We have a lot of time for Overhead, The Albatross here at State. Their particularly intricate brand of instrumental post-rock, after all, has served them (and us) pretty well over the past few months. The six-piece Dublin outfit last year supported the incendiary God Is An Astronaut at the O2 Islington in London, tore up the Other Voices tent in Dingle like it was an old rag, and they’re heading to Castlepalooza this summer, all off the back of the most-excellent ‘Big River Man’, the first single to be taken from their forthcoming debut LP. This coming April 9th, they’ll play a ‘Pay What You Like’ show at the Workman’s, and in light of this most generous news, we decided to ask bassist Joseph Panama (far left) to run us through his five favourite records.
The beauty being that if we asked him again this time next month, much like anybody, his choices would change. So what we have below is an honest snapshot of the music that has moved him at a particular moment in time. A statement of reflection that showcases not only a varied musical pallete, but one born of spontaneity. Cracking selection, too.
Tim Hecker – Ravedeath, 1972
This was an album that I used to go to sleep listening to every night. What a waste that was, I missed out on so much of it through being unconscious. I can only imagine it added to my dreams though. It got to the stage where I’d wake up and start the album over again, and listen to it a couple of times that day before going to sleep listening to it again at night. This album has the power to obliterate any focus that I have and move me to a giant cathedral at the centre of the earth where this behemoth organ plays sounds of deep space and granite and the funeral mass of the kids from Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad.
Suggested Track: Listen to it in full!
μ-ziq – Lunatic Harness
I think μ-ziq is Mike Paradinas’ best known moniker. He’s the boss at Planet Mu, he’s done collaborations with Aphex Twin and Speedy J but this is my favourite of his by far. It came out in 1997 and to my ear still sounds really fresh. It’s regarded as one of IDM’s seminal albums but IDM is a silly name for a genre so let’s not dwell on that too long. A couple of years ago I was at a festival in Bristol called Simple Things where they repurpose a load of old municipal buildings for a few days and have a load of people in for a dance. This meant getting to see this album played live in a disused police station/jail with just a handful of other nerds dancing around in the almost pitch dark beside the man himself. I was fairly buzzing after that.
Suggested Track: ‘Hasty Boom Alert’
Moderat – Moderat
I still can’t help listening to their first album. Like a lot of people I lost my mind at a lot of Modeselektor gigs and a couple of Moderat gigs. They’re constantly flirting with the line between complete nerddom and moody floor fillers. It’s a weird niche on paper but they’re phenomenally good at it. I remember reading all about this album when it came out and the formation of the group, which is something I hadn’t really done since the decline of CDs. They’ve put a little bit of misinformation online about how they started but as far as I can tell the parts about how they recorded the album are true and worth checking out. For example, when they were recording in Hansa Studios where Bowie recorded Heroes, they had a software engineer develop a bespoke algorithm for their own custom reverb. That’s about the nerdiest thing I’ve ever heard. I once danced to what I thought was ‘Rusty Nails’ at Life Festival. It was a bin truck reversing.
Suggested Track: ‘Rusty Nails’. The video by Pfadfinderei is pretty cool too.
The Hics – Tangle EP
This is a group I know pretty much nothing about. I found them on Richard Spaven’s album Whole Other. It’s such a beautifully put together record, it wouldn’t be fair to say the vocals are the main attraction when the instrumentation and presentation are just as stunning. I’d love to hear a full album. It’s very relaxing and very easy to put on repeat over and over. Somebody please tell me more about this band.
Suggested Track: ‘Tangle’
Nails – Abandon All Life
If there’s a more violent album that sounds this good I’ve yet to hear it. This is Kurt Ballou from Converge and his mates making lots of angry noise. There are 10 songs on the album but it clocks in at 17 minutes. I was wondering what heavy album what to put on this list. I was thinking of Age of Quarrel or something by Coke Bust or Mind Eraser but this is probably more to my taste at the moment. It’s relentless. I think the standout track is ‘Wide Open Wound’ but look, the thing is only 17 minutes long, give the album a once over.
Suggested Track: ‘Wide Open Wound’
Overhead, the Albatross play the Workman’s Club on April 9th. It’s pay what you like, but pay something – they’re great, and it all goes towards the new record.