Tuesday, June 1, 2010

G is for...

Lots of Gs, but let's try to limit it to a top 10:

- Global Communication
- Manuel Gottsching
- Peter Gabriel
- Philip Glass
- Bruce Gilbert
- Goldfrapp
- Gong
- Genesis
- Githead
- Gary Glitter

Global Communication (and their many alter egos inc Reload, Pulusha, Link etc) were for me the cream of the 90s electronica crowd. They only released one proper album, the warm, sumptuous 76:14, but it was epoch-defining. But actually they began with a totally radical remix of a Chapterhouse album (it doesn't matter which - it bears no relation) called Blood Music: Pentamerous Metamorphosis, also stunning.

Manuel Gottsching has already been listed under A for Ashra but he's occasionally released stuff under his own name, notably the much-hyped E2-E4. By chance, I heard a demo of it a couple of weeks after it was recorded in December 1981 while visiting Berlin with my friend Wolfgang, and gave it a 5 star review in Sounds when it was released to an indifferent audience in 1984. It was only when Italian production duo Sueno Latino turned it into a 'Balearic' hit in mainland Europe in 1989 that it started to garner real critical plaudits. Anyway, good for Manuel: he deserves it.

Peter Gabriel: OK, one can certainly justify his inclusion. But Genesis? Well this is for old time's sake, circa 1975-77 Lamb, Trick, Wuthering... when they were one of my favourite bands and I was lucky enough to see them a couple of times at their peak. I'm treating these silly-but-fun lists in the broad, longer term sense rather than the right now.

Philip Glass is a no-brainer, especially earlier stuff like Einstein on the Beach, Glassworks and Koyanisqaatsi, but also the more recent Low re-workings and Violin Concerto. Gong, yes, both the Daevid Allen and Pierre Moerlen eras. Goldfrapp qualify only on account of their fantastic, unique, debut Felt Mountain. Nothing since has ever matched it. Githead because they sound more Wire than Wire nowadays; and ex-Wire Bruce Gilbert for his experimentation. But Gary Glitter... surely a joke? Well yes and no. I have to say that Rock & Roll Parts 1 & 2 were brilliant and had a major effect on me.

And the rest: Godspeed You Black Emperor, Garbage, Galaxie 500, Martin Gore, Gang of Four, The Go-Betweens; Lisa Gerrard (on occasion); Jan Garbarek and Egberto Gismonti (although generally-speaking I'm not a big ECM fan); Gothic Voices; electronicas The Grid, Goldie, Gas, Gescom, Morgan Geist, The Gentle People, Robert Gorl and Groove Armada; Orlando Gough and Michael Gordon; proggers Greenslade (but not Gentle Giant); German acts GAM and Harald Grosskopf (but not Guru Guru or Gila); Frenchmen Patrick Gauthier and Serge Gainsbourg; Marvin Gaye, Ghostwriters, Michael Garrison, Grandmaster Flash. Oh, and Ruben Gonzalez of BVSC. But not Grateful Dead.


  1. Gainsbourg and Galaxie 500 good calls. But, what's this? No Grobschnitt?

  2. One of my all time favourite albums is "Scenes" by American violinist Michael Galasso. I never get tired of playing it. A real gem. It's a minimalist thing if you've not heard it.

  3. Oh, no I've never heard of it. Hint hint. Btw: happy birthday!

  4. is that the em:t gas (UK) or the German gas? or both =)

    ps? do you know the short-lived gregory fleckner quintet ? they did a great album on defunct clear label (which also released global com project jedi knights).

  5. I will go with 6 out of those four :)

    Gong spawned a lot of great arttists, but can't say I fully enjoyed any of their albums…in the end, my pic would be "Shamal" which is already more Pierre Moerlen… Loved Greenslade at its time, but sounds awfully dated to me now (even if I still have a liking for "The Pentateuch…." and luckily have both vinyl and CD.
    Global Communication, Manuel, Peter Gabriel and Philip[ Glass for sure -can't imagine a musical collection without them.
    Goldfrapp - absolutely agree, even the last bland CD can't diminish my liking for them, which I would extend to their second album partially too… And yes, Githead is the better Wire now! Personally would rate Godspeed You Black Emperor higher…
    Haven't listened to Michael Garrison for ages, thanks for the reminder!
    Definitel I put Diamanda Galas on here, her early stuff really impressed (and frightened me) as did her early solo show….but completely lost interest in her later stuff. Also have 10 album by Jeff Greinke, so for me he goes in there, and at least worth for "consideration" are Matthias Grassow, Markus Guenther and Ruben Garcia. Oh, and even Jean-Philippe Goude, somehow ended up with 3 of his albums which I still listen to from time to time. Patrick Gleeson's "RTainbow Delta" is a record I treasure highly (other recordings as his "Holst- The Planets interpretation, his Starwars Fantasy and "The Bedroom Window soundtrack unfortunately don't live up to any comparison…) Somehow liked Gandalf in the early times, but um, not worth mentioning now. Classical-wise, I love Percy Grainger (in an odd way), Alberto Ginastera (for sure) and Gorecki.

    Will for sure try to get hold of Michael Galasso, definitely trust Gary's recommendation!

  6. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPRkEp8xpKk
    perhaps, not the best GFQ track but gives u an idea.

  7. Ah yes, I forgot Diamanda Galas. Actually I preferred her live. I remember a terrifying concert in NY's Cathedral of St John the Divine.

    And if we're talking Gauthier and Goode, how about Grunblatt!? I played K-Priss the other day. A bit dull.

    Fre: the GFQ track is good. Quirky.