My Top 10 Tracks: Northern Kind

Northern Kind are Sarah Heeley and Matt Culpin, a synthpop duo who’ve worked with oldschool greats like Alan Wilder, Kajagoogoo, and Simon Heyworth. Regular readers of this blog will know I’m a massive fan of this band: I rated Northern Kind’s second album WIRED as my favourite synthpop release of 2009. Northern Kind write and produce some of the finest electro around at the moment, and their live shows are guaranteed to get you dancing. Matt took time out from making NK’s third album (due for release later this year) to tell me his Top 10 favourite songs: check them out below!

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1. Gary Numan — Cars

When this was on the Radio in 1979 it sounded so alien compared to the other music being played. It just stood out and cemented my interest in synths.

2. The Buggles — Video Killed The Radio Star

In 1979 the UK was a bleak place to live, I remember strikes, power cuts and Thatcher getting in to No.10. I was an only child in a single parent family and at the time my mum was having to work a 3 day week. Listening to this on the radio in the morning really lifted my spirits and that’s when I realised music can be a powerful influence on emotions. Probably why I still love catchy pop songs.

3. Altered Images — See Those Eyes

Claire Grogan was definitely my first crush and although I liked their first album it was their second album that really got my attention, especially as it was produced by Martin Rushent.

4. Kraftwerk — Computer Love

I bought The Model single in 1981, this was actually the A-side and the record company had decided to put The Model on as the b-side but became far more popular. My first introduction to Kraftwerk.

5. Soft Cell — Torch

This was the first song I listened to on my Walkman in 1982. I thought the sound quality was amazing. My favourite Soft Cell album is The Art of Falling Apart.

6. Yazoo — Don’t Go

By early 1982 I had the the first Depeche album but wasn’t aware that Vince Clarke had left the band.  I remember hearing Only You for the first time thinking wow another synth band I really like. It wasn’t until I bought Don’t Go and read in a synth magazine that Yazoo was in-fact the same Vince Clarke.  In the same magazine Vince had published his patch sheets for the Sequential Circuits Pro-One, these were sounds used for Don’t Go.  The first time I got my hands on one of the synths many years later I dug out the magazine and faithfully reproduced the sounds, Amazing!

7. Pet Shop Boys — I Want To Wake Up

I buy all of the Pet Shop Boys albums but I find myself listening to their first two albums the most.  This track reminds me of a particular time at college.

8. Propaganda — The Chase

When I first heard A Secret Wish it blew me away, the production on it was amazing and this track has some of the great Fairlight sounds. I love the way it goes from really wide luscious parts down to a simple bass line for one of the verses. Trevor Horn and Stephen Lispsom at their best.

9. David Sylvian — Forbidden Colours

Never really a Japan fan but I love this song.

10. Depeche Mode — Strange Love (Single Version)

I love this version and could never understand why they preferred the album version? The Maxi 12″ mix is also one of my favourites; actually I always preferred the 12″ mixes they did themselves.

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