Playlist: Rocheman

rocheman music

Sound designer and composer Jordan Mallory-Skinner (aka Rocheman) is riffing on 30 years of sonic experimentation for his future-facing sound.

His layered creations incorporate everything from post-punk and new wave to modern synth-pop, occupying a space neither overtly analogue or digital.

It’s a curious take, best appreciated on his eponymous debut album which arrives on vinyl on 2 February.

The 12-track opus serves as a dramatic introduction into his dextrous daydreams, and clearly draws from his years of experience as a stage music writer.

Intrigued by its depth, we asked Rocheman to let us in on the tracks that inspired him – and we’re in raptures over his choices!

There’s so much weird pop and synthy, proggy, krautrocky goodness in here, we’re not quite sure what to do with ourselves…

Harmonia – Watussi (1974)
From the debut album Musik Von Harmonia. A collaboration between Michael Rother of Neu! And Roedelius and Moebius from Cluster. They made this record in a 16th century hamlet in Lower Saxony, Germany. The only source of heat in the studio in winter was from an oven.

Julee Cruise – I Float Alone (1989)
There’s part of an interview with Julee Cruise where’s she’s talking about when Lynch was working on the sax arrangements for the song Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart, he kept screaming at the sax player “big chunks of plastic!” to get the right sound.

Xavier Cugat – Jungle Drums (1961)
Featured in Wong Kar-Wai’s Days of Being Wild.

Eroc – Norderland (1975) [this wasn’t available on Spotify unfortunately]
This is from Joachim Heinz Ehrig’s first solo record, who was the drummer and band leader of Grobschnitt.

Judee Sill – Emerald River Dance (2005)
This is from a posthumous collection released in 2005, which included some homemade tape recordings of songs that were intended for a third album. This is my favourite song of hers.

Scott Walker – Angels of Ashes (1969)
From Scott 4, the first album of songs that were all made penned by him, as opposed to previous albums that included translated covers of Jacques Brel songs alongside originals. Scott Walker said the world in his music is very big.

Giorgio Moroder – Ruined Landscape (1984)
Sometimes when making the record I’d try to remember what a game or film sounded like from when I was a younger and make sounds based on the memory of them, what I thought they sounded like, rather than looking them up and listening to them. I preferred the skewered stuff that would come out that way, in how memory can garble the sounds you grew up listening to, instead of trying to recreate them as pure devotional pastiche.

Mount Eerie – Lone Bell (Pre-Human Version) (2013)
This album included songs from Mount Eerie’s previous albums but remade entirely on Garage Band. This is a redone version of Lone Bell from his 2012 masterpiece Clear Moon. Phil Elverum is a real hero.

Roedelius – Wenn der Südwind Weht (1981)
I have this on in my kitchen almost every day at the moment. I think Koji Kondo could have been a fan of Roedelius.

John Maus – Tenebrae (2007)
From Love is Real. It’s hard to write a small segment about John Maus. He’s very important.

C.O.B – Evening Air (1971) [this wasn’t available on Spotify so we chose Summer’s Night instead]
Clive Palmer from the Incredible String Band’s side project. I don’t know much about him, but this song is very beautiful. I’ve always liked the line, ‘The curling fingers of tomorrow’s flowers on the damp green lawn’.

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