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Monday Mixtape: King Kong Company

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Ahead of the band’s show at Cork Opera House on October 24 as part of this year’s Jazz weekender (tickets right here) Mark White from King Kong Company riffs on some of his all-time favourite songs, including Iggy Pop, Suicide, Lee Perry & The Upsetters and more.

Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy

I got together with a few other wanna be musicians and started a band while in secondary school. We had enough self awareness to play what we considered ‘easy’ songs. Mannish Boy was the first. Slow, no chords, no breaks, perfect! Everyone played the riff in time and the singer did a decent Muddy but it sounded awful. We must have played it over 200 times and it never got better. Years later I realised how integral the raucous backing vocals are to this record. The energy in the room is the hook!

Iggy Pop – Repo Man

A friend put me onto the soundtrack to the movie. It’s a great crash course in early 80’s American Punk. ‘I’m looking for the joke with a microscope’. Aren’t we all Iggy!

Tom Waits – What’s he building in there?

I was confused the first time I heard this. What happened to 70’s barfly Tom Waits? I had no idea his music had become quite avant garde since 1983’s Swordfishtrombones. What an artistic u-turn. Had the privilege of seeing him live twice! Probably the greatest performer I’ve ever witnessed!

Kleenex – Beri Beri

Switzerland is not really known for great bands. There is at least one however. Question is which of these girls is the coolest? I’m going for Klaudia with a K.

Max Roach / Abbey Lincoln – Driva Man

Hunting for samples is such a great way to discover music. Decades of catalogue have never before been so accessible. This truffle of a tune is heavy out. Feels almost like a seance!

Suicide – Ghost Rider

A friend and I started a techno duo some years back. Unfortunately we weren’t as good or as infuential as Suicide 🙁

dEUS – Theme From Turnpike

I generally don’t like brass instruments. However, in the bass register they sound absolutely awesome. This Lalo Schifrin influenced tune is a great example!

Lee Perry & The Upsetters – Roast Fish & Cornbread

Finally, a classic cut from the late great Upsetter. How many singers can make their dinner sound cool? A friend of mine bumped into him at an airport in Switzerland. Bizarrely, Lee was reading the Financial Times. Hope the stocks are on the up in Zion Scratch!

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.