Ten Records I Wish I'd Released by MIE's Henry Tadros...
Over the last 18 months MIE has released what Henry calls ‘works of ambient pop, stark sacred harp influenced folk, as well as shamanic vocal and percussive assaults, sublime noise rock, chordal minimal drone and raga-influenced psych rock.’ Unsurprisingly, then, this list of records he’s put together for us is easily the most leftfield we’ve had in this series so far…
Words: Henry Tadros
MIE was set up in 2008 with the aim of releasing works by artists who shared our outlook on music. It's a pretty simple outlook; artists who love what they do, make original, pioneering work which I think demands to be out there for people to enjoy.
There's no set musical direction to the label, we just work with the artists we love and want to hear on vinyl. After a year of promoting shows in Manchester and working with a host of excellent artists we moved back down to London and started on the label seriously. 2012 has seen releases by Richard Youngs, Trouble Books, Gate, Chord, Sarin Smoke, Pelt, and Bong, and we can't wait to get into 2013 which is shaping up to be even busier.
1. Bardo Pond – Lapsed (1997)
'Tommy Gun Angel', the opening track, is one of my most favourite of all time. Not much can touch it. The whole album is a beautiful squall of fuzzed up guitars and just sounds so monolithically huge and heavy. The band from Philadelphia have continued to release excellent records for years and live they're a joy to behold. I’m probably going to say this after all these records but really these are one of the best bands in the world. Listen to 'Tommy Gun Angel'.
2. The Dead C – Trapdoor Fucking Exit (1993)
I’ve recently had the massive pleasure of reissuing Michael Morley (one third of the Dead C’s) seminal solo noise-drone rock opus The Dew Line. I think that’s a pretty perfect record but I’ll always come back to Trapdoor Fucking Exit as the epitome of what noise-rock is to me. Morley scorching out his mantiric riffs and declaiming his hypnotic lines, Bruce Russell teasing out impossible noises on his guitar and Robbie Yeats pounding and rocking his head off on the drums. Perfect.
3. Parson Sound – Parson Sound (1967/8 – 2001)
Even though it was all recorded in the late 60’s, this massive two-CD/ three-LP archival boxset of one of the most influential underground psych-rock bands only came out for the first time in 2001 – and it was their only release. The Swedish band were total pioneers and have continued up to today, only changing their name a few times. You might know their present one, Trad Gras Och Stenar. Listen to 'Tio Minuter'.
4. Sun City Girls – 330,003 Crossdressers From Beyond The Rig Veda (1996)
Looking over the back catalogue of Sun City Girls and trying to pick your favourite record is a fearsome task, but 330,003 will always stick out as my personal favourite. How can you describe Sun City Girls? One of the most eclectic bands ever? Or maybe just watch and listen to this:
5. Acid King – Busse Woods (1999)
There are a hell of a lot of heavy albums I could have picked here. Nothing's better than a good old heavy riff and thats exactly what Acid King lays down. It might not be as universally well regarded as classic heavy albums like Dopethrone or Dopesmoker, but Busse Woods is really an unsung classic. Listen to 'Silent Circle'.
6. Loren Connors – Hells Kitchen Park (1993)
I could have really picked any Loren Connors album. Every single one is perfect, but Hell’s Kitchen Park was the first LP I got of his, and the one I’m most attached too. Haunted solo guitar airs and two tracks with vocals by Suuzane Langille break it up gorgeously. Listen to 'Sorrow in the House'.
7. Pharaoh Overlord – Out of the Darkness (2011)
One of the fun-est and most rocking records I’ve ever heard from the Ektro camp, and that's saying something. Pharaoh Overlord are the sister band of Circle (who I should really have included in this list too) and on this record they’ve invited a few guest vocalists and guitarists into the mix. A band you really need to hear. 'Devastator' is one of the most metal tracks of the decade.
8. Six Organs of Admittance – RTZ (2009)
Six Organs are one of my overall favourite bands. Ben Chasny’s excellence is so well spread over his catalogue, it was nigh on impossible to choose what record I’d like to have released. So I kind of cheated and have gone for RTZ, a recent 3LP on Drag City collating a lot of his early work and hard to find 12”s, lathes and other stuff. I’d have loved to release any of this work so I’ve got a nice big umbrella of stuff here. Listen to 'Resurrection'.
9. Bill Fay – Time of the last Persecution (1971)
Time of the Last Persecution was one of the most amazing singer-songwriter records from the '70s, it should have been absolutely massive but was sadly mostly unheard off. In the last few years though artists like Jeff Tweedy from Wilco and David Tibet from Current 93 have been pushing Bill back into the limelight. It was a hard choice though for me here, as Michael Chapman’s ‘Fully Qualified Survivor’ is again an amazing record from the same era. Listen to 'I Hear You Calling'.
10. Swans – Children Of God (1987)
Swans. Another one of those 'what the hell do I choose' bands, as their output is all so brain crushingly amazing. I think Children of God just straddles the early and middle eras perfectly, a blend of Gira and Jarboe with some of the most intense tracks they’ve done. The call and responses of Gira and the band in the track 'New Mind' make for spine-tingling stuff and the video is something else.
Hallock Hill's The Union | Hem of Evening is out now. Listen and order here.
MIE is hosting its 5th birthday celebration at London's Cafe Oto on 4th October, with a line-up including Pelt, Gate and Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides. Book tickets here.
Sorry no reviews have been returned.
- Opera & Dance