Favorite Tracks: Jagwar Ma

Find out what tracks shaped the sound of Australia's most danceable psych-pop band.

Jagwar Ma at Laneway Festival 2014
Jagwar Ma© Nate Watters/Red Bull Content Pool

Jagwar Ma, who perform at Red Bull Sound Select 4 Days In Austin today with Twin Shadow, Shy Girls and Bagheera, burst out of Sydney, Australia, in 2013 with their debut album, 'Howlin',' which blended sun-dappled psych-pop with esoteric electronica and the clubby undertow of late-'80s Madchester. We spoke to Jono Ma, who plays synth and guitar, and handles production for the band, to find out where his head's at.

The best track for moshing to is…

'Buenos Tardes Amigos' by Ween. "Nothing gets the crowd jumping and raucous like Ween… right? Buenos Tardes Amigos has all the right ingredients to get people moshing. If you don't know it, check it out and you'll see what I mean."

My karaoke track of choice is…

'4'33"' by John Cage. "I can't stand the sound of my own voice and I guess having spent the past 10 years in studios choosing the right microphone for the right singer and always striving for great vocals and great vocal performances has meant that karaoke is, more often than not, like nails on a chalkboard for me. John Cage's '4'33"' would be the highlight of a night out at a karaoke joint. A moment of silence."

My ultimate Friday night anthem is…

'Sunday Morning' by The Velvet Underground. "Nothing sums up the feeling of Friday night better than 'Sunday Morning' by The Velvet Underground."

My favorite unlistenable track is…

'Augmatic Disport' by Autechre. "They are masters of making music that barely resembles the basic elements of what is conventionally termed music. It sounds as though some sort of alien android has created it. On first listen their albums generally sound like random electronic noise. After multiple listens the detailed patterns and abstract beauty become more and more apparent, and the barely listenable soundscapes become luscious, vivid musical environments."

The track I play to shock my parents is…

'Come To Daddy' by Aphex Twin. "My Dad only likes classical music and old folk. Anything mildly heavy in the rock world disturbs him and any music made with electronic instruments simply isn't music to his ears. 'Come To Daddy' by Aphex Twin is both heavy and electronic and would very swiftly turn his mood to pure fury."

The track most likely to make me cry is…

'The Crying Game' by Boy George. "The recontextualised use of 'The Crying Game' by Boy George in 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective,' when he's crying to himself in the shower and plunging his throat with a toilet plunger made me cry with laughter. I also found the original movie 'The Crying Game' quite moving."

The record I would rescue from a burning house is…

'Stop Making Sense' by The Talking Heads. "Talking Heads’ 'Stop Making Sense' is one of the first records I owned. I got it at a garage sale down the road and didn't really understand it at the time. It wasn't until years later, after I'd gone through a deep phase of funk and soul and then New York noise, that I revisited 'Stop Making Sense' by watching the film at the movies. It was only then that it started making sense. I also love the irony of running into a burning house to rescue an album that has a song on it called 'Burning Down the House.'"