Kim Monaghan is the founder of Daddy Tank Records a netlabel dedicated to support and promote producers discovered by Monahagan during his excavations. The striking things about Kim and his label are his evident love/idealism for music, and his decisive will to act on it. Of course this is not rare in indie-land –almost a basic to survive– but this guy is sharp in his way, doubtless, and totally engaged in his own adventure. That, and of course, his selection of music. And about that, his playlist.
So my ideal playlist would probably be around 10 days long. It used to be so simple to answer the question “Who’s your favourite band ?”. If it wasn’t Iron Maiden it was one of the three or four other metal bands I loved when I was younger. Metal was everything and there was a curious mindset that if you liked metal you weren’t supposed to like other music. I could quite conceivably have gone through to adult hood and remained one of those slightly odd old men you see wandering round in an Iron Maiden t-shirt at 60 years old but a few more cosmopolitan influences started to filter into my life when I got to University.
I started going religiously (pun intended) to House of God, a legendary techno night in Birmingham,UK. I didn’t really get it at first but then they played LFO “Mentok 1”. I had never heard sub-bass before but it changed my life and the next five years turned into a quest to discover new and more futuristic ways of fucking up my head. WARP Records did more to my brain than anyone else over that time. The revelation I had hearing LFO was nothing compared to some of the things that would blow my mind over the coming years. Autechre led to Aphex Twin which led to drum and bass taking over my life for a few years while I tried (along with the rest of the planet) to secure a career as a DJ.
Clubbing started to get tired for me. I didn’t want to spend every Monday morning wishing I was dead so I cut down on the amount of time I spent out which lead to a reduced interest in DJ’ing. Life in my late twenties became more sedate and I realized that I had missed the better part of a decade of musical progression. A sudden yearning came over me for some of the music I hadn’t heard for so many years. My perspective had changed considerably and I found myself picking up on new and strange things. My youthful obsession with Mike Patton resurfaced and I discovered a whole slew of music I had never imagined could exist. Jazz entered my life (courtesy of Lee Morgan and Miles Davis) and through that I began to be interested in experimental and abstract sounds.
Because I missed DJ-ing, I started a series of podcasts which led me to a site called SittingNow.com for whom I have been reviewing and podcasting for the last five years. I was playing a lot of unsigned music, and noticed that the quality of a lot of the stuff I was finding was absurdly high, and there was a distinct lack of appreciation for a lot of it. So I decided to join in the wave of DIY netlabels that were springing up as the music industry crashed and burned and created Daddy Tank Records.
Since I started Daddy Tank I have had artists on the BBC three times, Amazing Radio and Dandelion Radio amongst others. I find new and exciting artists all the time and I am hoping to extend my reach to parts of the planet where we have yet to reach. That’s why I was so pleased to be offered this opportunity to preach at the as yet unconverted in China.
1. Pang – “Senova”
Daddy Tank started out with the discovery of Pang. I loved this album so much and was quite blown away to realise that I was one of a very few people who had heard it. I contacted Pang through MySpace and haven’t looked back since.
2. Social Studies – “Assignment Two”
So having started a label on the highest possible note, I was casting round on MySpace looking for other things that needed to be bought into the foreground. Through the delightfully named MC Zano Bathroom I was introduced to Social Studies. I agreed to release their album without hearing it and when I finally received the masters I couldn’t quite deal with the enormity of what a great album Proxemics is. It was frightening being responsible for it and that was why I was so proud to be able to get them on BBC Radio 6.
3. Dissolved – “Doll That Carries Erosion”
Finding Dissolved was like falling down the rabbit hole. I listened to a few things of his and then a few more and then all of a sudden I was listening to him all the time. A very clever and very devoted musician, who has taken his influences and applied them to the music in his brain judiciously and respectfully.
4. Hangin Freud – “Swamp”
To this day I haven’t let Pang go but Jonathan (the artist behind it) is an extremely fastidious musician and for some reason he was never that happy with it. In one of the many conversations I had with him begging him for a new Pang album he mentioned his band Hangin Freud. It’s a totally collaborative affair with his wife Paula and it is a truly brilliant “alternative” album that seems to enthrall anyone that hears it.
5. Twiggy and the K Mesons – “Doepfer Fantasie”
Before I began any of this, I was friends with a guy called Michael Valentine West. He had been giving me music for many years and through a shared love of Kool Keith we became friends. I am still baffled that he isn’t rich and famous. He is easily as good a producer and songwriter as anyone on the planet and he works harder than just about anyone I know. That’s why I gave him his own label and do his bidding.
6. Mitoma – “Satellite Hive”
I got to know Section 27 through reviewing stuff on their netlabel. I was approached by Tam who runs it and he was one of the first people to basically come out and ask me to release his (and co producer Andy’s) album. I said yes and we have dominated the torrents of Russia and Eastern Europe ever since.
7. Disssolved – “USB Spiders For Rechargeable Graves”
Dissolved takes his inspiration for albums from all sorts of places. He took me up on my offer of a permanent home after the release of Snowy Psychoplasmics and handed me this full formed album inspired by a series of bizarre dreams. Listening to Dissolved is like being in a dream. Even his song titles are hallucinations.
8. Lower Third – “Hiromi Restraint”
Michael Valentine West has so many imaginary associates and alter egos that it became necessary to give them their own album. Lower Third was the result and I absolutely guarantee that you have never heard anything like it.
9. Joe De Vita – “Ancestral Language”
I played Joe De Vita on the Behind Closed Doors podcast. He offered to put together an album for me and I said I would certainly listen to anything he sent. Did I envisage an experimental jazz concept album in three movements ? No. Did I think that they would play this on the BBC as well ? No. Do I love this album ? Yes.
10. Suck Susan – “Fantastic Damage”
The Suck Susan album is a response to the lazy pantomime that hip-hop has become. While Social Studies dissected the past and re-imagined hip hop as it should be, Suck Susan takes the future and distils it into what it could be.
As proud as I am of Daddy Tank’s past, I am intensely excited about the coming years. We have new albums from established Daddy Tank artists and new signings who are ferociously talented. This just keeps getting bigger and better and until that stops I will continue to conduct this big fucked up bus.