German deep house duo Tube & Berger (AKA Arndt Rörig and Marco Vidovic) are gearing up for a big 2017, with their debut album We Are All Stars set to land in May.
Tube & Berger favour a ‘live’ electronic sound that’s steeped in a wide range of influences, so it’s hardly surprising that, when we asked them to put together a list of mindblowing records, it featured everyone from Alan Parsons to Dr. Dre. Read on to find out more...
The Alan Parsons Project - The Raven
“The Raven is a 1976 song by the Alan Parsons Project from their album Tales of Mystery And Imagination. The song is based on the Edgar Allen Poe poem of the same name. It was actually one of the first rock songs to use a vocoder to distort vocals. So Daft Punk owe a debt to Alan Parsons! It is also one of the few songs by the band to feature the vocals of Alan Parsons, who sings the first verse through the vocoder.
“Alan Parsons is a legend of the UK music scene. He was studio engineer for The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Probably one of the greatest producers ever but not as well known as these bands, of course. And his Mammagamma track is a cosmic disco classic. For real.”
Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here
“From a track Alan Parsons produced to a band he engineered. What to say about Pink Floyd and this track? Pink Floyd are probably the first and best band to understand how rock and electronic music can work together to produce sublime atmospherics. They were keen innovators with the new synthesisers coming into music production at this time (1975).”
“Pink Floyd’s lyrics are always worth listening to. Wish You Were Here is about both Syd Barrett, the lost band member of Pink Floyd, and a criticism of the greedy music business."
Nirvana - Come As You Are
“We were/are big fans of grunge. Too young for the first punk, this sound is our punk!
“This track was released as the second single from Nirvana's big album Nevermind in March 1992. The big shift in dynamics between the quiet parts and loud parts is a technique Nirvana used on many of their songs, and is very evident in this track. The quiet parts draw you in, and then the chorus explodes, with the guitars and drums at full throttle.
“The lyrics also really appeal in that they are telling people to be themselves, which meant a lot to us as outsider punk kids. And maybe they were sad and prophetic, as Kurt says on the song “I don’t have a gun,” but then blew his brains out some years later. He was a bit of a visionary.”
Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name
“Phew! What can we say? Any track with lyrics that include the line "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me," then builds into a crescendo before culminating with singer Zack de la Rocha screaming "Motherfucker!" was always going to get our attention as kids!
“Rap metal might be not cool these days, but back in the day it united the twin forces of two angry genres into a really powerful call to arms. This track still rocks hard and is a manifesto to live by if you are 20 years old and have no kids. Maybe if you are 50 and have three kids it’s even better.”
Johnny Cash - Hurt
“We knew the original from being fans of Nine Inch Nails, but Johnny Cash's version just blew us away. It’s probably because the video is so moving as it reflects moments from Cash’s life, and he knew when he recorded [the video] that it would be one of his last songs. He died seven months later.
“Johnny Cash is also an interesting artist in his own way. He was right there with Elvis at the birth of rock ’n’ roll and lived the life of a cowboy rebel, whereas Elvis went super mainstream and Las Vegas.
“Is this the saddest song ever? We cried as we wrote this, so yes, definitely.”
The KLF - Last Train To Trancentral
“What is not to like about the KLF? We think they might be one of the greatest bands of all time. They burnt £1 million! Were they even a band or an art project? The fact that no one is sure is a reason why they are so good.
“This track is a banging UK rave track at heart, but there are references in it to their other hits such as 3 a.m. Eternal, What Time Is Love? and Justified & Ancient, which shows they knew their Dada from their Radio Gaga or Lady Gaga. There were also 12-minute-long ambient versions and lots of mixes. Madness.
“In our hearts we like to think we could be as mischievous and sincere in our art as The KLF, but we might have kept the million pounds, or at least spent it on something noble!”
The Who - Behind Blue Eyes
“We always loved British psychedelic bands and really got into the music of The Zombies, The Troggs, The Animals and The Small Faces. But The Who are probably our favourites.
“This song was covered many times - even in the nu metal era by Limp Bizkit - but the original is still special.
“In many ways it presages Nirvana and the quiet/loud dynamic. The track starts very acoustic and pastoral, with just Daltrey and acoustic guitar, before Pete Townsend comes in and rocks out with the band in flow.
“The Who’s bassist and drummer both died taking drugs, but one was 32 and one was 57. Who was the most 'rock ’n’ roll' in the end? We say The Ox, not The Moon.”
Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The UK
“We are not sure there has ever been a more incendiary record in the history of popular music. In the 1970s, someone who looked as crazy and disaffected as Johnny Rotten opening a song with the line “I Am The Antichrist, I Am An Anarchist,” was pure revolution at a time of prog rock and Abba!
“We were clearly not there, but it must have felt incredible to the UK youth to have this phenomenon happening in their lifetime. People talk now about music being a lifestyle, but is anyone today as committed to their agenda as the punks were? This track inspired many of the other bands and songs on our list and inspires us today.”
The Chemical Brothers - Out Of Control
“Out of all the live electronic bands it is The Chemical Brothers we love the most. This track comes from their third and - in our opinion - best album, Surrender.
“The song's vocals and guitar were performed by Barney from New Order with backing vocals done by Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream, so a who’s who of UK indie electronic giants on one record.
“The track has a really mad Euro disco bassline with these freaky acid trip indie rock lyrics and singing, so it is a mash-up of lots of styles that you would think could not work together. But they really mesh well to produce an indie dance classic.”
Dr. Dre - Next Episode
“Dr Dre is right up there as one of the greatest producers of all time. N.W.A, himself, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, and then inventing headphones…
“We love this track because hip-hop is like punk: for the people, by the people. Dre changed the game more times than anybody within hip-hop, and we would not be able to listen to our mixes on aeroplanes without him.”