WARMER MIXTAPES #163 | by Ian Hixx and Patricia Furpurse of Soft Metals
SIDE A | by Patricia Furpurse
1. Severed Heads | We Have Come To Bless This House
This song seems to mirror the rhythm of life. It reminds me or the constant beating of my heart and the blood it pumps through my veins and how beautiful it all is.
2. Oppenheimer Analysis | Radiance
This song was inspired by the physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer also known as the Father of the Atomic Bomb who recited a line from the Bhagavad Gita...If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. and Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds. to describe how powerful his creation, the atomic bomb is. I can't imagine the feeling he must have had knowing that he helped to create the means by which humanity could completely destroy itself. There's something beautiful and sacred about it all and this song conveys this idea well, like a beautiful hymn to science and technology.
3. Moderne | Judo-O-Dojo
This is such a fun synth-pop song. How can it not charm you? It's lyrics are simple and silly; something about karate, I think. I think it's really about the West's fascination with the East played on the pentatonic scale. The melodies are so cheerful and innocent. I think of a neon geisha at a karate tournament pouring tea for their enchanted gentlemen.
4. Fad Gadget | Coitus Interruptus
Frank Tovey's voice is one of the influences for my singing voice. It's androgynous, both hard and soft and sexy like a dark cabaret. This is a bizarre song about sexual dysfunction and sado-masochism. His simultaneous assumption of both roles in the song is theatrical and arousing. I love all the noise, vocal, and synth violence.
5. The Units | High Pressure Days
This is one of the first US synth punk bands and it's fronted by a couple in love, Scott Ryser and Rachel Webber. Some electronic songs use synths to convey a feeling of alienation and lack of emotion, but The Units make music that reflects their thoughtful view of the modern world and expresses it with raw human emotion.
6. Chris & Cosey | Morning
I love the playful intertwining melodies in this song. They dance about each other like a free form ballet. Cosey's singing is always full of so much mystery and beauty. Chris Carter's sonic palette is timeless. I love to pick apart all the layers and drift on the ripples of delay.
7. Black Devil | Follow Me
This song makes me wish so badly I could be the age I am now, but in the discotheques of Paris, Italy, and Germany around 1978. This song's heavy atmosphere is cinematic. It's part Ennio Morricone soundtrack part Fellini psychedelic cinema part tribal African trance. There's something heroic and romantic about the melody. I like to imagine Ian and I are horseback, riding a beautiful black stallion crossing the deserts of Africa in search of an immortal magician in a fabled land.
8. Jamie Principle & Frankie Knuckles | Your Love
One of the most romantic electronic music songs ever composed. The delicate synth pads and shy melody convey a sensitive and vulnerable heart. Jamie Principle's voice is a perfect combination of masculine and feminine qualities. If I ever get married, this song will be played at my wedding and I will probably cry a wedding on that day to this song.
9. Manuel Göttsching | E2-E4
It's so easy and wonderful to get lost in the trance that this song can induce. It's subdued melody tugs at your hear a bit, but keeps your passions at bay enough to achieve a feeling of heart, body, mind equilibrium. This song helps me let go of outside influences and reconnect with myself.
10. Orbital | Chime
This song makes me so happy. The chimes are as joyful as the early morning birds who herald the sunrise or as wedding bells. This is definitely a song I want to find myself dancing to in the early morning as The Sun begins to show its first light.
SIDE B | by Ian Hixx
1. Chris & Cosey | Driving Blind
This song will always remind me a of a day trip I took with a few friends out to this really bizzare full scale Stonehenge replica in rural Washington state. We were driving through the Columbia river gorge and it just started POURING, like to the point where it was probably not safe to be driving, luckily we had this track to guide us through. On that same trip I had an encounter with a 10 ft sturgeon name Herman at this sturgeon hatchery on the Columbia, apparently he was 75 years old, kind freaky but just an amazing example of the variety of life that exists on Earth.
2. Robert Wyatt | Ship Building
This is one of those songs that I really love but have a hard time explaining exactly why, sure the fret-less bass and the beautiful vocal performance help, but the whole song has this sort of nostalgic quality that gets me every time.
3. John Hassell & Brian Eno | Chemistry
It is really hard to pick a single song off this amazing album so I'll just go with side A track 1. Processed trumpet, repetitive simple bass line, and percussion provided by two ghatam players, it's like this weird mix of futuristic jazz and ambient music. I've played this record many a time at the hours just as night becomes dawn, so alien and beautiful!
4. Virgo | In A Vision
Kind of a spacier Chicago house track but one of my favs, the melody that the washed-out sounding synth is playing throughout really takes it up a few notches as far as textures go; gets stuck in my head for hours but never bothers me.
5. Bronski Beat | Smalltown Boy
The delicate interplay between the guitar, synths and soaring vocals in this track are just fantastic. There is also an amazing edit of this by Alexandra Parade called Ruchill Rumpus, I think the first time I heard the edit I turned it up so loud it distorted my vision into some sort of strobe light effect, all I needed was a fog machine.
6. Throbbing Gristle | Hot On The Heels Of Love
Argh, an obvious choice I know but I've been listening to this song for almost 15 years it seems...It has this amazing ability to always be relevant to whatever phase I'm going through, truly a timeless, classic piece.
7. Ministry | The Angel
I love all of the early Wax Trax stuff, there was just something really special going on in Chicago during that time, there was like a weird melding of italo, house and industrial. This track captures it for me, driving 80s digital drum machine beat, analog pads, male and female vocals, samplers chopping shit up...Ministry at their best.
8. Wipers | Just A Dream Away
The Wipers were a staple in road trip mix tapes for me when I was in high school and early college. This song totally reminds me of taking a trip up to Seattle with my buddy John and stopping at this decommissioned nuclear power plant. It was all drizzly and eerie out when we pulled up to the huge, oddly shaped cooling tower, the mood was perfectly matched by our dark proto-pop punk soundtrack. We got some sweet pictures but unfortunately they blew up the tower a few years ago.
9. Skinny Puppy | The Choke (IBM Edit)
I am a huge fan of Skinny Puppy's stuff until around when The Process came out. There's so much noise going on in this song that it's almost unbelievable that it works as well as it does. I really like how they described their early work as audio sculpture, like molding a song out of a bunch of chaotic synths, vocals, drum machines and samplers. On the edit Chicago's Steve Poindexter and Jamal Moss just extend the chaos and make it work on the dancefloor.
10. The Dave Brubeck Quartet | Bluette
My parents got me into Dave Brubeck, they gave me a tape of Time Out when I was 9 and I must've listened to it like 200 times on this little yellow Sony Boom Box that I had growing up. I can practically recite every note from that album by memory. This particular song isn't on Time Out, but it was one of my favorite pieces that I learned to play while taking piano in college. It was also the song that incited me to learn to play the alto sax, Paul Desmond's tone is just so amazingly dry but emotive at the same time. The little playful duet between the piano and sax near the end makes me simultaneously smile and tear up. People always say that Brubeck's piano playing is kind of blocky but I think its great; I'm always able to find inspiration in his experiments with poly-rhythms, multi-tonality and time signature.