Sunday, November 14, 2010

M is for...

Mon dieu, a mountain, a marathon, a multitude of myriad Mmmmms. Hard to cut it down to 10 but here's an attempt:

- Magma
- Madonna
- Massive Attack
- Bob Marley
- Wim Mertens
- Man Jumping
- Stephan Micus
- Muziq
- Mott the Hoople
- Russell Mills

Magma: a law unto themselves and still going. Madonna: pointless now, but important 'then'. Massive Attack goes without saying. Ditto Marley. Wim Mertens and his ensemble Soft Verdict were essential listening for me in the 80s, though not so much now. Ditto the short-lived but equally jazzy/minimalist Man Jumping. Stephan Micus has released lots and lots and lots of great albums on ECM on which he plays lots and lots and lots of obscure instruments. Muziq: unsung mid-80s purveyor of electronica. Mott the Hoople meant a lot to me in the 70s and still do now. And Russell Mills, a visual artist & illustrator by trade, just happens to make amazing music too.

But it's just as interesting listing those who just missed the mark, so here they are, oldies first: Joni Mitchell (Blue, Hissing, Hejira...), Van Morrison (Astral Weeks), John Martyn (One World), Matching Mole (modest prog), Moody Blues (no, really), Ex-King Crimson's McDonald & Giles (just the one album, but pretty seminal) and John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra...

Pray silence for Giorgio Moroder, who almost qualifies for the Top 10 on the strength of I Feel Love alone, and who prepared the way for a raft of electronica: Derrick May, Jeff Mills, Model 500, David Morley, Mantronix, Moby, Mixmaster Morris, Meat Beat Manifesto, Mouse on Mars, Microstoria, Barbara Morgenstern, Mum, Manna, Miasma, MARRS and Tom Middleton. Not forgetting some late 70s / early 80s synth stuff like Michel Magne, Michel Madore, Clara Mondshine (aka Walter Bachauer), Yuko Matsuzake (a gorgeous one-off), Moebius (still going). And one-offs like Sheila Chandra's Monsoon and A C Marias (whom I never know how to catalogue: C for Angela Conway?).

And some more leftfield stuff like Monoton, Material, Metabolist, Christian Marclay, Main, Maju, Mas, Matmos, Yoshio Machida... and off into classical territory: Ingram Marshall, Meredith Monk, John Metcalfe, Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Co, Jasun Martz's extraordinary The Pillary... to say nothing of Mompou, Messiaen and Milhaud (which is stretching it a bit). John Metcalfe and Manyfingers are worth a mention too.

On the more accessible side, there's 80s' Madness, Magazine, Kirsty MacColl and The Monochrome Set, and 90s' Moonshake, Momus, Mazzy Star, My Bloody Overrated Valentine, Moloko, Morcheeba, Mogwai and Mandalay. There's the 'world music' of Baaba Maal, Madredeus and Muszikas; Welsh folkist Julie Murphy; and finally a couple of dead mavericks, Malcolm Maclaren and Joe Meek...


  1. 2 IMO "essentials" missing:
    . Muslimgauze
    . Morricone
    And yes, M is insane!

  2. Yes, Muslimgauze. Some good stuff, but TOO MUCH stuff. Enio Moricone... of course!

  3. i've limited myself strictly to pre-'97 releases only.
    Morricone: TOO MUCH too, hehe.

    ps. did i send you the latest David Morley CD (well, from 2007, Ghosts entitled) ? if not i will send to UK.

  4. One of my favourite bands in the early 70's was Man (always referred to as "Welsh rockers") still like & play some of classic albums.
    Baaba Maal & Muszikas would be there in my top 10. (Great live too)
    Mertens & Micus as well. Also Mandekalou, a sort of Mailian supergroup. Not sure about the rest. Lots of Ms.

  5. Oh, and of course M (as in Robin Scott as in Pop Musik single as in 1979).