Friday, December 3, 2010

N is for...

Some damned fine Ns...

- Neu!
- Bill Nelson
- The Necks
- Colin Newman
- Nurse With Wound
- The Normal
- Michael Nyman
- New Order
- Pete Namlook
- Nouvelle Vague

The first three are easy. Rother/Dinger's three albums were trendsetting and fearless; Bill Nelson was consistently excellent in the late 70s and 80s; and The Necks are the prime exponents of playing out simple ideas to lengthy hypnotic almost ambient extremes.
Nurse With Wound were a big influence on me in the 80s, partly their uncompromisingly weird music but also Steve's record and book collection, his artwork and good conversation in pubs. But I have to confess I haven't kept up with his prodigious output since and it's not what I play at home these days. The Normal are included for their one, solitary, seminal 7" single, Warm Leatherette, which kicked off a hundred DIY electronic combos and, in Mute, one of the world's best record labels. New Order were patchily great (again, early stuff) if usually underwhelming live. And Colin Newman's solo albums are always good (but especially his two for Crammed in the mid-80s).
Michael Nyman creeps in on account of some stridently original early stuff even if it does all sound the same now. One could say the same thing about Pete Namlook, whose relentlessly spewed out Fax CDs were a hallmark of 90s electronica. Stina Nordenstam's fragile, quirky songs are always a pleasure. As are Nouvelle Vague's lounge & acapella takes on late 70s / early 80s post new-wave.
Mention also to: The Nice, jazz-proggers National Heath, gloomy Nico, Youssou N'Dour, Neotropic, Niobe, Node, No-man, Novisad, Julien Neto, Les Nouvelles Polyphonies Corses, Nonplace Urban Field, Neuropolitique, Negativland, good ol' much-maligned Gary Numan... and does anyone remember the white-suited, top-hatted, bandaged Nash the Slash!? Oddly, I've never been a fan of Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails or Nitzer Ebb.


  1. many omissions this time Mr David:
    Natural Snow Buildings
    Fred Neil
    Willie Nelson
    Joanna newsom
    Phill Niblock
    Michael Nyman

  2. The only one I'd add is Nest. They've only released one album so far, but it's a cracker. Well at least I like it!

  3. I need some vacation to keep up with commenting on the lists! But sure remember Nash the Slash, had a nice correspondence with him, and actually got some of his post 2000 works. Still like his early instrumental work.