“ I feel like Sting”  

Photo: Bubbles Records

AN OLD MASTER, AN UNRECOGNIZED GENIUS AND A FLEDGLING FEMALE RAPPER: ERLEND OYE’s FIVE FAVORITE TRACKS.  


Erlend Oye is a musical jack-of-all-trades: a DJ who sings, the head of indie pop band Whitest Boy Alive, the voice for electronic musicians such as Royksopp and one half of acoustic duo Kings Of Convenience. It was as part of the latter that the Norwegian had his breakthrough in 2001. The Kings’ melancholically mellow debut album, Quiet Is The New Loud, sparked a folk revival and influenced later bands from Fleet Foxes to Of Monsters And Men. Oye recorded his latest and second solo album, Legao, with an Icelandic reggae band:10 pop gems that sound like Paul Simon using The Police as session musicians. Here the 38-year-old picks songs he has always found inspirational.

Matias Aguayo - Rollerskate

“Dance music really badly needs to reinvent itself to be more interesting again. What we need more is people who have mastered the engineering part of dance music but still haven’t lost their childish, imaginative playfulness. This track from 2009 shows the right direction. It’s mainly Aguayo’s voice: from the beat, to the bass, to the tune.”

Bart Davenport - Fuck Fame

“He is an unrecognized genius—but also is his own enemy when it comes to becoming popular. It’s like he realizes he wrote something really brilliant and then he’s afraid that this song could become popular, so he puts something really weird into it, like the bad guitar solo in this one. But once you know that, it just endears you even more to it.”

Dennis Wilson - You Are So Beautiful

“This comes from a Beach Boys show in 1980, a couple of years before he died. He looks frayed by alcoholism, and the rest of the band seems embarrassed. Then Wilson walks on stage and makes this touching emotional performance. Joe Cocker’s version sounds clichéd, but when Wilson sings it, it’s almost like a cry for help. It’s truly musical.”  

Sting - If You Love Somebody Set Them Free

“This song works nicely with a song from my new album called ‘Send Me In.’ I like to think Sting wrote it for the rest of The Police, saying, ‘If you think I’m a cool guy, let me go! I want to play fusion jazz!’ I can relate to that: A few years ago, when I had a song idea, first I was happy … but then I was sad, because I had to choose which of my bands I would give it to.”

Dena - Bad Timing

“I met Dena in 2005 through friends in Berlin. She was a singer but after a few years suddenly she was able to write great songs. The way she uses English is not correct [she is Bulgarian], but she turns it into her own language. She’s the only songwriter in Germany that I feel connected to. This song triggers my imagination—she writes good stories.”

Sound & Vision - A very bright idea - LightFreq

Recently funded on Kickstarter, this is a bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled light with a speaker in it, instantly turning any room into a dancefloor. It’s compatible with standard screw light fixtures, and you control it via a smartphone app. The speaker is only 5 watts, but the sound is solid. In party mode, the light will strobe or pulse to the beat.
www.lightfreq.com

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