On February 25th, UK’s disco-infused synth-pop group Holodrum, which features members of Hookworms, Yard Act, Cowtown, Virginia Wing, Drahla, and more, are set to release their debut self-titled album via Gringo Records and Dinked Editions. This may be the seven-piece’s debut album, “but the interlocking grooves and hot headiness of their repeato-rock-via-CBGBs dopamine hits have in one way or other been fermenting for years.”
We asked the band to tell us about three records that have influenced them musically and why…
Prince – The Black Album (Chris)
After having a spiritual epiphany, Prince claimed a demonic entity named Spooky Electric produced this record and convinced himself it was a work of pure evil; he pulled it. I had a bootleg as a kid and when I first got it I thought it was the most dangerous and dark thing I’d ever heard, also the funkiest and sexiest. This is funk for funk’s sake, but it’s also abstract, druggy and it plays out like the best and worst night out you’ve ever had. Prince’s playing is stupidly tight here and the horn arrangements are ridiculous, cartoonish, and uneasy. His alter-ego Camille also has her second greatest tune on this LP with ‘Rockhard in a Funky Place’ (her finest appearance being ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’, obviously). Songwriting and production-wise it’s certainly not his best record, but sometimes (as he sings on ‘Le Grind’) you’ve just got to be shown “what your hips are made for”. Holodrum might not be as dark or rude as this record, but it knows what its prime objective is.
Phoenix – Bankrupt! (Matthew)
I could have picked any of the last 3 Phoenix records but this is my personal favourite. It might seem like a weird choice in relation to Holodrum’s music but it’s a record I often refer back to in terms of mixing and production. Lots of saturation and a huge bottom end. I love how harmoniously drum machines sit with live drums and synths sit alongside guitars, that’s something we’re always aspiring to achieve. Phoenix do a lot of sampling their own drummer and then sequencing him back like a drum machine, which is often how I start when writing Holodrum demo’s; I’ve got a folder of one-shots of Nash and Steve playing that we’ve recorded at various points over the last few years. In terms of production I think it is Philippe Zdar’s pièce de résistance in quite a substantial back catalogue. It makes me incredibly sad that we won’t hear any more records that have passed through his ears.
LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver (Jon Nash)
James Murphy popped up with LCD Soundsystem at an uncertain yet fertile time for music and with Sound Of Silver he did for rock music what Daft Punk had done ten years earlier for dance music on ‘Homework’; he coalesced the whole, united the disparate elements and celebrated the genre whilst taking giant steps forward. It blew my mind a bit and now serves as a consistent reference when creating music of my own. Playing pre-programmed sequences had never occurred to me before. Making use of the studio as a creative tool was also an epiphany and humanizing grid-based music has now become a lifelong pursuit. It also inspired the idea of playing in a large ensemble group which is where I’m at right now with Holodrum.