If you have trouble nodding off, Thom Yorke has your back. The Radiohead singer created a ‘bedtime mix’ for Phil Taggart’s show on BBC Radio 1 and it’s 30 minutes of gentle minimalism that will make you feel all cosy and snug. As well as a quiet, live rendition of the Radiohead song ‘Bloom’ and a stripped-back version of the band’s track ‘Fitter, Happier’, the mixtape features a host of avant garde musicians and experimental pioneers. Here’s what you need to know about them.
This artist made a name for himself in the New York avant-garde scene in the 1970s, creating videos and sculptures as well as experimental music. He regularly performed with a gang of stuffed animals, making him the perfect person to have a snooze and snuggle with. Throughout the 80s and much of the 90s he turned his attention to visual art, but continues release music, including the 2012 album ‘Two Electronic Sonorities’.
The Norfolk musician has been putting out wilfully weird music since 2006, when he released ‘B,B,B,B,B,B,B,B,B,B’ on Output Recordings. He circuit-bends equipment and creates his own modular synths to achieve his idiosyncratic sounds, which were out in force on his second album of super-smart ambient music, ‘Wysing Forest’. The record notable features no percussion – perhaps that’s why Thom thinks his music is perfect to get into a dreamy state with.
Holden was just 19, and studying Mathematics at The University Of Oxford, when he released the acclaimed trance track ‘Horizons’ using a piece of freely available programming software called Buzz. He’s since remixed ‘Get together’ by Madonna and ‘Breathe On Me’ by Britney Spears, while ‘The Idiots Are Winning’, his 2006 debut album, has been described as a record of “exquisite techno”. His 2013 album ‘The Inheritors’ uses analogue synths to create a real sense of cosiness.
Like Palestine, Spiegel came of age in the 1970s avant-garde scene. ‘Harmonices Mundi’, her modern take on the 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler’s idea of music based on planetary rotation, was included on the “golden record” of contemporary music sent up to space on Voyager 1 in 1977. Surprisingly, ‘Sediment, her obscure 1972 piece of abstract electronica, featured in the first Hunger Games movie.