A young person’s guide to Andrew Liles

To celebrate the fact that he’s managed to go over fifty years without dieing, Andrew Liles has released the second half of his enormous “Colossus” project which you can check/buy/peer at right here. Our review, the biggest we have ever done, is on the way this week but for a more timely marking of the occasion, here’s a quick Was Ist Das? 5 release primer for our personal picks from his enormous discography. Two points to note, one is that we are ignoring Current 93 and Nurse With Wound. He may have made some major contributions but they ain’t his babies. He’s just the wet nurse. Secondly, as he is prolific, I haven’t heard everything but I have heard a lot and I know what I like.


A collaboration with Jean-Herve Peron of Faust and a joyous treat. JHP’s dadist sensibilities get fed into Liles’ Hi-Tech but surreal world. The result is rather like what if Faust had entered a time machine in 71 and made their next album in a modern studio.

2.All Closed Doors

A 2003 release that really showcased that here was an electronic artists who may well have inhaled the entire Warp Records catalogue but could coldly outweird them all. For the Bandcamp reissue you get two versions, the original 2003 mix and a special binaural remix for a 3d headphone experience.

3.The Vortex Vault

A twelve CD series, released monthly, this was the first grand declaration of the strange mix of prolific and proficient. With a vast rogues gallery of collaborators, it’s a real feast of sounds. The whole damn set is available as one download for 24 quid which is insane as it’s a huge collection.

4.Like Swallowing Eclipses

I know I originally said no Current 93 but this is actually the first five C93 albums (plus ‘Faust’ and ‘I have a special plan for this world’) remixed by Likes. Rather than doing anything crazy or blasphemous, though, he sort of reimagines the albums as they would sound if they were recorded today. Not that there aren’t plenty of changes, it wouldn’t be worth bothering otherwise, he just drags them into the modern world. It’s a remarkable achievement.

5.The Power Elite

An almost retro approach to the classical avant garde except it’s in blisteringly high quality. Fidelity aside, though, this is straight back to the good old days when you could find this kind of music in charity shops for 50p, content betrayed by being in the classical section with a modern art cover. It really does sound like he’s kidnapped a classical ensemble and is forcing them to do weird stuff in his basement.

So there you are. I’d like to say here’s to the next fifty years of music but by then he’ll be dead and those of us still alive will probably be shitting in caves and eating dogs.

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