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Broken Record #57
Ivan The Tolerable is probably the most prolific of Middlesbrough musician Oli Heffernan's many monikers. So prolific in fact that he's preparing to unleash his third collection of the year so far, a new album called Le Monde Inversé, which is "soundtrack to a film that was never made" (it's available to pre-order on limited 10" vinyl now, but act quickly as the cut off for orders is on July 15th). To celebrate the release, we asked Oli to tell us about his own record collection for Broken Record #57, and the results are as vast and eclectic as his own output.
I’m not sure it’s underrated as such, but it definitely deserves more people to get on board with it. A remarkable album that doesn’t sound like anything else. I’m a big fan of most of his stuff but his middle period will always be my favourite - after the super lo-fi early stuff and before the more recent super hi fi, more obtuse stuff. It sounds great in every situation - morning, night, sun, rain, happy, sad - a proper al-rounder.
Favourite Track: ‘Beat Cop’
One of my favourite bands of the last 20 years. This is their 2nd album and the one where they really hit their stride. Incredibly scathing and funny lyrics, catchy tunes, loads of dischord, great sound - it ticks all the boxes. My go-to record when I’m having a bad day. It always makes me feel a bit better about myself. Another would be Butthole Surfers – ‘Locust Abortion Technician’ (I listen to this record every Christmas day, it’s kind of a tradition) – I could have picked either and love them both equally, but I went for the lesser known one.
Favourite Track: ‘Satan Is Real Again’
OK, so...I don’t get upset very easily - stiff upper lip and all that - but when I know I’m holding a meltdown in, I stick this album on and it gets me every time. I don’t know what it’s, but ‘Love from 109 at the Islander’ can reduce me to a blubbering mess by the 2nd verse every single time. My number 1 “I just need to wallow on my own for a bit then I’ll be OK” record. I don’t listen to it much for this reason, but it’s a great record. People who think Jeff is better than Tim are not to be trusted.
Favourite Track:’ Love from Room 109 at the Islander (Pacific Coast Highway)’
The first Intelligence album, and still the best one for my money. Every song is a smash. It has everything I like in a record - great scruffy sound, wonky guitars...it’s just a great weirdo pop/garage record. I must have heard it 1000 times and I still love it, so much in fact, that I’ve bought 4 copies of it since it came out. It always makes me smile, and also makes me jealous that I’ll never make a record that sounds this great.
Favourite Track: ‘The World is a Drag’
I could have picked from about 100 records for this one, depending on which point of my youth I was thinking about...if I was going very young, I’d have said ‘Off The Wall’, if I was going school years id have said ‘Modern Life Is Rubbish’ - I still like both of these records, but don’t really listen to them ever anymore... so I went for ‘Wowee Zowee’, which will forever remind me of being at college and not really having any worries in the world. Most Pavement fans don’t rate it as highly as ‘Slanted’ or ‘Crooked Rain’, but it’s their best album I think. It covers so much ground and every song is a perfect nugget of indie gold. I still listen to it a lot, especially in summer.
Favourite Track: ‘Best Friends Arm’
I’d heard bits of Steve Gunn here and there for a few years, and I played with him on tour in once but was never keen on him at all, I’m not into all that Americana stuff - and he just kind of blended in with all that...then I got sent a download of ‘Bay Head’ and it blew me away. I still can’t equate it to Steve Gunn’s solo stuff, but his three duo albums are truly magic. ‘Bay Head’ being my fav, and the first I heard - I don’t think I listened to anything else for about two weeks straight.
Favourite Track: ‘Some Lunar Day’
I’m a huge Spacemen 3 fan, I love everything they did - I even think ‘Dreamweapon’ is ok - but ‘Recurring’ is just...shit. I hated it when I first heard it, tried again a few years later and still hated it. I’ve tried every few years for about 20 years to get in to it, but it’s just total rubbish. A sad end to an amazing band.
Favourite Track: ‘Hypnotized’ is the only half decent song on it.
I can’t drive, for my sins. I cycle everywhere. Thus I don t have a driving record, but I do listen to music on my bike every day (yeah yeah, dangerous, blah blah) but its where I listen to a lot of music and always has been - I could have picked a lot of albums for this one, but they would all depend on my mood/the weather etc. but I picked ‘Black Monk Time’ cos it’s another record that just works in all situations - an absolute classic that doesn’t sound like anyone else. Way ahead of its time.
Favourite Track: ‘Oh, How to do now’
One of my favourite current bands, and their last album was my favourite record of 2017. But this is the first record of theirs I heard and is still my favourite. The textures on this album, and all the subtle shifts and tones are absolutely flawless and aren’t done justice unless you listen on headphones.
Favourite Track: ‘Asian Carp’
Hands down the greatest live album of all time, by hands down the greatest band of all time. I measure all indie/punk/garage bands against The Fall’s output between 1979 and 1985 - nothing touches them. ‘In A Hole‘ captures everything I love about the Fall, raw, full of bile, frantic, loads of mistakes, ad hoc lyrics, great songs, great bass…the whole thing is on a knife edge from start to finish. Song of the versions on this are superior to the studio versions I think - especially ‘Who Makes the Nazi’s?’ - The version on here is a churning, clanking juggernaut of a track. Never bettered.
Favourite Track: ‘Who Makes the Nazi’s?’
I don t know if they are even working on a follow up to ‘Sorcerer’, but when they do I’ll be first in the queue for it - I absolutely loved their last album. One of my albums of the year. If you aren’t heard it you need to check it out - amazing album. I am crossing my fingers for a follow up. I was also really looking forward to new Parquet Courts and Drinks records but both have now been released now, they were the last two records I was really excited for.
A ridiculously good record - totally bonkers mixing, everything blown out but it just sounds amazing. Perfect summer album. I had a night off in Amsterdam when I was over recording the first King Champion Sounds album and I went to see Funkadelic at the Paradiso on my own - one of the most surreal nights of my life.
Favourite Track: ‘Funky Dollar Bill’
Another all-time favourite. I’ve listened to this record WAY too many times so I don’t play it that much anymore but I always listen to it a few times every winter. Dunno why, but I always think of it as a winter album - Future Days is a total summer album, really warm sounding but ‘Tago Mago’ sounds glacial in places. An amazing record - and a masterclass in tape editing.
Favourite Track: ‘Halleluhwah’
The first jazz album I ever got into, like most people I guess. In the late 90s, I got hold of a copy from Fearnley’s in Boro and I knew on first listen that it was a special record but it took me a long time to fully understand it. I used to listen to it on headphones every night when I went to bed. I did that for weeks and weeks until id taken it all in. Ever since then, if I can’t sleep I listen to it - it drives other people mad but I find it really calming. I still hear new things on it even today, a seriously deep record and it opened the doors to loads of other stuff for me - Pharaoh Sanders, Herbie Hancock, Sun Ra, Archie Shep, Coltrane, Don Cherry, JCOA - I got into all that through ‘Bitches Brew’. ‘Hippolite’ by DRINKS is probably my current favourite night-time record, not the follow up to the first album I was expecting but a great, odd little record – doesn’t sound like anything else really.
Favourite Track: ‘Pharoah’s Dance’
A very weird year for me, lots of changes – good and bad, I had a bizarre job and I moved house about 100 times. This Mallard record pretty much only reminds me of this year as I listened to it all the time. I don’t listen to it at all anymore, but it’s a great record.
Favourite Track: ‘Fog’