Sound & Vision with Anika

Returning with her first solo music in eight years, Anika’s latest record, Change, is an introspective dive into her innermost workings, and it unearths universal truths of the human experience that will leave few untouched. The British ex-pat and former political journalist, now based in Berlin, pairs warming swells of electronica with often stark, almost industrial sounds, to create a record that is both comforting and thought provoking. 

Following the record’s release, we caught up with her for her Sound and Vision picks:

Three favourite albums:

Psychic TV – Dreams Less Sweet

This is such a beautiful album. Some of the songs are so nasty and abrasive yet others are so sweet and poetic, with childlike innocence. I love the grittiness of the tape dirt, the samples of dog barks and sweet instrumentation. GPO was/is a legend. I was lucky enough to see much of this album performed live at the old Festsaal in Berlin. One of my favourite shows. 

Björk – Debut

What a legend. Enough said. Björk is a creature from another realm, unwilling to observe the claustrophobic frameworks of acceptable norms. The fact that she used to be in with the jungle scene, as well as playing Icelandic flutes, star in avant garde cinema, blur the boundaries between so many artistic realms, says it all. She is a scientist, an explorer, testing self limits, not concerned with what people say. I love her performance in Dancer in the Dark too. Such a sad, yet sweet, hopeful and true portrayal.

Lou Reed – Transformer

Such a good album to put you in a good mood. Such positivity, yet so real and 3D. You can sense the surroundings of its conception. Great songwriting too. One of those that can be who and what it is, not bending to please anyone, yet be universally enjoyed. 

Favourite film:

Stop Making Sense – Talking Heads

David Byrne is a rare creature. A rocket-man in the true sense. Not messing around with penis shaped rockets, he tests the limits of the human body and mind in his own way. The physicality of his performance, his approach to never stop searching – apparent in his ‘good news’ project some years back. It’s all in the title – Stop Making Sense because actually sense is nonsense. 

Favourite book:

David Lynch – Catching the Big Fish

To be calculated about art is a funny thing. When you hear about Nick Cave going into the studio every day in his suit, with briefcase in hand, as if he has an office job, many feel like it takes the magic away, but, in reality, it is often a way for the circus tamers to domesticate the wild animals. It becomes a Freud-esque self-experiment of how to ping pong your emotions, put them in different settings, become less at the mercy of them yet still let the monsters out, to get on paper, with a remote controlled sliding door. The other option is to let the animals roam free and in the end, as is the way with wild beasts, they might end up eating you. David Lynch is a master chemist in this practice, as was/is John Cage. I like this book. 

A song that is important to me:

To Zion – Ms. Lauryn Hill

I remember listening to this on headphones on my Walkman at night when I was a kid. It hit this really personal place and her voice is full of so much genuine emotion – both tragic and brilliant.

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