Sophie Hunger Makes a Mix Tape

Sophie Hunger via MAGNET…

Sophie Hunger may be releasing her North American debut on April 26 (via Manimal Vinyl), but this multi-instrumentalist is no novice to the music scene. The Swiss-born musician already has two albums under her belt, both of which made top-five chart placements throughout Europe (without major-label backing, no less). Plus, she sings in four languages and probably knows the European continent like the back of her hand from extensive touring. And judging from the killer mix tape she made us here at MAGENT, the girl knows what she’s doing and will undoubtedly conquer North America without breaking a sweat.

“Your Personal Religion” (download):

Glen Gould “Goldberg Variations (Aria)”
With Leonardo da Vinci in mind, I always find it terribly inappropriate to use the word “genius” for anything or anyone. Glen Gould gets close, though. No? OK, it’s presumably easy to sound extraordinary when you play Bach. Bach, by the way, invented pop music along with the Beatles. Check out Gould
talking to children about interpretation and talking about animals. Video

Peter Fox Alles Neu
If Peter Fox were American, he’d probably be the king of beats. The historical coincidence of Germany playing a marginal role in the music business has him “only” carry the crown of Berlin. (Yes, there are differences; the best drummer in the world probably doesn’t even have a drum kit.)

Nina Simone Stars
“I insist on being not one of your clowns but one of you … Is David Bowie here????” Nina Simone at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival. Just watch it. The second when she finally starts to play: her complete sovereignty. Every time I see her perform, I wonder if there really is a need for any other woman to play the piano and sing.

Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip “Thou Shalt Always Kill
“Guns, bitches and bling were never part of the four elements and never will be.” What could we possibly add to that? I imagine those guys living in a one-room flat in Brixton (the one they shot the video in), taking on bartender jobs or working on promotion for Subway that has them walking around the London Eye in a huge ham-sandwich costume. ‘Cause even though their song has been heard more than three million times on YouTube, they probably haven’t sold a single record. Welcome to the 21st century.

Camille “Ta Douleur
Camille is the Queen of France. That works there because they had monarchies for a long time. They also invented what we now call “revolution.” So obviously they’re living with a lot of useful contradiction. I hope some of you speak French because the lyrics are just marvelous!

Bob Dylan “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)”
“Advertising signs they con/You into thinking you’re the one/That can do what’s never been done/That can win what’s never been won/Meantime life outside goes on/All around you/You lose yourself, you reappear/You suddenly find you got nothing to fear/Alone you stand with nobody near/When a trembling distant voice, unclear/Startles your sleeping ears to hear/That somebody thinks they already found you … Although the masters make the rules/For the wise men and the fools/I’ve got nothing, Ma, to live up to.” My dear Bob Dylan, I have not yet learned not to take you personally.

Colin Vallon Trio “Rruga
Colin Vallon is a jazz piano player who only recently released an album on ECM. This is the title track. I spent most of my flight from Zürich (that’s a small village in central Europe) to New York listening to it. It’s infinite.

Kashmir “She’s Made Of Chalk”
This is a wonderful Danish band. Their third album is called Zitilites, and it’s one of those albums where every song is great.

Shakuhachi Kyushu Reibo
Shakuhachi is a Japanese end-blown flute. It was used by the monks of the Fuke school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of suizen (blowing meditation). Stop laughing. Legend has it that this music was written exclusively for the emperor and was not meant ever to be heard by anyone else. This practice was obviously broken when they released an album. I don’t know whether the legend serves as a promotional tool or if it’s really true. I like to think it’s true. I mean, if it is true then you’re the emperor while listening to it, right? The greatest things in art are made with love, religion and mere enforcement. I added a
video called “Folk Music” by David Shrigley because I think his contribution to the significance of folk music is indispensable and because I am in love with him. Video

Lhasa “Con Toda Palabra
“Con toda palabra/Con toda sonrisa/Con toda mirada/Con toda caricia/Me acerco al agua/Bebiendo tu beso/La luz de tu cara/La luz de tu cuerpo/Es ruego el quererte/Es canto de mudo/Mirada de ciego/Secreto desnudo/Me entrego a tus brazos/Con miedo y con calma/Y un ruego en la boca/Y un ruego en el alma”

Sophie Hunger – Train People @ La Cigale – Paris (FR)


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