Amber Leith

Sat 6 February, 2021

Photograph: Amadeus Brzezinski

Edinburgh's Amber Leith picks up increasing momentum in 2021, his novel fusion of folk, alt pop and unconventional dance music seeing a steady stream of heady releases, ranging from last years remix of 'Skin' by Scottish luminaries Man of Moon, to his most recent 2 tracker 'Plenty of Me' on Glasgow's Octo Trax label. In this selections piece he reflects on his formative years and the sounds that shaped them. 

José González - Down The Line

Down The Line

Peacefrog Records, 7" (2007)

'José González is without a doubt the biggest influence i’ve had musically. Everything about him, from his acoustic guitar playing, to his lyrics and the minimal instrumentation just spoke to me when I started playing guitar myself. Also his choices of covers like Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division and Teardrop by Massive Attack cemented how cool he was to me. Down the Line is an absolute banger and I could listen to it on repeat for days (probably).'

James Blake ‎– I Mind

James Blake

Atlas Recordings, LP (2011)

'James Blake was another formative artist for me in terms of influence and downright adoration. The post-dubstep scene when I was about fourteen was so interesting to me and when I heard the way Blake would warp and process his vocals against such bass heavy tunes like I Mind - it had me hooked and I think i’ve been trying to emulate that sound a bit of it ever since. Seeing him at the Glasgow Arches before they closed was a highlight and a gig I’ll never forget: the excitement of underage drinking, losing my mates and hugging the PAs til the encore.'

Four Tet ‎– Glasshead

Glasshead / Calamine

Output, 12" (1999)

'This track epitomises all of the things i’d look for in a track as i was leaving my teens, a (some would say) unnecessarily long track length, a krautrock drum beat which breaks down into an amazing barrage of sampled fills and screeching sax and some psychedelic as fuck vocal samples. Had definitely been listening to a lot of Can at the time when i first heard this and had it on repeat for weeks. A great tune for the bus.'

Objekt - Clk Recovery

Objekt #2

Objekt, 12" (2011)

'Another long one, total techno as i like it; weird and progressive sound design, totally leaves you scratching your head as how he made any of the noises. Objekt is high on my bucket list of DJ/Producers to see, probs like top 5, though as lockdown goes on that list seems to keep getting bigger without any signs of reducing. If I ever get to DJ a set again this’ll be an ‘end of the nighter’ for sure.'

Peter Tosh - Reggaemylitis

Wanted Dread & Alive

EMI America, LP (1981)

'I was always going to choose a Peter Tosh tune I think but deciding which one was hard. Reggae Mylititis is one of the funniest and grooviest songs I’ve heard by him. The lyrics describing being told by the doctor that he has a disease called ‘Reggae Mylitis’ gets me every time. It reminds me of summer and chilling outside, seeing friends and smoking Js. Now that I think about it, I’m gonna go order Tosh’s Best Of right now so I have it ready for when normality is resumed.'

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