Avant-Pop Pioneer ANOHNI Makes Us a Playlist of Underground Treasures
This is SOUND ADVICE, a weekly destination for playlists curated by Interview’s friends, enemies, and lovers. This week’s installment comes from ANOHNI, a cult music legend who needs no introduction. Known for her transgressive art, the English artist now pays homage to her early 90s underground collective the Blacklips Performance Cult with a new book and music compilation. Blacklips: Her Life and Her Many, Many Deaths, co-authored by ANOHNI and Marti Wilkerson, dives into the more than 120 original plays staged by the collective at New York City’s now-defunct Pyramid Club between 1992 and 1995 amid the AIDS crisis, with a collection of photos, scripts, and texts from its members. To honor the book and its accompanying musical compilation release, Blacklips Bar: Androgyns and Deviants — Industrial Romance for Bruised and Battered Angels, 1992–1995, we asked ANOHNI to put together a playlist and answer our questionnaire, in which the legendary auteur reveals what she listens to when she’s high and the Ray Charles’ cover she thinks trumped the Beatles original. As for her playlist, ANOHNI defies genre as much as she does in her own music, including a hit from industrial pioneers Chris and Cosey to a soul classic by Otis Redding.
Where do you dance? In memory.
Favorite genre? William Basinski.
What was your first concert? Soft Cell at The Kabuki.
Name your favorite artist no one knows about. Lambert Moss.
Do you play an instrument? Not really.
What’s your favorite club? Sally’s.
What song do you have on repeat? “I’m Set Free” by Velvet Underground.
What do you listen to when you’re high? James F. Murphy “Satan’s Li’l’ Lamb.”
Best cover song of all time? “Let My People Go” By Diamanda Galas.
Who’s the queen of pop? Selda Bağcan.
What’s your favorite movie needle-drop? Venus and Angie Extravaganza’s parts in Paris is Burning.
What was your favorite song to perform with Black Lips Performance Cult? “Autumn Leaves.”
Who is the most featured artist on the soundtrack to the movie about your life? Marc Almond.
What’s the most featured song in a movie about your life? “Variations” by William Basinski.
Name a cover song that was better than the original. “Yesterday” by Ray Charles.