WARMER MIXTAPES #233 | by §
I always loved cinema. I always wanted to make something in the movies as a living, but I grew up thinking that was impossible. Somehow, I was told pretty early on that making movies was something you almost had to be born into, like into some kind of dynasty. My other loves were music and comic books. My comic book artist phase was so short lived, I'll just pretend it never happened. I never wanted to be a professional musician, and definitely not a pop star, but I really wanted to make music. Music was also a great way to make movies... in my head. I would sit there at night with my headphones on and make movies in my head. I was selecting specific tracks, and on I went into dreamland. I have to add that I did smoke a lot of dope at the time, but it wasn't required. It just made everything a little better. It was easier to get lost into all of it. So music was really important to me and I wanted to make some myself. I started by using an Amiga computer, a 4-track and a drum machine. Later, I bought an ASR-10 and made wannabe Carpenter and Goblin tracks I recorded on tapes for my friends. Soundtracks for movies that were never made. And then I actually managed to write a script and work in the movies. I've been living from it ever since. But being a job and a way to make a living, it's not always fun or satisfying on a creative level. That's where music comes in for me. It's something I can make just for the love of it. I don't think I ever found anything that even comes close to it when you have to deal with emotional turmoil. Music is my therapist. Now being asked to give your top anything in music, or movies, or whatever art form - take your pick - is always an honor, because it means someone gives a damn about your opinion. It's also a cruel and unusual punishment, because you have to choose between all the things you love and just pick a few. So when it comes to me, I always start by setting up some kind of rule. It's something that will help me eliminate a bunch of stuff ahead of time and not have to think too much about it. That's how messed up I am. So my rule for today will be: No fucking guitars on my mixtape! Not that I hate guitars, but it's a rule I can live with. Personally, I have no desire to use guitars for my music. If you hear something that sounds like a guitar in my music, it's most likely some dude I sampled from a Moroccan tape or something... That doesn't really count. Anyway, on we go.
1. Public Image Ltd. | The Order of Death
This is the best thing Public Image Ltd. ever did. Wait let me rephrase that. It's the only good thing Public Image Ltd. ever did. It's just this mantra being repeated over and over again over an awesome layer of synths and a drum computer. It's also the opening song to one of my all time favorite movies: Richard Stanley's Hardware. So it's quite fitting that it should be the opening song for this mixtape.
2. John Carpenter with Alan Howarth | Halloween II Theme
John Carpenter is a huge influence on me. Cinematically, as well as musically. I was struggling whether to pick Assault On Precinct 13 or this track. AOP13 is actually more deserving, because it's the proto electro-score bar none, but this mixtape is in a totally personal context, so I have to consider the countless times I watched the intro of Halloween II as a kid just to listen to this awesome version of the classic theme. Halloween II is such a shitty movie, it's just mind-blowing. For the entire running-time, Jamie Lee Curtis is lying in bed wearing the lamest fucking wig I have ever seen in my life, while a bunch of useless characters are getting bumped off left and right of her. Carpenter had to do reshoots to make it work, and then him and Alan Howarth piled up all the synths they had in their studio and recorded this epic track to cover up the mess under an extra thick layer of synths. The theme was used again in a bunch of sequels and remakes, there have been covers, but just listen to this... This is it. Why do people even keep trying?
3. Ladytron | Black Cat
I wanted a pop song that I played a lot on this and one that wasn't too old either. They've been making consistently great pop music for over ten years, so Ladytron were the obvious choice. I'm pretty sure most people would pick another track on Velocifero than this, like Ghosts or Runaway. But for me, when I listened to Velocifero the first time, the album peaked right there, on the first track. I'm in love with the Bulgarian vocals. It reminds me of this conversation I once had with someone, when we both agreed that sometimes, pop music you don't understand the lyrics to can be this extra little amount of awesome.
4. Depth Charge vs. Gunshot | Melanin (Instrumental)
Here, I actually got to include two different artists that were relevant to me in the past with just one track. Depth Charge was this British guy who used to release a bunch of 12'' in the late 80s and early 90s, mixing Breakbeats and Trip Hop with Spaghetti Western, Kung Fu movie and Porn samples, way before bigger and better known guys rode that horse into the ground. He's the kind of guy you almost forget because he always remained so low key, even though he really was totally influential. Here he remixes some tracks for Britcore outfit Gunshot. Britcore was the UK variation of Hip Hop and peaked in the early- to mid-90s, with bands like Silver Bullet, Killa Instinct, an awesome British/Armenian MC called Blade, and these guys. Britcore was huge in the German underground Hip Hop scene at the time, and American rappers who would come over here to perform, mostly had bewildered looks on their faces when they heard the sound of Britcore. I once had a free pass to a huge Hip Hop event including Ice Cube (who was one of the few American guys who really got Britcore and dug it) and a bunch of other big names, but it couldn't hold a candle to these Britcore concerts in smaller venues. The atmosphere in there was amazing. I rarely felt this kind of euphoria at concerts before or after. I put the instrumental version on here, not as a diss to the three Gunshot MCs, who are actually amazing and will rap circles around anyone, but it just fits better into the flow of the tape and it's supposed to showcase the kind of music Depth Charge was making as well, and that was always instrumental with a little bit of spoken word.
