From The Mixing Desk Of Steve Albini – 5 Essential Albums

ATP is coming up in May – and Shellac are playing.

To celebrate this rare chance to see the seminal post-hardcore/noise-rock band play in the UK, we interview mainman Steve Albini in the new issue of the mag. But Albini’s importance and influence obviously extends beyond his role in Shellac. Here are five essential albums he’s had a hand in as ‘producer’ (not that he ever uses that term).


Big Black – Songs About Fucking (1987)
The final album from Albini’s self-recorded melt-yer-face drum machine band. One of the nastiest yet most exciting records you’ll ever hear. Here’s opening track ‘The Power Of Independent Trucking’.

Pixies – Surfer Rosa (1988)
Recorded in 10 days at Boston’s Q-Division studio, Albini charged a fee of $1500 and received no royalties, saying that to do so “would be an insult to the band”.

Brainiac – Hissing Prigs In Static Couture (1996)
Until the death of singer Tim Taylor, this Dayton, Ohio band were one of the most brain-bustingly unique the rock underground has ever seen.
Listen to Vincent Come On Down on LastFM

Low – Things We Lost In The Fire (2001)
Recorded at Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago, the Mormon troupe’s fifth full album is a thing of exquisite beauty. ‘July’ actually sounds like a tear falling. Here’s opening track ‘Sunflower’ performed live at Islington’s Union Chapel:

The Stooges – The Weirdness (2007)
It’s not a great record, but The Stooges’ first since ‘Raw Power’ was aided by Albini’s unique recording techniques. The late Ron Asheton’s guitars sound furious.
Listen to download-only single Free And Freaky