Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor gives us his headphone top 10.

Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor released his second solo album, Await Barbarians, to critical acclaim this summer. To celebrate the launch of our P5 Series 2 headphones, we asked him to let us know his favourite headphone tracks and as you can see from the below, he has impeccable taste.


1. Binaural Haircut recordings (found on Youtube)

Someone has recorded a haircut with binaural microphones. This isn’t music but it is surely the best thing ever to listen to on stereo headphones!



2. Franco Battiato – Fetus

The dynamics in all the songs on Battiato’s first album are amazing – these records were mastered without evening out all relative volumes it would seem, and all the better for it – but particularly great is the synth solo at the end of this one followed by the fade up of the slowed down vocal coda. Listening on headphones may lead to crashing your vehicle/bicycle, but it definitely won’t lead to drowsiness!


3. Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell

I remember my stepdad testing his new headphones with this song years ago – and what leaked out sounded as amazing as his facial expressions made me happy.



4. Raymond Scott – Cindy Electronium

Amazing early (50s) electronic synthesizer music which predates the likes of Bödenstandig 2000 et al for crazy and colourful music. Headphone listening essential.



5. Prince – Rock Hard in a Funky Place

I like hearing the whole track of course – the production and groove is one of my favourites and shows he’s a master musician, writer and sound engineer, even when making records he refused to release – but best of all on a good pair of headphones is hearing Prince discussing the bad ending of the track right at the end and laughing.


6. Gavin Bryars – Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet

It fades in so slowly and so quietly that it almost takes you by surprise – a beautiful minimalistic and repetitive piece based around a looped recording of a homeless person singing a ballad, and a string quartet super-imposed on top.



7. Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2

These didn’t originally have any track names so pick whichever nameless piece you want. They are mainly loops of soft electronic repeating motifs, but on headphones you hear more in them every single time, despite their economy of style and composition.



8. Peter Gabriel – Mercy Street

An truly immersive and powerful headphone listening experience.



9. Palace Music – Lost Blues

Again quite a dynamic one where Will and his lady singing partner carouse with one another in a wild and beautiful way. I may have listened to this more than anything else on headphones in the last 10 years.



10. Shirley Collins – Dabbling in the Dew

A very early recording and one which stands up to headphone listening – Shirley’s singing is quite majestic and you feel like she is right there with you, dabbling in the dew.



Find out more about P5 Series 2 headphones

Await Barbarians is out now on Domino Records.

1 Comment

  • Steve says:

    You forgot – Lay down Sally. – Eric Clapton!

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