Soundproof Radio Yak: Chris Watson

Radio Yaks: A Soundproof series in which eminent producers and sonic luminaries from around the world share audio they’re crazy about, and tell us why.

In this Radio Yak, legendary field recordist Chris Watson, shares some favourites from his record collection that have shaped his musical and listening practise. From his early days as a founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, Chris has always been fascinated with the sounds outside of the studio and has spent his lifetime gathering, composing and introducing the world to the music in nature.

Chris Watson was a founding member of the influential Sheffield based experimental music group Cabaret Voltaire during the 1970s and early 1980s. His sound recording career began in 1981 when he joined Tyne Tees Television. Since then he has developed a particular and passionate interest in recording the wildlife sounds of animals, habitats and atmospheres from around the world and his work includes programmes in the David Attenborough Life series including The Life of Birds. Watson was also the location sound recordist with David Attenborough on the BBC’s series Frozen Planet which won a BAFTA Award for ‘Best Factual Sound’ (2012).

Chris’ playlist:

Pierre Schaeffer Etude Aux Chemin de Fer, 1948

The Velvet Underground Venus In Furs, 1966

Kraftwerk Radioactivity, 1975

King Tubby & Augustus Pablo King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown, 1976

Holger Czukay Persian Love, 1979

Philip Jeck All That’s Allowed, 2010

Chris Watson, Bearded seals singing under Arctic sea ice (unreleased)

N.B Due to copyright reasons, some music tracks are not available for download in their entirety. Head to the streaming program to hear the full versions.