Un domingo de noviembre terminaba el C en Querétaro, como equipo de fotografía que cubría el festival habíamos terminado nuestro trabajo y concluíamos el día con unas cervezas y mezcal. Era una tarde fresca y agradable con amigos, supongo que la energía o nuestro volumen alto llamó la atención de Faiyaz Jafri, porque quiso unirse a nuestra conversación y nosotros le dimos la bienvenida al grupo.
Platicamos de la conferencia que había dado en el festival, de sus impresiones en la primer visita a nuestro país y nuestra ciudad. Nos platicó de sus influencias al momento de trabajar, de su tiempo en NYC y su amor por las torres gemelas, sus hijos como motor creativo y la vida como experiencia única.
Sergio le convenció de tener una sesión fotográfica express y yo aproveché para pedirle que armara un playlist para Tarantino con las canciones que han marcado su vida o que están de moda en su cabeza.
Días después platicaba con Faiyaz por Facebook y me dijo que ya extrañaba México y que tenía una sorpresa para mí: el playlist para Tarantino y un pequeño texto para acompañarle. Al principio traté de traducir sus palabras al español, pero me di cuenta que perdería todo el sentido si lo hacía, así que dejé sus palabras textuales por completo. Lo que más me gusta de este playlist es que no deja asomarnos por un momento a la mente creativa de un artista visual y al motor sónico que lo mueve.
Music is very important for my work, but I don’t listen to music when I work. It distracts. I have gotten to a point that I need background noise, city hum etc. in order to do work. So when I work I play television shows, anything that I can binge, to create background noise. I don’t really watch the shows, they just provide an ambiance.
This playlist is a collection of songs that in some way relate back to my musical roots, the 80ies and the 60ies. There is not a lot of happy in this list, I really don’t like major chords. Enjoy the melancholia.
Bike – Autechre
This album and especially this song has served me as a meditative tool from the moment it came out.
Cuss Cuss – Horace Andy
Reggae, I didn’t like reggae until some friends introduced me to heavy dub and Horace Andy. Tricked out production, heavy delays and the echo chamber, ignited an appreciation and love for the genre and its protagonists. Horace Andy’s voice is as unique as they get. This version of Cuss Cuss starts nice and easy, but then halfway after the break it delves into this deep, reduced to the core, dub version that is on a completely different plane of consciousness.
Want Not (Feat. Tamar-kali) – Ticklah
Tight as a tourniquet drum. Production close to sterile with relentless delays and soulful vocals to contrast it all.
If Astor Piazzolla would do reggae, this it what it would feel like.
What a Mistry (with Paul St. Hilaire) – Rhythm & Sound
The album (Showcase) this track was taken from has been my go to music when I need to write for over a decade.
Engineered low-fi with extraordinary vocals.
…Rhodesia – Japan
Nagging bored vocals over a slow (reggae-ish?) groove. Perfect music for an angry young man. David Sylvian denounced his early vocal work, but I love the utter misery and dragging of his voice in this song.
Are “Friends’ Electric? – Gary Numan
This is a quintessential 80ies song. Numan’s master piece.
The Chauffeur – Duran Duran
Duran Duran’s best song and music video. Always makes me think of Charlotte Rampling in the Night Porter. Watch the video.
Celestica – Crystal Castles
Alice Glass’ melancholic vocals totally work for me.
Quiet Life – Japan
80ies synth pop, Sylvian’s voice more polished, Karn’s fretless bass floating through guided by Jansen’s intricate drums and percussion. This is Ultra New Wave (not Goth), New Romanticism at it’s best. And, very non- commercial.
Eutow – Autechre
A warm blanket of intellectual experimental techno with seriously heavy sweeping pads and electronic drums.
There Is No Electricity – Memory Boy
My favourite track from the Electroclash period in New York circa 2002. A genre borrowing heavy from 80ies New Wave and with a visual aesthetic associated with the 1982 cult film Liquid Sky.
Analog Wormz Seguel – Mr Oizo
Headbanging music for stoners.
Venus In Furs – The Velvet Underground
Quite the opposite of the happy pot smoking hippies on the West Coast, this is the sound of New York in the 60ies. Gritty, speedy, junkie, dressed in black, cooler than you will ever be.
Isolation – Joy Division
Melancholia, romanticism, depression, minimalism, escapism, self-doubt, suicide.
Subbacultcha – Pixies
I always come back to the Pixies. It is my musical baseline.
I was looking handsome, she was looking liking an erotic vulture.
How Soon Is Now? – The Smiths
Johnny Marr’s relentlessly phasing guitar accentuated by crying outburst of piercing slides, juxtaposed by Morrissey’s crooning vocals makes this one of the bests songs by the Smiths.
The Blue Mask
It is said that the first Velvet Underground album only sold a few 1000 copies, but everyone who did buy it, started a band. For me it was Lou Reed’s The Blue Mask, that ignited that spark. Lou Reed is my only hero. Lou Reed is why I wanted to live in New York. Lou Reed is cool as fuck.
Warm Leatherette – The Normal
Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s novel Crash, it is the preamble to 80ies New Wave.
Tame – Pixies
And back to the Pixies with their classic loudQUIETloud. Hips like Cinderella.
I Cut Like A Buffalo – The Dead Weather
Anything Jack White does is brilliant, a heavily under appreciated genius. Yes, I cut like a buffalo.
Machine Gun – Jimi Hendrix
There is only one man that can make a guitar sound like a machine gun and go with for 12 minutes straight.
Fly On – Nebula
Swampy dessert rock with heavy references to Hendrix.
Pali Gap – Jimi Hendrix
This fades in and out of existence without you noticing it. Mellow gold and stone cold groovy.
Something In The Way – Nirvana
The perfect way to end this list, with the final song from Nevermind. Beautifully sad with amazing vocals by Cobain with Grohl doubling on the chorus (if you listen close you can hear him). Time to curl up in a ball and cry yourself happily to sleep.