The second of our mixtapes comes courtesy of artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster. The artists took a break from creating sculptures like this to talk us through which tracks they have chosen and why. Over to Bowie-obsessed Sue for the first six – the A-Side; Tim has offered the following five on the B.
‘Station to Station’ by David Bowie (live from ‘Stage’)
I can’t do a mixtape without putting at on least one Bowie track. When I was trying to ‘seduce’ Tim at Art college in Nottingham, I posted a mixtape through his student letterbox late one night that I thought would truly paint a portrait of the sensitive girl I was – well worth pursuing. This was back in the day when we actually used cassette tapes of course. Even then, there was a Bowie on there – his cover of The Merseys’ Sorrow from his 1973 Pin-ups Album.
Fast foward to 2012 and I’m still suffering from ‘Bowie Mania’, partly due to it being the 40th anniversary since the release of his seminal 1972 album, The Rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. I recently watched the wonderful film of Ziggy’s last ever concert at Hammersmith Odeon filmed by DA Pennebaker for the first time, and I simply couldn’t keep still. I have, throughout the years, collected many Bowie live albums, always on vinyl as you are guaranteed a beautiful portrait of David adorning the cover – he’s just so cool and still makes me feel like a teenager. I like having his image scattered all over my room.
What I’m listening to right now is the 1978 live double album, Stage, a montage of various live concerts stuck together and produced by his long time collaborator Tony Visconti. Not only is ‘Station to Station’ the opening track from the studio album with the same name, but live, it begins side two and has even more atmosphere – it straddles almost three musical genres. It begins with the strict minimalistic repetitiveness of the engine of a train starting up and explodes into some kind of futuristic soul/funk. It doesn’t end the same way it started – it’s like three works in one – and is over ten minutes long. Maybe it subconsciously influenced our shadow works that were once described by the music journalist Jon Savage as Adventures in the Fifth Dimension because they exist in 3D but are projected into another two dimensions by a light source.
‘Piss Factory’ by Patti Smith
Every time I hear this it reminds me of when I was caught in a similar situation. I was working the nightshift in a ‘sweat shop’ pressing cheap clothing on a steam press whilst trying to make my way through an art foundation course. It says to me, “Keep looking forwards, never back”.
‘Ballard of a Thin Man’ by Bob Dylan
This is a song for all the critics who can only ever think they understand.
‘SCUM’ – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Another incredibly well written ode to a particularly nasty little shit.
‘Sat in your Lap’ by Kate Bush
‘Wuthering Heights’ was the first record I ever bought and knew all the words to. I had very long black hair when I was young and would mime along to this with all the crazy dance movements, but ‘Sat in Your Lap’ has to be one the strangest records out there. When put it on a mixtape, I feel the ending merges nicely with the beginning of…
‘Spellbound’ by Siouxsie and the Banshees
It has a kind of galloping energy to it. In the video, Siouxsie Sioux wears fishnet arm stockings and dances with a whip.
‘The Intro and the Outro’ by Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
‘Metal Machine Music Part 3′ by Lou Reed (from the album ‘Metal Machine Music’)
This track lasts well over 16 minutes, and the album for well over an hour. We saw Lou Reed perform this album of white noise feedback in it’s entirety at The Royal Festival Hall two years ago. Even then, people in the audience walked out from either disgust or boredom.
‘Fodderstompf’ by Public Image Limited (from the album ‘First Issue’)
‘The Boiler’ by The Special AKA
‘Top of the World’ by The Carpenters