You know how most people I ask about their taste in music don’t really have an answer? Sure, some mumble about how they love everything they can dance to or babble something about the radio. But only a very few come up with a decent answer. I want to be one of those few.

Don’t get me wrong: I do have a very distinct taste in music, but it’s complicated since I really like a lot of stuff. I was raised by the records of my father covering Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Status Quo. During grade school I got caught on 90s music and eurodance before I discovered hip hop—this dirty yet beautiful, elaborate genre influenced by so much and inspiring so much more.

Enter my college days. My then-roomie introduced me to the fabulous world of metal, hardcore and punk rock. And I liked it. My confusion was complete! I have been an enthusiastic music festival visitor ever since and I am totally at peace with my taste that admittedly borders on schizophrenia.

Yet, I don’t want to be one of those guys who fill out friendship books or couchsurfing profiles with I like all sorts of music, really. Hence, the list! I asked myself, if I could bring five albums to a lonely, deserted island, what would they be?

Irie Révoltés: Mouvement Mondial

Well, deserted island sounds kind of sad, so I decided to first go with something light and sunshine-inducing. While this band from Heidelberg is also really political, it is hard to resist their potpourri of reggae, hip hop, ska and punk.

The crowd in front of the little acoustic stage
Irie Révoltés during their acoustic set at Taubertal Festival 2013

Also, with Il Est La they contributed the best song for, well, every summer ever! Better yet, they sing/rap/scream in French, German and English.

Ignite: Our Darkest Days

Almost every album has one or two tracks you just catch yourself skipping all the time. Almost! Except Ignite’s Our Darkest Days. Every single track is worth listening to in all its flawlessness. Yes, even the intro and the demo bonus track.

If this was’t enough, they also recorded their live DVD in my hometown Leipzig. What an honor!

We specifically chose Leipzig, Germany to be the city were we wanted to have this event filmed. We have been playing shows in Leipzig ever since that first European summer tour in 1994 and some of our best shows ever have been there.
—Brett Rasmussen (Ignite, bass)

You got me at specifically chose Leipzig

Blackmail: Friend Or Foe?

Another English-singing German band that simply produces wonderful music: straight-forward rock with a slight hint of melancholia. A genius opener, a breath-taking finish and pure awesomeness in between. Nuff said!

Blackmail on stage
Blackmail during their gig at Garage, Saarbrücken on April 21, 2012 (Photo courtesy: Andi)

The Roots: The Tipping Point

This is my tribute to the guys of The Roots who infected me with the love for hip hop! Their organic hip hop style is remarkable, timeless even, and will always have a place in my ear canal.

I hope they will find the time to make more records. Jimmy Fallon! Stop wasting their time! (Just kidding, actually they are terrific as pop song interpreters and Jimmy Fallon’s house band.)

The Shins: Oh, Inverted World

Oh boy! This album has been one of my all-time favorites ever since it came out in 2001. I don’t even know where to start. Maybe I should start by telling you how The Shins are inextricably linked to my all-time favorite movie Garden State.

Now, don’t think I use all-time favorite all the time. I don’t! It’s just… I love The Shins and then I realize they are part of a beautiful soundtrack for a beautiful movie starring a beautiful Natalie Portman. (Don’t worry, Zach Braff, you are awesome, too.) That is like Christmas in summer. On a deserted island.

Right, the island. Well, I will set up my hammock, eat coconut and listen to my favorite music while reminiscing about the best scenes in Garden State. Yes, I have a weird taste in music and for all future profiles I have to fill out, I will simply add a link to this post.