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From The Ashes

My desert-island discs, my fave CD's or the ones that I'd salvage from the burning wreckage of my house - call them what you like. Nonetheless, here are the 5 I would go for, along why they've been such influential pieces of music for me. When you see the list, you'll see that they're a distinctly personal affair, more than any indication on what history considers the greatest musical moments of all time. But isn't all that stuff subjective, anyway?

5 - Jose Gonzalez - Veneer



This is probably the only one that gets away with the excuse of "because I like it so much". At only 30 minutes duration it's a short album, but the tracks contained (most of which are about 2 - 3 minutes a piece) still manage to send a shiver down my spine, despite repeated listening. Over the last couple years, there hasn't been much good new music to shout about, but this is a definite gem. Heartbeats was used in a recent Sony advert, but it's nowhere near the best - Hints is the one. Just a man and a guitar, this album is great for unwinding.

4 - Feeder - Echo Park



Whilst most of the CDs I've listed are fairly chilled-out affairs, this is somewhat different. I defy anyone to listen to this album and not break into a smile. It's also exceedingly good driving music. You won't find me singing along to this at all. (*cough*). I bought my copy second-hand, when I went on a blind-date with someone who was also a music fanatic.

The date sucked, but the album doesn't. I think I paid all of a fiver for it - and it was worth it.

3 - Groove Armada - Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub)



I bought this album at a time when my life was going through a major change. I'd lost about four stone in weight, got separated, moved house and changed jobs. In fact, there wasn't much left that resembled my original life. After the separation, I didn't have a stereo. So, when I got paid, my first mission was to take a trip to a hi-fi specialist and get an amp and speakers - this ended up being the CD that I played first.

The album has great variety and depth, with tracks like Suntoucher, Drifted and Edge Hill being chilled enough to take you off to another planet, Superstylin' is a dance classic and My Friend appeals to my sentimental side. I've played the disc so much that it's had to be repaired once. I may end up having to buy a second copy sometime soon.

2 - The Orb - The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld



In my late teens, I was listening to a huge amount of music and one particular DJ had a great influence on me - John Peel. The guy managed to introduce the world to some legendary artists - Nirvana being one of the most memorable. He also sparked off my love of ambient music when he played a session of Loving You and Back Side Of The Moon. Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld was then released and Little Fluffy Clouds became part of the soundtrack to one of the greatest summers I ever had - namely because of the amount of fun I had, or was that alcohol?

1 - Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon



You can forget The Beatles, this is one of the greatest - with an amazing diversity of tracks and production that was way ahead of it's time. I bought my first CD player nearly 20 years ago (eek, that does make me feel quite old). This happened to be one of the first CDs that I bought - my parents, no doubt, would have given wholehearted approval. Time and Money are just great rock classics and Brain Damage is just good for quirk value. The whole album is also seamlessly stitched together, long before advanced digital production techniques were around. Of course, the main reason this is number one is the fact that if you were to listen to this album in fifty years time, it would still sound great.

This list is by no means definitive and there are no doubt others that I could have suggested. Maybe in time I might increase the list to ten. You can tell a lot about a person from their CD collection - hopefully, I've given you a little bit of insight into myself.
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