We caught up with Civil Music’s Brassica, aka Michael Anthony Wright, ahead of his performance this Friday (22nd June) to find out about his top 10 influential albums. A fearless multi-genre artist whose first instrument was a bass guitar, Brassica is no stranger to influences from all over, as evidenced by his psychedelic remix of ‘A Day In the Life‘ – a feat attempted by many artists, but rarely with such finesse.
Brassica cites his style as descended from ‘disco-funk, experimental music, prog rock, 70s & 80s synth music and the history of sound in cinema’ yet this bassist from Kent, who began his career playing in hardcore bands before studying Sound Art and Design and graduating to synth-based composition, is renowned for the unpredictability and experimentation that are central to his productions.
You might be surprised by the resulting list, which takes in metal, cinematic glitch and the ‘Turkish Beatles’. Read the list below and gain an insight into the eclectic musical inspiration of one of new music’s trailblazers.
Bomb The Bass – Into The Dragon
This was the first album I bought. I was about 7 or 8 years old. I’m so glad this music became commercially successful enough to reach Woolworths stores in small towns across the country. Who knows where I’d be now if it hadn’t.
Soul II Soul – Club Classics Vol. 1
This is the second album I bought. This gospel-esque drum machine pattern still features a lot in my own beats. Melody is also important to me. I aspire to write them as deep as this.
This was a series of hardcore tapes recorded at the Seduction All-nighters in Margate, Kent, from around 91/92/93. They cost £6 each from Hummingbird Records in Folkestone and I bought them religiously for about 3 years until Jungle superseded, but this sounded too clean and boring after Hardcore.
Black Sabbath – Paranoid
I started taking bass lessons after school when I was 13. This album didn’t leave my record player. I think I can still recite the bass for every track on this album.
Ozric Tentacles – Jurassic Shift
“How the **** do they they make those sounds?” said a teenage bassist from Kent. I’m still on that mission today.
Neurosis – Times of Grace
When my band at the time suddenly discovered Neurosis and certain similar bands, the world seemed like a different place.
Fennesz – Endless Summer
I studied Sound Arts at LCC during my early to mid twenties. Despite being focused intently on the timbral side of music, I realise now it’s the meeting of melody and ‘far-out’ sounds that’s had the most impact on me. Christian Fennesz is the grand master of this.
Dexter Wansell – Life on Mars
A recent discovery for me, but a shining example of a perfect album. I aspire to create these vibes in my own music and doing so will probably be enough to me keep me going until I cease to exist.
Actress – Hazyville
There isn’t much by way of new music that prevents me finding Radio 4 comedy panel shows about the most interesting thing to listen to these days. I was a little late in boarding the Actress train but I’m almost moved to tears by what he does.
Baris Manço – Sözüm Meclisten Disari
My current album obsession. The Turkish equivalent of The Beatles almost. A lot of his music is a bit MOR but this album epitomises a perfectly-formed album – groove, melodic hooks, weird interludes, narrative bits that sound like radio drama, solid production, outlandish synths. Sadly it costs into the hundreds of pounds to pick up an original copy of this record now. Someone really needs to re-release it fast.
You can catch Brassica playing at our second to last night of 2012 alongside Civil Music & Tempo Clash. Brassica will be in Civil Music’s arch. Tickets, line up & full info here: http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?365769