TITLE: SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE: JOHN VLISMAS ALBUM THAT REMINDS ME OF MY EARLY CHILDHOOD: License To Ill – Beastie Boys I will never forget making my way to the beachfront in Durban to buy this album on vinyl. It was an import-only pressing and cost R35, which was the same price as a pair of RayBan sunglasses. It was an outrageous sum of money, but when the needle hit the groove and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” played – life changed forever.
ALBUM THAT NEVER GETS BORING: Alt-J – This Is All Yours. This was recommended to me by a great friend, and I often find new elements when it plays, when you least expect it, which is like any great art.
BEST POP ROCK ALBUM OF ALL TIME: Royal Blood – How Did We Get So Dark? This is not really pop rock, but it rocks that two people can make so much beautiful noise.
ALBUM THAT REMINDS YOU OF YOUR DAYS IN DUT: Sisters Of Mercy – Greatest Hits Vol 1. We used to go to the Goth music nights at the Berea Inn called “Creep Show” when we were students – so much more comfortable than the jock fest nightclubs where people drank until they fought. We drank till we scrawled poems with eyeliner.
THE ALBUM I PLAY BEFORE & AFTER YOUR STAND UP COMEDY SHOW: BEFORE: Hexstatic – Rewind. This is super-intelligent electronic music that sets the pre-show tone – literally. AFTER: Tom Waits – Rain Dogs. Anyone who doesn’t love Tom Waits doesn’t have a soul. After a show, when you just want to be still and vent some adrenaline, Tom is the perfect soundtrack for backstage.
ALBUM THAT’S GUARANTEED TO LIFT MY MOOD: Daft Punk – Alive 2007. These two robots are geniuses. It’s an epic, massive and intelligent performance. This is music to play late at night with great headphones when looking for inspiration. I think it can make you a little cleverer briefly.
THE ALBUM THAT HAD THE BIGGEST IMPACT ON ME: Nirvana – In Utero – I had no idea that anger could be so beautifully captured. That a human could hit a drum that hard while someone screamed in key was imperfect and awesome. Grunge was the soundtrack of my late teens and early twenties. Before digital things glazed our faces, we were moody, angry youths looking for a reason to justify our pointless sarcasm. Nirvana provided the anthems for our cause.
BEST ALBUM TO PLAY ON FRIDAY NIGHT: Altan Urag – Made in Altan Urag. This is Mongolian folk music, and so alien to my upbringing that it forces my brain into uncomfortable places. It is great when looking for new ways to think about things in a new way.
ALBUM I WISH I’D MADE: Ry Cooder – Paris Texas. The emotion of the slide guitar, and the stark, bleak dialogue snippets are like eating a dusty piece of America’s edge.
ALBUM THAT I PLAY IN THE MORNING OR YOUR GET UP & GO ALBUM: Nine Inch Nails – Petty Hate Machine. This album is almost like angst-pop. It’s almost as if Trent Reznor wanted to show that little drum machines could also have bi-polar days.
THE ALBUM USED TO PLAY DURING MY EARLY DAYS IN YOUR COMEDY CAREER: Prodigy – Firestarter. I thought Keith Flynt and Voodoo were the business. I went through some pretty wild times with this album as the soundtrack.
ALBUM THAT SHAPED YOU AS A MAN: All of them. Every single one. Even the ones I didn’t like. Music is essential and the more you can get in front of your ears, the better. All that stimulation from so many different places, instruments, tempos, harmonies – music is intelligence abstracted and that is very sexy.
ALBUM THAT YOU THINK SHOULD BE RE-RELEASED: Everything should be remixed, at least once. Nothing is sacred.
THE ALBUM THAT MADE ME FALL IN LOVE: Music doesn’t make you fall in love, it’s just an innocent bystander, right? That said, The Killers – Hot Fuss. Mr Brightside’s lyrics mean a lot to my partner and I as they almost perfectly describe a time in our lives that we nearly didn’t get through.
WRITTEN BY RETHABILE MOHLALA