We first stumbled upon Berlin’s BIINDS back in 2014 when they released the wonderful ANTIPHON, an album of remixes of their first album [st].. Then things went quiet for a couple of years, but they returned last month with a new four track EP Bloodlines On Ancient Skin. It is a thing of rare beauty. Blending a broad spectrum of sonic influences, including electronica, post rock and classical, in to a unique palette from which they build captivating, but slightly discomforting, sculptures of sound; imagine Massive Attack, Dead Can Dance and Godspeed taking a road trip in the dark on a soaked and lonely highway and you’ll be in the right ballpark.
With all that in mind we were fascinated to know what influenced them and their music so we got Nicolo, Klaas & Jordi from the band to give us each the three albums that most drove them to do what they do. It’s an eclectic and intriguing selection, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Nicolo Sommer (Lead vocals, synths, keyboards)
TOOL – ÆNIMA
Out of all the Tool albums, I must say that this record influenced me as a whole concept and the visual aspect of it is really strong.It is still a milestone and something I go back to often.
Björk – Vespertine
There is so much attention to detail in the production of this record, which I must say I learnt to admire only a few years ago and Björk’s genius vocal rendition on each track is very inspiring to me.
Massive Attack – 100th Window
Definitely another milestone for me. Pristine, solid production, beautiful collaborations and a rather dark, dystopian mood.
Klaas Von Karlos (VJ, vocals, synths, gadgets)
Tricky – Maxinquaye
When I finally discovered Tricky’s debut solo album during my first sophomore year of college, I felt like an amnesia victim who suddenly rediscovered his own identity. For me, it was not just a collection of a songs, but a paranoid, off-kilter haze of dark hip hop beats and atonal post-punk flourishes.
Amidst these dysphoric sonic textures were the haunting and asthmatic whispered poetry of Tricky, often buried in the mix beneath his former romantic and musical partner, Martina Topley-Bird. At the time, they defined for me the dissolution of musical boundaries and conventions. Dissonance became beauty and darkness became light. From my first listen of that album until now moment, the only British Royal Family that I recognize will forever be Tricky and Martina.
Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile
At the age of 15, 1999 was a year of musical releases that cemented my aesthetic personal aesthetically preferences. It was at this point, that albums became my personal refuge. The most important release of that year for me was the double disc, commercial suicide NIN album that was “The Fragile.”
Veering from industrial to classical, and featuring a subtle collaboration with Dr. Dre, Trent Reznor created an album that was to be experienced in the same vein as a film, and not just a collection of radio ready friendlies. The album explored death, relationship dynamics, and literally, the fragility of the human experience. I cannot remember how many darkened Autumnal days and nights I spent listening to this album from beginning to end. I do know, however, it forever changed how I listened to and what I expected from music.
Miles Davis – Sketches of Spain
Jazz? Classical? Neo-classical? Traditional Spanish music? Yes. Yes. Yes. While I was always aware of Miles Davis because of my mother’s love for jazz, I discovered “Sketches of Spain” during the beginning of my undergraduate studies in Film at Webster University.
For me, it was a newly unearthed side of Miles Davis and his collaborations with producer Ted macro that taught me to see past the confines of genre or the limitations of an audience’s perception of an artist. In order for the art to grow, so must the artist. “Sketches of Spain” is forever imprinted in my musical DNA as a testament to the power of challenging one’s own habits and style in order to evolve. Miles could do no wrong because he was always changing, always ahead of his peers, and miles ahead of any potential copycats.
Jordi Kuragari (Guitar, mandolin)
Genesis · Seconds Out
The best live-album ever, and the musical highpoint of that band. The perfect sound, and the perfect mixture between complex progressive rock and somewhat straight rocksongs. featuring a young Phil Collins singing, the last shows of Steve Hackett before leaving the band, and three of the best drummers in rock history (Chester Thompson, Phil Collins & Bill Bruford)
Steve Hackett · Darktown
An album mainly based on the the work of two people: Steve Hackett’s guitar playing and songwriting, and Roger King’s keyboards and producing. One of the first albums to show what soundscapes you can create using orchestral samples (a universal standard today). It only includes my favorite piece by steve hackett “Twice Around The Sun”.
Joe Hisaishi · Mononoke Hime (soundtrack & image-album)
The soundtrack to Miyasaki’s masterpiece anime-movie. This is how you can include electronic sounds into a classical orchestra without losing the orchestral feeling. and a great combination of musical traditions from Asia and Europe. A huge inspiration to my own soundscapes.