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Liam Murphy

August 25, 2021

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

The mind behind the incredible ambient music of Ki Oni gives us his picks in the first of our new series

What is the first album you remember owning?

My earliest memory was Juvenile’s “400 Degreez” on CD. I think I was in the 5th grade and at the time, Cash Money Millionaires were huge! They would constantly be on the radio and MTV’s Total Request Live. I remember getting it for Xmas and I was so stoked! I would listen to it on repeat along with my other gift Limp Bizkit’s “Significant Other”. Pretty sure I still have both CDs somewhere in my parents’ house.

What is your go-to party song?

Alice Deejay - “Better Off Alone” is definitely the go-to party song! My fiancé Lauren loves music from the ’80s and ’90s. There were nights where we would go on a nostalgic trip on YouTube watching music videos from our childhood. Everything about that song is incredible! The main synth riff is so catchy and I like how there are only two lines in the song! If you ever watch the music video, there’s a scene right when the last chorus hits where the singer points to the camera and sings “Do you think you’re better off alone?” and that adds another layer to how awesome that song is.

What is the last album you listened to?

Before writing these answers, I was listening to The Lounge Lizards - “Voice of Chunk”. I recently got John Lurie’s memoir book and did another dive into his music catalog. This album is my favourite of his that I can constantly play on repeat. A few weeks before California went into lockdown last year, I picked up the alto saxophone. I’m not very good at it, but all I want is to learn how to play “Bob the Bob”.

What is an album/song that always makes you feel happy?

The first Pure Moods album! I remember my dad had it on cassette and Enigma’s “Return To Innocence” would be blasting in the car. I highly recommend watching the Pure Moods commercial. They edited together snippets from music videos turning them into a minute-long new age promo. It had everything from landscapes, horses, to nonstop use of video wipe transitions.

If you could produce an already popular album in your style, what album would it be?

This is a tough question! I don’t have an answer for this, but it would be surreal to produce an album/track for Ariana Grande or Rihanna! I’m a fan and everything they put out is an instant classic.

What is an album that you will listen to for the rest of your life?

I can honestly listen to Fugazi’s “Repeater” for the rest of my life. They’re one of my favourite bands of all time and have made a huge impact on my life. I still flip out hearing “Turnover” and “Shut The Door”. Years ago, I worked at an art centre in Rosslyn after college and the curator was Cynthia Connolly. Every time there was an art opening, Ian MacKaye would show up and I would be too starstruck to say hi. Going back full circle, a few months ago dublab had an opportunity to reissue a George Martin album. I was in charge of shipping all the records and one person we sent the record to was Ian MacKaye! He sent a postcard thanking us for the record! I hold that postcard dearly and need to find the time to frame it!

What is an album you love that people might not expect you to love?

I don’t think anyone knows this but I was a huge Jimi Hendrix fan growing up. I have all his studio albums and several live albums. Out of all his releases, “Are You Experienced” is my favourite record of his. When I was 15, I remember buying a guitar tabs book just to learn all the songs on this album. I just wanted to learn the solo to “May This Be Love”. A few years ago, my friend Sean Conrad was visiting in town and was playing Jimi Hendrix in the car. At the time, I haven’t listened to Jimi Hendrix in years. But hearing “Little Wing” and “The Wind Cries Mary” in the car reminded me how amazing Jimi Hendrix was! I definitely thank Sean for reintroducing Jimi Hendrix back into my life!

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Our review of the breathtaking Stay Indoors and Swim, by Chuck Soo-Hoo's ambient project Ki Oni