WARMER MIXTAPES #304 | by Andrew Means of Velella Velella

Here's a crack at the current top 10...

1. The City | Now That Everything's Been Said
It's part of an incredible album with some super incredible tracks. King's vocals are beautiful and really charmingly unpolished. Especially I love the way the track starts off with a shaker, then tambourine, then sleigh bells - it's the perfect example of the way production decisions, when done right, can totally change the way a song feels without anybody noticing. Add to all that the incredible guitar and drum work and you've got a really smoking song.

2. DâM-FunK | Rollin'
DâM-FunK is like 140 proof funk. The guy tosses most of the pop calculations that people generally make and distills it down to a sick bassline, a simple (played live!) drum machine beat and then proceeds to lay down synth noodles on top of it. No lyrics, no verses, few choruses, it's just hooks for miles. I love the feel on this track, it's awesome.

3. Max Roach | January V
This track is kind of hauntingly beautiful; I love the way it's done with instruments that all sound very similar; it really creates an incredible feeling.

4. Dynasty | Do Me Right
I discovered Dynasty a while ago, but they've been kind of riding this long wave of awesomeness for a while in my mind. Disco kind of gets a bad rap, but Dynasty, Pleasure, Kleeer - some of this stuff is just brilliant.

5. James Pants | Thin Moon
James and I used to be in a band in college; the dude singlehandedly opened up my eyes to a huge array of music, introduced me to countless artists. The dude's solid. See also.

6. Rick James | Mary Go Round
I've been on a big Rick James kick lately. His hits are fine, but this track, and Fool On The Street are both kind of sleepers, and I think twice as bangin' as most of his hits.

7. The Esquires | How Could It Be
This track is one of those tracks where if you listen to any one of the individual tracks you kind of get blown away - you could just do the vocals, or the guitar, or especially the bass, and you'd be blown away - I love these guys, their record (Up And Away) is probably my favorite soul record at the moment. Especially at 2:15, hot damn!

8. Karin Krog | The Meaning Of Love
This is possibly my favorite song/arrangement of all time. The drums, the bass, the keys, and Karin Krog's glorious voice, dripping with reverb; it's amazing. Somehow the incredibly sad lyrics are pushed forward with this incredible urgency, like the rhythm section won't let her rest on the sad words, they turn it into this joyous thing. In some ways that's what music does for me, it holds the hope, the longing, the sadness and the joy, and you feel them all, and it's lovely.

9. Janelle Monáe | Tightrope
While her album was really scattered and felt kind of art-school-student-project in its attempt at a bunch of different styles, Tightrope is a serious barn burner, and her performance on this clip just destroys 90% of everything else out there right now.

10. MF Doom | Rap Snitch Knishes
MF Doom is easily my favorite rapper. His lo-fi production is fantastic too, full of cartoon samples and off-beat drums. This track is off his awesome record Mm.. Food. Mr. Fantastik is awesome on this track too.