable thought but here goes".
The way Massive Attack invites guest musicians on their albums has always been a huge inspiration to me, and in particular Heligoland. The way I proceeded in the creation of ‘The Western Lands’ is kind of similar. Writing music with a featuring artist in the back of my head, trying to write something that will fit them and still keeping my own musical signature, and making an album that stands on its own as whole, not just the sum of the separate songs. On Heligoland they worked together with so many different artists, like Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz), Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio), Guy Garvey (Elbow), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and many more. I choose this song because of the fragility of it, the beauty in darkness, in melancholy. It is really one of my favourite songs.
This young Welshman, Lewis Roberts, makes electronic music, it is kinda clubby music but with such an original approach. He also dares to break through boundaries. The song ‘Sun’ is such an epic piece, hypnotizing, transcendental in my eyes. It’s some kind of long drone with this never ending harmony. The sounds just keeps on swelling. I drown, when listening to this. For me, music is sound, and I like sound to be thick so you can almost touch it, feel the textures of it.
This band is something else. They are the next level of everything. I got to know them through their third album ‘Mass III’. The opening song ‘The Pain It Is Shapeless’ just immediately carved my body and soul, blowing me away like no other band ever has done. They go beyond music, and seeing them live is even more devastating and a catharsis at the same time. No one other than Amenra master light and dark as they do. These guys breathe their music through their pores. Listening to them, going to see them, experience them, has had a huge impact and influence on me and how I define music. The way they interact with other artists and other media has inspired me vastly.
I must say, Sonic Youth has shaped me as a guitar player. The first I heard Daydreamnation it was a revelation. They completely step away from the traditional use of guitars, detuning them, reshaping them, reinventing the instrument really. The day after first hearing them I went out to buy my first guitar and I Sonic Youthed the shit of it. Afterwards I got the know the entire discography, this song in particular is very old school Sonic Youth. I just love how the guitar goes wild from about 3:45 min on.
Mogwai, to me, are the inventors of post-rock music from the early beginning back in the late nineties. This song in particular gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it. What I also absolutely adore about it, is that they take the time to explore, to build up a song over 23 minutes based on just one theme really. Everything is emotion, feeling. You just got to love the violins and guitars creating this unique universe, where a xylophone like instrument tells an entire story. When I listen to this, I feel hope. Hope is what we need.