As we said in our Best Music of May, Bam Spacey, aka Magnus Johansson, crafts some of Sweden's forward thinking electro grooves that originate from the earth while vocals sing in the mother tongue of Malmö, Sweden, moving like sleepy mist pierced by the aurora borealis beams from the northern lights. His newest release, the EP Land, is available now on Ceremony Recordings.
This is a collection of tracks that helped shape me as Bam Spacey. Spoiler: It's mostly hit music.
The Knife, “Silent Shout”
I have always loved the Knife, and it would be a total lie to say I have not been greatly inspired by them. Their first album really got me into thinking in new ways when making music. But when turning up the darkness on ”Silent Shout”, with all that wonderfully twisted pop, you can't do anything but wish you had made those songs. The whole album is a perfect example how you can make really really deep dance music, with so many layers and emotion stuffed into it.
Pet Shop Boys, “Always On My Mind”
This is probably the best song ever. I never felt that this song was anyone else's than the Pet Shop Boys. They turn it into synth pop perfection. From the introductory cowbells, setting the tone, to that last blast of the unforgettable melody of synth stabs, you wish the song would never end. And with Tennant delivering that low-key melancholy croon with such honesty, it's actually quite breathtaking. I'll never tire of this song, and never cease to be inspired by it.
Antena, “Camino Del Sol”
I got my hands on the re-issue by Numero in like 2006-2007 (?), and since then it's been a natural go-to record when I'm not sure what I want to listen to. It never lets me down. The whole album feels warm but sounds cool. Icy percussion delivering sunny bossa-nova rhythms, with those cool detached vocals and that perfect minimal production. It's one of those records I never really make it all the way through. Halfway in, I end up in the bedroom studio, trying out new things on my own tracks. That's the effect that record has on me, it's crazy inspiring.
Pantha du Prince, “Lay In a Shimmer”
This is one of those tracks I can listen to over and over again and still notice new stuff every time. The production is so impressive. It's got an incredible depth, without sacrificing any detail. I listened a fair bit to Pantha du Prince before ”Black Noise” but here it all comes together for me. The idea and essence of this track has really shaped my current sound.
New Order, “Bizarre Love Triangle”
I love it when a song conveys something really sad and heartwrenching to an all-out danceable beat. There's so much desperation and sadness, but all you want to do is dance. A lot of '80s songs manage to do this quite well, but “Bizarre Love Triangle” has to be number one, or at least in the top five (along with Erasures “Oh L'Amour” for example). It's that perfect pop sensibility paired with an unstoppable production, complete with swirling synth arps and robotic bass, that just blows my mind. I actually stole the chord sequence from this song to use with a track from ”Land”, I just couldn't help myself.
Neutral Milk Hotel, “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea”
Jeff Mangum's way of writing lyrics changed everything for me. I don't think I'll ever really recover from the first time I heard this record (let alone this song), which is probably true for a whole lot of people. After I got over how damn near perfect the record is, I started listening to the actual words. No-one else writes like that. It's simple and beautiful, bizarre and convoluted, all at the same time. It's just so hard to describe. The words from that album still echo in my head when I write lyrics today.