PRINT December 1999


Driving across Europe with only one cassette, I never tired of MC Solaar’s Paradisiaque, a dazzling cross-cultural mix between American rap and chanson française—skillful wordplay in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp and Serge Gainsbourg.

BEN RATLIFF, music critic, New York Times:
I’ve been amazed by Caetano Veloso’s records––he is the avatar of a universal artist in pop music: a musician who studies and protects the cultural traditions of the New World, then generously expands them.

ELIZABETH PEYTON, artist: Nirvana.

BARBARA KRUGER, artist: There is no best of—just a bunch of white guys busy soldering the rusty remains of heavy metal onto the bro’s syncopated tall tales while baby-got-back rattles her tail. Happy New Year.

For me, Moby provided the sound track to my ’90s; obviously I have other favorites, but no other musician from Go to Play touched me so consistently.

TOURÉ, author: Since the day I got the advance of D’Angelo’s Voodoo, I have not made love to anything else.

JIM O’ROURKE, musician: Tony Conrad’s reemergence not only brought a completely revolutionary perspective to music “materials” and film, but dynamited the high-low/artist-audience hierarchy that had separated “art music” from the punk-rock “aesthetic” I grew up with. He’s the kind of visionary who clears up your cloudy eyes, and when you can see again, it’s not a backlit icon, but the whole damn sky.

DAVID TOOP, musician/author: KLF’s Chill Out shocked me because a successful, chart-topping band released a record that helped open the door to other, more experimental projects.

STEVEN PARRINO, artist: A vote for hardcore heaviness in Agnostic Front, Last Warning, and Poison Idea, Pig’s Last Stand, and a vote for rock experimentation: Royal Trux and The Melvins (anything they do).

JUTTA KOETHER, artist: Oh, there was a musical turn that messed with my painting and my perspective: NY Rave (Disco 2000 at Limelight), Blumfeld, Hildegard von Bingen, Tom Verlaine’s “Soul Freedom 2000” (live at Tramps in ’96), Tilt by Scott Walker, Gummo (soundtrack), my “Diadal” experience, Millie Jackson’s Totally Unrestricted! From there on, it’s all for the love of disorder: Outer Music, Outer Art.
—compiled by Emily Erikson