Poland-born Babicz moved to Germany when he was seven, and began making acid-inspired techno music under the name Rob Acid in the early '90s. In the last 15 years or so he's built up the Robert Babicz name, releasing a succession of uber-creative techno albums and tracks — becoming one of the principal names in European techno — and fleshing out his music with innovative multi-media art.
His new album 'The Owl and the Butterfly' is the final one in a trilogy for Systematic Recordings, inspired by long country walks in the Königs forest near his home in Cologne. It's a triumph of organic techno, utilising found sounds from nature and blending them with motorik machine riddims.
Here, Robert digs deep into his memory banks to pinpoint 10 tracks that have been an influence on his life thus far...
1. FALCO 'Rock Me Amadeus
' “This was my first 12-inch record, I bought it myself when I was nine-years-old in 1985. Falco was an Austrian pop star and was actually the first-ever German-speaking artist to get a US No.1 pop hit. I still remember the vinyl was pink.
If you watch the original video clip that was filmed in Salzburg, it’s very funny, with all the Mozart-style wigs and 1800s-style dress combined with the bikers from the '80s.”
2. JEAN MICHEL JARRE 'Zoolook'
“I loved the sounds in there, I think it was the first time I was able to hear sampling in a creative way — he used samples from languages like Tibetan, Turkish, Eskimo and even Aboriginal.
This was his fourth album and another very special music moment for me in my childhood. And of course I loved all his other work.”
3. FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD 'Relax (New York Mix)'
“Continuing on the '80s theme, I can’t help including this. What a massive, epic big mix!
Their long extended mixes influenced my own music taste so much. The way they arranged their music was so incredible, and back then it really was like a music lesson for me.”
4. KARL HEINZ STOCKHAUSEN 'Kontakte'
“This was released around 1960 and I think this was a revolution in musical thinking, a strong influence on me, the way the sounds evolve throughout the piece (it’s over thirty-five minutes long!).
And to think it was all composed from sinus tones makes it even more remarkable.”
5. PHUTURE 'Acid Trax'
“A classic through and through, and probably the dance track that first featured a Roland TB-303. The first time I was listening to this, I had tears in my eyes.
It’s an abstract masterpiece in both repetition and magic, and the reason why I began my Rob Acid productions back in 1993 — I have had a deep love for the 303 ever since.”
6. SQUAREPUSHER 'Go Plastic
' “What a fantastic record! This has influenced me deeply throughout the years. He sets such a high standard in terms of how detailed productions can be.
I have rocked out to this so many times since its release over a decade ago. All the little fills and the wonderful sound design are very inspiring.”
7. BOHREN & THE CLUB OF GORE
'Sunset Mission' “Totally different to everything I have included so far, Bohren and the Club Gore are a jazz/ambient band that has been around since the early '90s
The album I’ve chosen is their third from 2000, and it’s pure sexy time and something I put on when I want to relax and enjoy life. I really recommend it!”
8. TYREE COOPER 'Turn Up the Bass
' “I thought this was really cool back then, especially based on the James Brown beat he used. It was a time when music started to change and people were able to produce in bedroom studios with a sampler and a mixer.
This was also one of the first records that kicked off the whole hip-house movement in the late '80s.”
9. PIERRE SCHAEFFER 'Musique Concrète
' “This is a lot more than just one piece of music, it’s the whole concept and idea behind it that really inspired me and was the basis for so much electronic music that’s around today.
Musique concrète was made from acousmatic sounds, which meant he combined synthesizer music with sounds from nature… and believe it or not, it started way back in the late 1940s just after World War Two. A true pioneer!”
10. THE IRRESISTIBLE FORCE 'Flying High
' “A real favourite of mine from the early '90s — great downtempo/ambient music. I don’t know any record that moved me as deep as this one did and affected me in my subconscious.
I really did learn so much from this record and feel very thankful that Mixmaster Morris made this.”
Robert Babicz’s 'The Owl and the Butterfly' is out now through Systematic Recordings.