Looking Suite is the solo vehicle of Chris Holland, formerly of Math Pop legends Tribal Fighters. With this project, he switches his focus to lush, drifting ambient soundscapes punctuated by twinkling guitars but also retains his ear for a quirky, catchy melody; the whole thing is basically something of a sonic hug .

A few weeks back, he released ‘A Hundred Or A Thousand Hours’, his second full length offering, so we thought we’d have a chat & get hm to give us the lowdown on what influences his music.

Manuel Gottsching – E2-E4

This is a bit of an obvious one, mainly because anyone who makes electronic music owes a debt to this absolute masterpiece- especially if like me you make electronic music with guitars and a healthy amount of repetition.

While I’ve yet to be brave enough to do a full album (album length song?) based on two chords, this album never once feels like it is slacking or dawdling. With so many elements sprinkled over those two twinkling chords this is heaven and all I aim for in my own pieces.

Walter Gibbons – Jungle Music

This is an album that understands that when a particular part of a song (a beat, a brass section sting, a Hammond organ flourish) sounds good, then it’s definitely a good idea to let it go on for a good long while. Walter Gibbons was a DJ in the legendary (from what you read, I could only dream of witnessing it) early disco scene in New York. While DJing he realised that if a part sounds nice, play it twice.
Seeing how well this philosophy went down on dance floors, record labels let Walter loose on their recordings and this album is a collection of some of his re-edits of some soul/r&b (could you say pre-disco?) of the time. The album is all about decadence – nearly all of the songs stretch out to over ten minutes – and feeling or mood – Walter knows when to let a chorus belt out and when to strip it back to a beat and a bassline or tense string section. This is another thing I aim for in my own music, to know what sounds good where. 
I’m also including this in my list because Walter’s 12 minute edit of Gladys Knight’s “It’s a Better Than Good Time” is probably my favourite recording, it’s just euphoric, and I think more people should hear it.

Day For Airstrikes – Into the Comet

A sentimental choice but this really was a game changer for me. Back in the late 90s, early 00s there was so much great music that deviated from usual structures, genres etc. But the first thing you heard about the bands that made this music was how “weird” they all were. Slint? Oh they basically went insane recording Spiderland then split! Godspeed? Oh they’re an ominous cult in some Canadian compound! Sigur Ros? Oh they sing in a language they made up themselves! 
So as much as I adored those bands (and still do) it didn’t give the impression that making instrumental/experimental music was achievable by mere mortals. No we were in Manchester. We made stodgy, lad focused indie and that was that. 
So when Day For Airstrikes burst into my world while I was in college it was thrilling. Their music was some of the best prog/post rock I’d heard AND they were from Manchester. Hell, I once bumped into them in a pub in Bolton. 
Into The Comet came out after I’d spent a year or so seeing the mighty DFA every chance I got. There was an electric feeling every time they’d play a new song as if both the band and audience all new they were about to release something special. And they did. 
I love this album, I love this band but (as I might have made obvious) I really loved being young and realising that there was a local scene right under my nose, teeming with the kind of music that I’d previously thought had to be made elsewhere by specially anointed crazed geniuses. Not true! It was here and I could treat myself to as much as I could ever want and could even join in and make some too.

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