Ahead of the release of their debut album on 11 May (via Blank Editions), London-based four-piece Ice Baths talk us through the influences that have shaped their sound…
Lubomyr Melnyk – ‘KMH: Section V‘
I think someone recommended this album to me when I was in University. Apparently Lubomyr Melnyk is somewhat of a technical wizard at the piano, but I don’t think he’s showboating because he uses it to cause noise and chaos that breaks off and deteriorates until you’re left with something that that spins like a top and then falls.
Grouper – ‘Hold the Way‘
I saw Grouper play St Giles-In-The-Fields church around when this came out. All the pews were filled but I’m pretty sure we got up to the top seats near the roof and were looking down on her, I don’t think we were supposed to be in that part because we were the only ones there. Anyway, she is incredible.
Swell Maps – ‘Helicopter Spies‘
I’m a huge fan of the Solihull band swell maps. Every track features something unexpected: an out of tune vocal, vacuum cleaner, punk rock piano, military references, sporadic glam jams. I don’t know how much of their fearless assault on tonality was intentional but it’s always entertaining. I love the rough around the edges recording style, it makes me feel a whole lot better about all the mistakes in my own playing. I even have a tattoo of the band which I showed to the bass player a few years back. That’s definitely one of those things you’re not meant to do. I think he liked it…
Neo Boys – ‘Time Keeps Time‘
Brilliant shining effortless complex guitar pop. I wish I could play like this. Recorded by Greg Sage of the Wipers, I adore the production on this record. Its a rough mix of an uncut diamond. I’m often suspicious of music which is too polished. Once this gets inside your head it burrows in deep- surgery is not an option.”ALEX
Bauhaus – ‘In The Flat Field‘
Possibly one of my all time favourite album sleeves? It may not have come across overly in the Ice Baths recordings but I was listening to this album a bunch whilst recording the album and it just soundtracks the memories of the process and period of time for me… I love the drums on this record!
Damien Dubrovnik – ‘Arrow 3‘
I could have picked any number of recent releases from the Posh Isolation label, they are just in exceptional form, this track is from the album “A Great Many Arrows” the 200th release on the label and the title is taken from a historic archery competition in Kyoto, Japan, in which archers would shoot as many arrows as possible for a 24 hour period…pretty cool! It’s basically a hybrid of power noise and ambient bliss…this is such a good record!