Andrew Hogge is better known to you as Lovefingers and kicks-off our Liner Notes-project with the first mix in our new podcast-series by Red Light Radio & Sonos. But just as every podcast takes you on another journey, every track has its own story. It’s something we personally would love to show you more with this series. We will not only highlight the artist and the mix, but we will also pay attention to the background stories of the songs that are used to give you a full experience. To eventually create something special, we invite our favourite selectors and friends who are close to our hearts to look into their record collection for loads of hidden gems.
We’re starting our ride with a walking music encyclopedia: Lovefingers. The head honcho of ESP Institute is known for his exquisite taste and unique pick of records that you (most of the time) have never heard before. As a teenager, Andrew was introduced to diverse and interesting music through his parents, who collected Surf and R&B (his dad) and Classical (his mother, who was a multi instrumentalist), but it was the drumming in a band that led him to such genres as Punk, Garage and Skate-Rock. While expanding his taste into Soul, Funk and Breaks, Andrew also became obsessed with Psychedelic, Jazz and Kraut records. HIs first DJ gigs reflected his love for beats, and eventually led him into the world, of Disco, House and Techno.
Whilst mostly focusing on the late eighties with this mix, Andrew has turned a lovely journey through a diverse blend of Ambient, Rock, Blues, Disco, World Music and Folk. A full track list, including all the corresponding background stories, can be find below. Andrew was kind enough to give a personal touch to this by sharing his thoughts about some of his picks as well.
- Track 1All PervadingEdward Larry Gordon
Andrew starts off with an excerpt of a twenty-minute long minimal soundscape from a mastermind that many people will know through his alias Laraaji. The American musician was born in Philadelphia and studied violin, piano, trombone and voice in his early days. He turned out to be one of the many influential artists we now know within electronic music, and has worked with people like Brian Eno. Ambient, drone, folk, world music and new age are the genres he finds his ways through, and his EP ‘Celestial Vibration’ was his first debut release in 1978 on a small label from Portland named SWN. ‘All Pervading’ is the second track of this release. Andrew in particular fell in love with a specific instrument within his music: “It was the first time I ever heard a Zither, and I fell in love. Felt like slinkier stonier version of a Dulcimer. Just beautiful and hypnotic.”
- Track 2Caravan To MidnightRobin Trower
“Robin Trower is a guitar hero of mine and this song is an all-time stoner classic”, says Andrew. “When I was big on the greens, this was always on the turntable. When I was looking through the older stacks of records for this mix, I remembered this one all of a sudden because of its amazing graphic sleeve.”
His adoration for the British guitar player Robin Trower is something people could possibly relate to. He booked success with the band Procol Harum during the 1960s, and not soon after, he decided to start a solo career under the name Robin Tower Band. This was the moment he started focusing more on blues and rock instead of pop music. The EP ‘Caravan To Midnight’ was his sixth studio album in collaboration with his lead vocalist James Dewer, which was reissued in 1997 alongside his next release ‘Victims Of The Fury’. It’s the label Chrysalis where he found a home base and released plenty of records.
- Track 3UriWilfred Percussion
Andrews’ outranged taste in music shines through when he puts on some Brazil wax. This first and last LP of Wilfred Percussion includes the track ‘Uri’ and is released on an unknown label. This fantastic Brazilian jazz, funk and soul album made in Italy around 1983, is the work of Gianfranco Gullotto (bass), Osvaldo Mazzei (drums), Fabio Zeppetella (guitars), Alessandro Arzilli (synthesizers), Cicci Santucci (trumpet and composer), Fabio Forte (trombone), Bruno Angeloni (Saxophone), Picci Vincenzo Rudolfi (congas), Wilfred Capello (vocals, composer, arranger, producers and graphics) and Liliana (vocals). A masterpiece and true collectors item, and Andrew seems to think the same. “Not much to say about this, just listen. It gives me the chills, the whole album I fantastic and a great variety of influences but this track ‘Uri’ is particularly beautiful. Brazilian soft psych jazz made in Italy.. Sigh.”
