Five Albums That Made Me | Nuha Ruby Ra

Photo: Maxime Imbert

‘Five Albums That Made Me’ is a new weekly series written by TCOS’ favourite artists discussing five albums that have shaped their sound, musical outlook and career. There’s no limit on genre or passion – just a firsthand insight into the artists’ influences. Our fourth contributor is East-London based Nuha Ruby Ra. Nuha released her accalaimed debut EP ‘How To Move’ earlier this month, which held a powerful blending of brooding melodies and repressive electronics. Listen to her track ‘Erase Me’ while you read below…

Avant Hard – Add N to (X)

I heard ‘Barry 7’s Contraption’ for the first time in the Ten Bells in Spitalfields on a little break from my studio. I was in art school at the time, and had gone to the pub for an afternoon beer. I remember thinking to myself, “I’ve not heard anything like this before this is sick!”. I shazamed it and listened to the whole album as soon as I went home. 

This is how my brain works in constructing songs and writing music, it just makes the most perfect sense to me. I love that it’s an instrumental album too, it’s futuristic, archaic, playful, and brave. I fucking love this album so much. It’ll always be one of my most inspiring albums.

Another Green World – Brian Eno

The instrumentation of a song is so important to me, probably more than the words I sing. They come first. They give you the feeling in your belly before the words land in your mind.

This record always takes me away. Words are used on only five tracks, and I love the minimalism of it. I’ve learned since falling in love with it that his approach to it was very experimental, using his Oblique Strategies deck of cards for guidance, which I’ve used myself in writing. Some of the best musicians feature on this record: Robert Fripp, John Cale, Phill Collins and Percy Jones.

This record is a beautiful example of experimentation and openness guiding to something inimitable and sublime.

Mutiny/The Bad Seed – The Birthday Party

Visceral, gut wrenching, primal, over the top horror and ugliness are all very exciting feelings for me in music and this record does them all unashamedly.  I feel this record in my bones and guts and it feels like it spews out of me at some point when I’m listening, I love it!  

It’s the last recording of The Birthday Party, they knew this while recording it, and I feel their last uncompromising screams of terror in it. Rowland Howard and Blixa Bargeld are both on this record as well, which is an absolute fucking dream for me. This record does rawness and fury in an exalted way that feels close to my heart.

Spiderland – Slint

This feels like home in the land of rock music for me, one of my earliest favourite albums. Dissonant math rock feels like bread and butter. I love the vocals in this record, the story telling is very compelling. I’m there.

It’s a very comforting listen for me and I love listening to this record on my own as it feels like it’s just for me, the time is always the two hours before sunset. Then I always wanna have a jam after hearing it, play some loud angular bass or noise guitar. I love the dynamics of this record – I’m a fan of weird time signatures so this feeds me well. I’ve never been bored hearing it and it’s been years!

Histoire de Melody Nelson – Serge Gainsbourg

This is a perfectly constructed album: insanely perfect and insanely cool. I love the production of this record, the space between the instruments and the vocals melt together like honey. ‘L’hotel Particulier’ is one of the sexiest songs I’ve ever heard. The whole record is a slow burn and inhale of a cigarette when you’ve not smoked all day. 

This is another record that was like nothing else I’ve ever heard and nothing else could ever sound like it – it’s the true embodiment of Serge Gainsbourg as a character, in an uncomfortable fictitious yet very authentic way. I never know what to listen to after this record, it’s like nothing else can really follow it.

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Thanks so much to Nuha for contributing! Check out her EP ‘How To Move’ on Spotify here. Next week we’re joined by Amber Strawbridge, aka Bored At My Grandma’s House. See you on Sunday!

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