WARMER MIXTAPES #290 | by Tim Fletcher of The Stills
1. The Go-Betweens | You Can't Say No Forever
I just discovered this band through a South African/British friend of mine here in Montreal. He's always recommending me really weird stuff, but one day he recommended this to me, because he really loves it. So I got the album, like 4 days ago... The album is called 16 Lovers Lane and it is really a beautiful and simple album, but very profound as well. Romantic, pure, honest songwriting. Kinda post-punk folky late 80's rock. It reminds me of my British heritage, and growing up with English parents, crappy floral wallpaper (that I love), and of my grandfather. But in this song, when he sings you can't say no forever... But I'll try... That I'll try part kills me everytime. People are always trying to accomplish futile things out of a desire to be happy. Some people spend their whole lives repeating futile patterns because of something they've misunderstood about the fundamental goodness of their deepest soul. And it's hard not to relate to that, or be softened by that. So I think this song sums that up in a romantic context in such a simple, moving way.
2. David Sylvian | Praise (Pratah Smarami)
This is from the record Camphor. David Sylvian had invited an Indian holy woman, Shree Maa, into his home in the United States to stay there while she traveled the United States for the first time, during the 90's. He allowed her and 40 people to transform his home into an ashram, a place of worship, for a month. At the end of every morning she would sing this song in the house, and Sylvian asked if she would allow him to record her. Lucky for us, she did. Sylvian put some music to it. It is sung in Sanskrit, a song of praise to the three aspects of the Divine Mother. If you are in the middle of any difficulty in life, if you are angry, if you are depressed, if you are suffering, struggling, feeling tight or lost or cynical, this song cuts through all the noise, all the bewilderment. It is so delicate and tender, and so deeply strong and powerful at the same time. It reminds me that being a human being on this Earth is such a precious thing, such an incredibly strange and beautiful thing. It softens any hardness in my heart every time. We were all put on this Earth to help others, to spread love to others, to help reduce suffering and bring joy to all beings on this Earth. This song reminds me about that.
3. Flying Lotus | Galaxy In Janaki
My God, this whole album Cosmogramma is just completely incredible. Such a journey. It's the last song on an album that took you into outer space and showed you the wonders of the Universe, and then it send you off with this song. It's such a fitting goodbye. See you in another life, see you in heaven, see you at the end of infinity!
4. The Field | A Paw In My Face
Well, what can I say? It sounds like MDMA feels. It makes you feel like you're awake in a dream world. It's got this new-agey trance vibe to it that is really celebratory and makes you appreciate everything, and it makes you want to be running in the country and be good to people and save the Earth from destruction, and it makes you feel like you can do it with a huge smile on your face.
5. Lil Wayne | Put Some Keys On That
Tha Carter III made Lil Wayne HUGE, but Da Drought 3 is where he reaaaally shines. Uncompromising album, really weird, really inspired. This song makes no sense really, train of thought riffing, it's so easy to get caught up in the enthusiasm and it's also important to be a little bit crazy and irreverent and offensive sometimes... Cuz it's fun.
6. Vangelis | Blade Runner Blues (Blade Runner Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
It was a dark and stormy night. I'd already smoked every goddam Marlboro in the pack and I'd only woken up at 4pm. This case was no closer to getting solved than I was to quitting. Time for a Bourbon in a weird futuristic rock glass. The Blade Runner soundtrack is heartbreakingly beautiful. I used to hate it, cause it sounded so dated and cheesy. In the last few years though, I've come to love it so deeply. Vangelis is kind of a genius. Very dark music. Rainy, depressive, yet highly picturesque and glamorous... Perfectly cinematic, suited to one of the best films of all time. We're all essentially replicants, fighting off the terror of death and the fear that our tiny lives are inconsequential. If you feel bummed out, it will help you really feel bummed out. But at least you can romanticize it in an escapist way. Which is not so good for you. But hey, if you're tempted, here you go!
7. Wild Nothing | Our Composition Book
This whole album reminds me of New York City when The Stills were starting. Lots of Smiths, The Cure, guitar pop, shoegazey indie... It's filled with nostalgia and innocence, wide-eyed young people trying to feel it all. The songs on this record are all so well crafted melodically. I liked it the second I heard it. I said to my friend what is THIS?...It's not over the top or hyper dramatic, but it's simply and truly affecting. Memories, memories, memories. I also love the guitar break at 2:22-2:39, because the chords he uses are sooooo Stills, and one of them is the kind of chord I love most of all and try to write with all the time. And I'm not talking about the Dmaj7. The other one...
8. Happy Mondays | Mad Cyril
This song makes me want to smash windows, steal cars, drive them way too fast really high and really drunk, dance like an idiot in clubs where I would get my ass kicked and make fun of rich people in bars. And flip tables in fancy 5-star hotel restaurants. All covered in blood and smiling really evil at old ladies with fur coats on. The Happy Mondays are the party band in Hell.
9. Gorillaz | Empire Ants
Plastic Beach is a really great album. I was never a big fan of theirs, though I always respected Damon Albarn as a for-real artist. I always thought the production was too clean, too shiny. But this song is so awesome, so groovy, so magic. It really transports you to a realm of ant-dreams and it makes me think about how ants and bees and people are all connected like through telepathy. That's why we have to be good to each other, because we all affect each other so much. Another song that reminds me of how all people are sensitive, all people have souls, all people have the Universe inside them. When you walk down the street, the people you pass have all spent their lives thinking about how to get by in so many different ways, just like you. It's nice when music reminds you of the connection you have between people and also makes you want to dance at the same time. The glossy production is awesome in this case. Perfection.
10. Underworld | Antirom (Part 5) (Tomato Promo CD)
These guys were big(ish) in the 90's, but if you find people who love them, they LOVE them. This album is so pristine, like being born. Purity. It has a Brian Eno quality to it. Or like Boards Of Canada. Blue skies, pure, cloudless, sunny. The source of all things in the Universe and beyond. And for that reason, it's quite heavy. I love New Age Music and Trance and stuff like that. It sounds like the year 2353. Via the 90's.