- Track 4Tropical Music Night Train ExcursionGontiti
After his minimal, rock and Brazilian vibes, he grabs back to Japan; the country where band members and acoustic guitarists Gonzalez Mikami and Titi Matsumura started the Gontiti-project in Osaka back in 1978. Their LP ‘Another Mood’, which contains the track ‘Tropical Music Night Train Excursion’, is their second album, released on Casablanca Records in 1983. The duo is well known for their jazz and instrumental records, that have already topped many of Japan’s charts for months at a time. Their music is described as ‘a fusion of Django Reinhardt-flavored jazz, bossa nova and an ineffable Japanese sensibility’, and together they’ve made more than thirty records in total. True Japanese pleasure for the music head, or in Andrews’ words: “a Japanese Balearic guitar masterpiece.”
- Track 5Theme From SplashPel Mel
Australian-based Pel Mel were a post-punk band formed from Newcastle in 1979, whilst moving to Sydney later on. After having quite some success in the inner-city’s music scene, they dropped their debut single ‘No Words From China’ in 1980. The EP ‘Pandemonium’, with on the B-side ‘Theme For Splash’, was released on GAP Records. It was the place where bands as Joy Divison, New Order and Cabaret Voltaire put out loads of their releases too.
- Track 6Flor De TrigoKamel Oil Company Band
The Kamel Oil Company Band is the pseudo of the Iranian psalter player Kamel Missaghian. ‘A-Ba-Ni-Bi/Flor De Trigo’ is the second release of Missaghian and also is the cover version in Hebrew of the Eurovision Song Contest 1978 winning song. Izhar Cohen and The ‘Alpha-Beta’ sung the original material, and both of his releases are only available for extremely high Discogs-prices. ‘Flor De Trigo’ reflects psychedelica and funk with Arabian influences at its best.
- Track 7Flight 2Angelo & Eighteen
“Breakbeat rarity of the highest order, not much more to say, fire fire fire”, says Andrew. Released on a 7”, Canadian band Angelo & Eighteen’s piece was released in 1972 on the RAK label. The duo is quite mysterious, but better known as Angelo Finaldi and Richard Tate. Responsible for the record productions is Mickie Most, famous for being one of Donovan’s producers in the late sixties. ‘Flight 2’ mutates into a crazed, post-psych boogie-fest, and is definitely some marvelous collectors stuff.
- Track 8If It Wasn’t For The MoneyNanette Workman
Great records aren’t always sold for a massive amount of money, and this gem from Workman is a living proof of that. She puts a dose of soul, funk and disco the mix. Andrew: “My best friend Lee Douglas turned me on to this dollar-bin record. Another song on this LP called ‘Save Me’ was a staple in our Stallions parties, and I still play it out all the time. However, the dry production and Babe Ruth-esque guitars on this jam are a little more in line with my California lifestyle these days.”
Nanette Workman was born in 1945 in Brooklyn, New York, and later on became a singer-songwriter, actress and author and moved to Quebeca, Canada, during her career. As a kid of musicians, she was raised in Jackson, Mississippi, where she did her first ever performances. Although she was raised as a native English speaker, most of her songs were in French. Except for ‘If It Wasn’t For The Money’, which was released in 1975 on Acto Records (a sub-label of Atlantic Records).
- Track 9Born In BorneoKen Dang
Odd Harald Hundvin, Kjersti Bergesen, Ronald Jensen, Morten Odeen, Terje H. Hanssen and Ine Tømmerås formed the Norwegian pop-band Ken-Dang, named after a leading Javanese rum-brand. The music-collective started out making music in 1980, and knew how to capture exotic eastern rhythm patterns and English new wave all within their music, whilst contemporary synthesizers also heavily influenced it. A2’s ‘Born In Borneo’ is courtesy of their debut EP, released on Strawberry Records in 1983. Andrew: “Sort of a cosmic holy grail of sorts, on the want list of many friends. This is my third copy, because I keep giving them away to deserving lovers of the deep. An all-time favourite, feels like Souixie meets Strawberry Switchblade meets Bow Wow Wow.” Only one album (‘Monsters & Miracles’) followed from the band after their success.