5. Curve | Till The Cows Come Home
Here's an important lesson for you: Rules are made to be broken. Yes there are guitars on this... it's my mixtape, so fuck you. But it's the kind of guitars that are there to support the synths... no lame poser solos or anything like that. Which reminds me: The girl I fell in love with once told me her favorite guitar solo was by Pat Smear on What We Do Is Secret, because it's only two seconds long. There are a million other reasons why I fell in love with her, but that right there should be enough to give you an idea. Speaking of love, I never had crushes on singers or anything like that, and always thought these kinds of infatuation were really lame... but then I got a huge crush on Toni Halliday. When I saw Curve in a pretty small club, Toni was wearing a long dress and barely moved while she was holding on to the mike in front of her. Neither did we. We just gazed at her, frozen like deers in the headlights. She was pale as a ghost and beautiful, and she smoked several cigarettes while she performed her set list. A-m-a-z-i-n-g. Of all concerts I saw in my life, this one is probably the closest to feel like it was just a dream. So Curve just had to be on here. The reason why I chose this track, as opposed to obvious candidates like Zoo, Frozen, Fait Accompli or Doppelganger was that it was a song that I listened to when I rediscovered Curve through the Albums I had missed after losing track of them, and it was the first one of the newer stuff that really stuck with me. I also didn't play it to death like the aforementioned ones.
6. Salem | Dirt
Salem were like my musical marriage counselors. Music and me, we were married all these years and were taking each other for granted. Actually, I think I was on my way towards a mini-nervous breakdown before I first heard Salem. I was overwhelmed by everything I was amassing. All this music, all these movies, all these books... And barely time to listen, watch or read even a fraction of it all. I had this feeling... I think it's the kind of feeling people have, shortly before they leave everything behind and move to India to follow one of the six million living deities dwelling over there. Then I heard the Yes I Smoke Crack EP and suddenly, I stopped giving a shit about collecting all this stuff and started focussing on the things that mattered the most. I started being selective again. And they made me want to make music again really badly. I heard there's going to be a different version of Dirt on the 7'' that comes with the CD pre-order, so it's a nice time to revisit the track.
7. Bola | Psilab Bob's Cabin
This was one of the tracks on the Mask EPs that really hit a chord. These things were great. They all had five or six cool tracks on them, each by different artists, a great showcase to discover some new IDM. But only in theory. Because they didn't actually list the tracks in the order they appeared on the records. So you had no way to know who did what, when you really fell in love with one. Later on, tracklists began to appear, but in many cases, they didn't help all that much, because some of the bands on there never made anything else ever again. Of course, some of them are probably just one shot projects by some of the regular Skam artists, but still... It was a little frustrating. Especially if you thought you had found a band, only to realize it was a completely different one that was making total shit music. Thankfully, Bola was real and there to stay and released a bunch of great music after that.
8. Goblin | L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi (Alternate Take)
America had the two and a half hour Dawn Of The Dead cut with the helicopter rotor cutting off the conehead zombie's dome, lots of social commentary and horrible 50s library music with a little Goblin at the most inappropriate times. We had the two hour prog rock version edited by Argento with zero social commentary and zero library music. And non-stop action. This is the alternate take of the tune that's playing on top of the opening credits in our version. It's similar to the opening credit one, but it's faster and better suited for the flow of this tape. That helicopter rotor scene I mentioned totally blows btw.
9. Ulrich Schnauss | Medusa
Back in the audiogalaxy days, when I was chasing soundboard recordings of old Tangerine Dream live performances of the 70s and 80s (the only reason I don't have Tangerine Dream on here is that my favorite tracks, from their mid to late 70s era, are about 20 minutes each and I really didn't feel it for a mixtape), some dude sent me a track called Knuddelmaus by a guy named Ulrich Schnauss. I thought the title sounded retarded and deleted it unheard. Big mistake. I later realized this world was created by Ulrich Schnauss, and I am merely allowed to live in it. Medusa sounds like The Jesus And Mary Chain, Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine and Flying Saucer Attack all got on stage at the same time to attempt and drown each other out while still trying to keep some kind of melody going. And best of all: No guitars were harmed in the making of this music.
10. Synergy | Sketches Of Mythical Beasts
When I was a kid, selling a stereo was still a huge thing for some electronic store salesmen. I don't know who he was, but some guy apparently played the Synergy album Cords to my dad to make him buy a stereo. It worked. My father bought the stereo... and the record. When I first heard this track, I didn't know what the fuck just happened. I had never heard anything like it. It didn't sound like pop music. I didn't even know synths could produce these kinds of sounds. It also had this kind of Middle Eastern thing going, which is where my little fetish for Middle Eastern sounds probably originated from. Actually, it didn't even sound like it was recorded by humans. It sounded like a record someone had rescued from a UFO that crash landed in the desert. A UFO shaped like a mosque. This really doesn't fit anywhere on this tape but at the end, where it doesn't disrupt the flow. But it was a seminal experience for me, so it needs to be here.
Roll End Credits.