Wednesday, March 30, 2011

T is for...

Plenty of good Ts...
  • Tangerine Dream
  • Throbbing Gristle
  • Simon Fisher Turner
  • Talk Talk
  • Talking Heads
  • Traffic
  • To Rococo Rot
  • This Heat
  • Masami Tsuchiya
  • Tristeza.
The 70s were my formative years and Tangerine Dream were a favoured soundtrack to a sizeable chunk of it, especially Zeit, Phaedra, Rubycon and Ricochet. I still kick myself for not attending their first UK concert which bizarrely turned out to be in my home town of Chichester in 1974, although to be fair I was only 13. They're rubbish now of course.

Throbbing Gristle were another great (late) 70s influence. If TD used electronics for dreams, TG used them for nightmares. I was lucky enough to see them three times in 1979-81... which was the same time I got heavily into This Heat. Simon Fisher Turner is a bit of an unsung hero. From teen idol & protege of Jonathan King, he went on to work with The The, provide soundtracks for several Jarman films and has released around 20 other largely instrumental albums on myriad labels. I had the pleasure of inviting him to Tokyo for a project several years ago, as part of which he played a small concert in our office which still ranks as one of the best gigs I've ever witnessed.

Traffic were occasionally brilliant. My elder brother played me Mr Fantasy when I was about 10 and I live it now as much as I did then. In my humble opinion Talking Heads are a tad over-rated, but Remain in Light isn't. Talk Talk were hugely underrated and split too soon.

Former Ippu Do frontman Masami Tsuchiya has released several solo albums but Rice Music (1982), is the one, featuring Sakamoto, Bill Nelson, Percy Jones, Mick Karn and others. To Rococo Rot are one of the best of the 90s crop of post-Krautrock bands. I remember hearing them for the first time in the tiny Rough Trade shop in Neal's Yard. Pretty much all their albums are great. And then there's Tisteza, a great Californian post-rock band.

And the rest: The Teardrop Explodes, Tackhead, Tears For Fears, 10cc, Telex, Test Dept, The The (especially Soul Mining), This Mortal Coil, Tracy Thorn, Throwing Muses, Asmus Tietchens, Tom Tom Club, Laurent Thibault, T.Rex, 23 Skidoo, Two Daughters, Tindersticks, Amon Tobin, Tomorrowland, David Toop, Rafael Toral, Tortoise, Towering Inferno, John Tavener, David Tudor, Tarwater, Techno Animal, Transglobal Underground, Travis, Tricky, Television (if only for Marquee Moon), Third Eye Foundation, Richard Thompson, T-Power, Two Lone Swordsmen, Tonto's Expanding Head Band, They Might Be Giants, and (guilty pleasures) Thin Lizzy and Thompson Twins. And a few more Japanese: Yukihiro Takahashi, Towa Tei, Nobukazu Takemura, and Satoshi Tomiee; though try as I might I could never get into Tomita.


  1. some more Ts you might actually like - as opposed to obscurist stuff me and a handful of net nichers might rate:
    Trembling Bells
    Nik Turner
    Tyrannosaurus (better than T) Rex

  2. Top 10 Ts.
    Talking Heads
    Tangerine Dream (obviously old stuff, not now!)
    Ryan Teague
    The Temptations
    This is Your Captain Speaking (Terrible name, great band)
    This Mortal Coil
    Steve Tibbetts
    Tinariwen (as Andy Kershaw said, a band that not only knows how to rock, but how to roll)
    Simon Fisher Turner (agree, greatly under valued)
    Ali Farka Toure.

    That's 10, but I guess I should add T. Rex (the first band I paid to see) & Rolf Trostel (who I always thought I'd discovered. He may disagree).

    And I could say T is for Tuu. If only for the joke.

  3. Forgot Ryan Teague (have just the one album), Tinariwen (whom I saw at The Big Chill once), and TIYCS and Toure (both of whom feature on yr fine comps). Tempting to include The Temptations - I know they're Pat's faves. Yup, I reckon you discovered Trostel. He must have been hiding when I visited.

  4. that Nik Turner album based on egyptian book of death, is great!