- Track 10Minimal BoogieHarald Grosskopf
‘Minimal Boogie’ is a special one regarding ESP Institute. Andrew: “I was first turned onto this Grosskopf random album cut by Tako Reyenga (long before Redlight opened) and it was a contender for ESP Institute’s second release Concentation Vol 1. Although it didn’t make it on the compilation, I still listen to this at home whilst working.”
Harald Grosskopf (1949) started a career as a drummer in the 1960s, whilst being part of the beat group The Stuntman and many other krautrock/progressive rock groups. It was around 1980, when he made his debut LP ‘Synthesist’ that eventually became a cult classic of electronic music in Germany. A reissue followed on New York’s RVNG, with remakes by James Ferraro, Oneohtrix Point Never and many others. ‘Minimal Boogie’ — which was recorded at Graefestudio Berlin — was released in 186 on the album Oceanheart on Sky Records6. Synth-pop sounds built on a minimal wavelength.
- Track 11Cor CororaNyrabakiga
We’re nearing the end with this Latin beauty, which was released on the Dutch and Rotterdam-based label Backstreet Backflash Records, founded by Martin v.d. Leer and his business partner Peter Graute. Andrews’ note on the song: “First heard this tune from old friend Lexx in Zurich and eventually tracked down a copy from the outer regions of the vinyl universe.”
- Track 12Underboard (Remix)Ethereal Beat
From New York-disco we go all the way back to Italy. Andrew: “Italian/Swiss classic 80s vibe. I love this one, because it feels like something my girlfriend would have listened to on her childhood vacations in the Alps. The Fisher bro’s also did an Il Discotto record, but it’s pretty mediocre.”
Ethereal Beat released this two-tracker in 1985; it was their very first record of the three that would follow. There’s very less known about this mysterious band, so we’ll leave this up for your own imagination.
- Track 13Hej DärCoste Apetrea
The 63-years old Coste Bobbii Robert Apetrea is a Swedish musician, who mostly focusses on jazz, rock and blues. ‘Jojja Ja Ja’ was his first 7" release on the Scandinavian label Sonet in 1983. Apetrea is an all-round talent that has been focusing on music, writing and (film) technology during his whole life. “Balearic weapon from Sweden on 45, found this in Paris, pretty perfect in my opinion with all its wonky slap bass and flat amateur vocals”, adds Andrew.
- Track 14Harp AttackRudiger Oppermann
It’s this moment in the mix when Andrew creates a minimal segway. “I used this track as a minimal segway between many tracks on this podcast, before slipping a slightly longer interlude just before the end.”
German harpist and experimental musician Rudiger Oppermann specializes in the Celtic-variant, which he started playing in 1973. As an artist, he has been exploring several musical cultures through collaborating with many musicians around the world. His experimental folk music creates a melting pot of all cultures and focuses on both modern music as musical traditions. Again, this release was his first single back in 1990. Many albums followed afterwards.
- Track 15SeasonsPete Jolly
More jazz follows from Pete Jolly. The American West Coast jazz pianist and accordion player was known as ‘The Boy Wonder Accordionist’ at the age of eight. His ‘Seasons’-album was released in 1970 and shows the special gift Jolly carried with him during his life. Andrew: “I’ve always loved Seasons for how ultimately warm is it, gorgeous changes and the staccato chords toward the end give me chills.” The musician was praised for his performance of television themes and various movie soundtracks.
- Track 16SkylabDan Lacksman
Andrew closes off his mix with Daniel Pierre Lancksmans’ ‘Skylab’. “I originally heard Skylab on the Electronic System album Tschip Tschip, but a few years later my buddy Danny McLewin turned me on to this shorter acoustic version. It doesn’t hold a candle to the long tripped-out version on Tschip Tschip, but its dry slow-motion groove feels like a perfect end.”
Lancksman is better known for his successful career as part of Telex (an all-electronic disco pop band during 1978), as a solo artists and also as a producer and sound-engineer for a loads of nineties projects. His love for the MOOG synthesizer is reflected in many aliases, but under the name Electronic Butterflies he released this love-piece lightens up hearts every time it crosses paths.