Know Your Product (Special Blog Edition!)
Stars Pick Their Top 5
This week: Lana Del Rabies
You have to love that name. We suspect even Lana Del Rey loves that name. When Phoenix media artist Sam An decided she wanted to create a solo electronic music project, Lana Del Rabies was born, and with it some of the most unapologetically brutal and almost-unmusical noise imaginable. German industrial and horror scores are likely influences, but it doesn’t matter. This is the stuff of nightmares. Del Rabies/An herself told us about the five albums that changed her life to celebrate the fact that she’s performing at the climax of HOCO…
With Jock Club, Violence and Altrice on Sunday, Sept. 3 at the HoCo aftershow, secret venue. See hotelcongress.com/hoco for more information.
1. Nine Inch Nails—The Downward Spiral
I was 14 the first time I heard The Downward Spiral, and my interests in music were never the same after. The way Trent Reznor uses textures on this record influenced my production work later, and how I view what makes a "great" album- strong individual tracks that collectively execute a concept well.
I was a teenager when this album came out, and growing up in Tucson during this time, I didn't experience a lot of exposure to electronic music. This was the first Portishead album I heard, and it is still is my favorite of theirs. Third expands beyond the boundaries of "Trip Hop" and uses gritty but minimal production to enhance Beth Gibbons's beautifully melancholy songwriting.
3. Einstürzende Neubauten—Kollaps
I lived in Detroit for four years, and while I was there I was fortunate to help with an event while working at The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, surrounding the history of the Berlin music and art scene in the 1980's/90's. Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten and his wife, artist Danielle de Picciotto, were guests at the event who spoke of their projects and experiences. I dove into Neubauten immediately after and was never the same.
4. Giles Corey—Giles Corey
Dan Barrett is a true underground musician, who for me has always expressed what it is like to experience true depression in the most authentic and raw manner possible. His first album as his solo project Giles Corey is an atmospheric journey into an emotional and existential breakdown of the most heightened extremes. Of course I love it.
The first time I found out about Pharmakon, a friend was showing me a video of her performing at a gallery somewhere, this was around 2011. For the first time, I saw a woman performing exactly what I felt inside myself and never gave myself a chance to express. Margaret Chardiet is still an innovator in her genre, and it's undeniable that her work empowered me to do Lana Del Rabies in the first place.