Duncan Gray may not be a name known to everyone but he has probably contributed to more than a few tracks you have listened to in the last few years. Making music for over 20 years, Duncan also plays guitar on many of Andrew Weatherall’s tracks and remixes as well as producing under his own name.
His label Tici Taci is about to celebrate his first birthday with a remix package showcasing the best tunes from the label. With names like Red Snapper, Future Bones and Rich Lane there is no doubt that this chuggy, disco infused mega release will be a must for those who love the tripped out ALFOS type vibes.
You can get the full release courtesy of Juno Download right now.
We asked Duncan to pick out 10 tunes that have really had an effect on both his musical style as well as his production style and as you would expect, he has given us some classics. Over to you Duncan….
“Trying to be objective about this proved harder than I thought. My own production sound has changed a lot over the years and these days I don’t use any looped samples, so when I looked at my influences I pretty much left out anything that was made that way – meaning that there is no reference to house music or hip hop which have of course been an influence on me. I also love super chunky rock music and 70’s Jazz Rock but there’s only room for 10 so here goes…”
Can – I Want More
Can’s limitless studio time was put to unconventional use. Overdubbing multiple drum tracks, using found sound, tone generators and repetition, as you might expect for a bunch of guys who studied under Karlheinz Stockhausen. Yet the driving machine funk of Jaki Liebezeit set their musique concrete into a stone groove. Their output from 1968 onwards is incredible. A bit later they had a crack at some Disco and it came out like this. Luckily.
George Clinton – Atomic Dog
Daaawg. Hard to choose one moment from George’s illustrious career but Atomic Dog condenses the Clinton sound into a super funk nugget as well as One Nation did. I love the barely contained anarchy of P-Funk, such little regard for the rules, each track rolling like a mixtape.
Green Velvet – Flash (Carl Craig’s Paperclip People Mix)
This track is here in the list to represent all house and techno music for the last 25 years. Well, kind of….What a great combination. Carl Craig is my real choice here – but I couldn’t resist bringing Green Velvet into the equation as they are both such innovators. Carl Craig’s music inspires and moves me.
Miles Davis – Rated X
The idea of using the studio as a creative tool had been explored and exploited by the rock music industry for several years by the time this emerged, but producer Teo Macero took his cue not from Abbey Road but from Studio One.
Recording swathes of Miles’ electric band blasting hard onto multi-track, he used the faders and mutes to create a mixdown track – dropping the drums in and out on time. The result is something like Drum & Bass two decades ahead of its time.
Mr Oizo – M-Seq
The birth of squelch in my humble opinion. For me this track eclipses Flat Eric and puts down a fairly substantial claim to be the record that spawned dubstep. Perhaps Mr Oizo will not thank me for this observation, but nevertheless it’s all there – except for the fact that this is funky and not dull as fuck.
Ministry- Jesus Built My Hotro
Al Jourgenson could have easily ended up as part of the New Beat scene but instead he took the ideas into a different area. Industrial rock never really had a core sound – Young Gods, NIN, KMFDM, Throbbing Gristle, all sounding completely unalike.
Jourgenson committed rock-world sacrilege when he sampled riffing guitars and created rhythm tracks with drum machines and loops. This track has the added bonus of a vocal by Butthole Surfers‘ Gibby Haines.
Kraftwerk – Numbers
1981 and true electro was born. This defines it totally. It’s so much harder and stripped down than what went before which is a brave move for a band who could write tunes you could whistle all day long.
Rock Section – Dayglo Maradona – Andrew Weatherall remix
The Guv’nor has never stood still with his production work. I have a thousand reasons to give this man my respect and hundreds of tracks to choose from, but I’m selecting this one as it’s very recent and I played guitar on it.
Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
This record opened up a world of possibilities to me. It was the first record I heard that had been entirely constructed by one person. In 1973 when it was released this was a luxury almost no-one could afford, nowadays you have more recording power on a laptop.
It was the idea of making music, unconstrained by a time-budget that appealed to me but I also really loved the music. It fired my young imagination, feeding my brain and creating an appetite for other music.
Giorgio Moroder – Midnight Express Soundtrack
I have to give the last nod to Giorgio Moroder because his influence is sublime. It’s utterly present one way or another in everything guys like me do. We are all dancing to Giorgio’s beat.
Thanks to Duncan for taking the time to out this list together. You can listen to the whole playlist out on your YouTube account right now.