Fascinator is the moniker of psychedelic electronic musician Johnny Mackay, the former frontman of Melbourne rock outfit Children Collide. Here’s what he had to say about five tracks he chose to share with us, ahead of publication of our extended interview.
David Axelrod is this guy who made these amazing recordings, I think in the ’60s (laughs). Mainly the ones I listen to anyway. And it’s just every element’s just fucking amazing. Like I love the way he uses strings, the drumming on it is this guy called Earl Palmer, usually, he’s fucking amazing. The bassline, the guitar solos, like the whole thing is just so beautifully done every time. A lot of the songs I’ve mentioned is just something I would play a lot in New York. And this record I made sorta came out of me DJ-ing a lot around New York and not really dance-y stuff at that time. I was playing a lot of like, happy hour and cocktail hour sort of gigs at different places and playing a lot of like, Turkish music and Afrobeat and then yeah, some of this sort of film, cinematic sort of old film music like David Axelrod.
Alice Coltrane – Journey In Satchidananda
Yeah, I love that. I’m not going to try and pronounce that song title right now (laughs). I went and saw an Alice Coltrane tribute actually at MoMA PS1 in New York and her son that she had, of course, with John Coltrane (Ravi Coltrane) was sort of speaking at it and then at the end a bunch of people jumped up and played… that song I think, was done, got done by Kelsey Lu, who I’d actually met before that because I DJ’d that particular song at a Sugar Mountain Festival. She came up to me after that and said, “that’s one of my favourite songs.” Um, anyway, yeah she played with Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio and a few other people, but uh, yeah just watching, just hearing about her life and the way she even got the harp and got started on the harp was um, John Coltrane kinda ordered it to be made for her and then he died and it arrived after he died. And they had this little studio in their house in Long Island and she just decided well, ‘I’d better learn it, John’s bought it for me’. She was known as a jazz pianist then she made all these amazing records with harp. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say about that song (laughs). But also I guess the droning kind of Indian vibe kind of permeates through my record as well.
The Yardbirds – Glimpses
I just love that groove. I think I’ve kind of, yeah, it influenced one of the tracks. Oh, I think maybe “Midnight Rainbow” is the one that kind of sounds a bit like that. So actually maybe those last two tracks, they’re kind of the parents of my track “Midnight Rainbow”.
The Avalanches – The Wozard Of Iz
So that’s Mort Garson, who made Plantasia, which is one of my all-time favourites which is this record that was made to be played to plants. He also made a Wizard of Oz record called The Wozard of Iz and The Avalanches of course are always the best at finding amazing samples from amazing things and yeah, that was like always my standout from the Wildflower record. I just love that track so much.
DJ Shadow – Organ Donor
It’s just an all-time amazing song. And it’s probably, you know, it’s influenced me a little bit along the way but it’s really, it’s kind of coming into play a lot in the next Fascinator record. I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to record it but, yeah, the whole Endtroducing… record has been a big inspiration for me for a long time, but I think we’re gonna consciously try and channel it for the next record.