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Legendary Electronic Duo Yello Talk Us Through Their 10 Favourite Madcap Geniuses

Ahead of a show at Ministry of Sound this week, the Swis double act get all weird on us.

When Dieter Meier and Boris Blank of legendary Swiss group Yello said, "Hey everyone at THUMP, we're Dieter Meier and Boris Blank from Yello, the legendary Swiss group known for smash hits like "The Race" and "Oh Yeah." You might have heard one, or many, of our 14 studio albums, including our newest release, Toy, which was hailed as a return to form by those all important critics. Well, interestingly enough, in support of that record, we're actually going to be hosting a night at London's Ministry of Sound on the 24th of November, and we're bringing the likes of Carl Craig, Andrew Weatherall, and JD Twitch with us, does that sound like something you'd be interesting in covering," we said yes.


Then we said, "Guys, could you put together a list of your ten favourite madcap geniuses from through the ages, writing roughly a line or two on each of your choices? We think the readers will love it!"

In unison Dieter and Boris said "ABSOLUTELY!"

The result is below.

1. Einstein

One mind can re-imagine an entire universe. The genius is the simplicity of his 'thought experiments' which were key to his remarkable insight. He saw space-time.

2. David Lynch

He has the power to create an image that you will never forget. The mystical power of curtains, a giant phonograph, a gas-mask, a woman in a radiator.

3. Charles Baudelaire

Genius is childhood recaptured at will.

4. Daniel Miller

As punk generated a new blue-print which was basically the same shit in a different suit, along came Daniel Miller with raw DIY synths. Over the next 20yrs, he built a global roster based on trust and a handshake. A very solid producer too.

5. Niki De Saint Phalle

She reminds me of Vivienne Westwood. She does not give a damn about protocol or status quo. Not a fake like The Slits, her spirit is alive today.

6. Miles Davis

Jazz has a problem with knowing when to stop. On Kind Of Blue, John Coltrane would play endless haunting solos which irritated Miles Davis. He famously suggested to him "try taking the motherfucker out of your mouth".

7. Luis Bunel

The decline of the aperitif may well be one of the most depressing phenomena of our time. Surreal film-maker but you already know that.

8. Man-Ray

Inspiration not information. Photograph what you can't paint, paint what you can't photograph. Fifty years before Marshall McLuhan, Man Ray had a well-developed sense of what was yet to come.

9. Iggy Pop

He still defies category. The Ig once trained with blues drummer Sam Lay in Chicago but felt he couldn't cut it. He said that these guys played "like honey dripping off your fingers"—so he gave up and moved back to Detroit.

10. Anna Magnani

One of the strongest screen characters of the last 100 years. In an era when women were dominated by the studio system, Anna Magnani wasn't intimidated—easily a match to Marlon Brando who she starred with in the 50s.

Yello's latest album Toy is out now. They play at Ministry of Sound this Thursday night. Tickets and info here.

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