Radio 3’s Late Junction presenter and Musicity founder, Nick Luscombe, chooses 7 tracks to really push the boundaries of headphone listening. The programme is famous for its diverse playlists, perfectly described by the BBC as “journeys in music, ancient to future. The home for adventurous listeners.” We suggest you challenge yourself with these seven excellent choices from Nick:
I have an admission. I listen to my own radio shows on iPlayer after they’ve been broadcast, though it’s more to check the way the show sounded rather than to listen to all the “amazing” things I talk about between the records. When I listen back I’m usually on the move with my headphones firmly fixed and it’s then that the whole experience of the music takes on another dimension.
Here are some tracks that have stood out for me recently …
Harumi Hosono – Cosmic Surfin
A tune from Haruomi Hosono’s 1978 album Pacific, which was later reinterpreted for Yellow Magic Orchestra’s debut album in 1979. Incredible use of stereo – I’m sure Hosono had a lot of fun creating this tune!
Japan – The Experience of Swimming
An ambient instrumental from Japan, written by Richard Barbieri .I’ve been listening to this for a while as part of a double 7” pack I bought on the records release back in 1982 and it still sounds amazing today – especially with the subtle multi channel effects that really shine through on headphones.
Be – One
Right up to date with the wonderful Be album One which was the soundtrack to artist Wolfgang Buttress’ multiple award winning UK Pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. The Pavilion now lives in Kew Gardens in West London and the soundtrack, with its mix of field recordings and original, often haunting music, is available via the wonderful Rivertones label. The headphone experience really puts the listener at the heart of a very beautiful experience – the perfect collision of nature and composition.
Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood – Some Velvet Morning
Cinematic and psychedelic with an awe-inspiring arrangement and production, a beautiful recording that really maximises the stereo picture. It still hits me with every listen…
Claire M Singer – Ceò
A track from the recent Solas album (on Touch) by sound artist and composer Claire M Singer. More “music as cinema” with an incredible attention to detail. Sounds and melodies float in and out throughout the entire track, but the effect is more calming than disorientating.
Airhead – Kazzt (Mumdance Remix)
A modern day masterpiece of hard-hitting electronics that twists and turns through all 4’19”.
Incredibly visual with some very nifty stereo work, this works so well on headphones.
Grouphums – Weathered
Another recent release, this time created by producer Kirk Barley – who also releases music under his Bambooman guise. Presented as a double-sided cassette tape this is definitely worth finding an old Sony Walkman for! If that proves problematic, the record is also available on good old digital. Kirk himself describes this as a “patchwork of imagined places, spaces and feelings to indulge in.”
An incredible multi-dimensional listen.