WARMER MIXTAPES #387 | by Shane Johnson of Fish Go Deep
1. The Unthanks | Close The Coalhouse Door
Pitch black Northern English folk music. The Unthanks played a spellbinding concert here in Cork a couple of months ago, mixing jazz and classical with their dark Northumberland stories. And clog dancing.
2. TV On The Radio | Will Do
Their recent album is another gem and producer, David Sitek, has a great sound. You're never quite sure where their songs will take you and, in a time of increasingly formulaic music, that is so refreshing. The whole record works as a piece and I could have picked any of the tracks really.
3. Fela Kuti | Water Get No Enemy
One of those songs that I could never ever get tired of. It takes just about everything that I love about music - soul, spirit, space, celebration, dancing - and wraps it in an irresistible groove that seems short at eleven minutes.
4. Eric B. & Rakim | Follow The Leader
Another one of these ten that visited Cork recently. Rakim has been my favourite MC from when I first heard him as a teenager and, although Eric B. wasn't around this time, he can still kick it live. Rakim doesn't travel by plane so it's, ahem, been a long time since he's toured in Europe. It took him seven days to cross the Atlantic by ship but it was a journey well worth making. He encored the show with probably his greatest lyric, Follow The Leader, starting it with the regular beat before breaking into a fantastic drawn out acappela. Stunning.
5. Moodymanc | Black Paint (Larry Heard Remix)
The original was already a fine track but Larry Heard has turned this into a deep and dark masterpiece with one of the best remixes I've heard all year. It samples a very early Gil Scott-Heron poem, Paint It Black, and layers it a with one of those classic Mr. Fingers chord sequences that somehow makes you want to rejoice and cry at the same time.
6. Vijay Iyer Trio | Somewhere
Beautiful take on the Leonard Bernstein tune from West Side Story. Plays every which way around the theme and hints at so much more. I saw the trio at last year's Cork Jazz Festival in a very cramped and stuffy room and they were superb. The way the band as a unit can shift the tempo and emphasis within a song blows me away. New album due any minute.
7. Charles Mingus | Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting
Apart from being an amazing piece of music in it's own right, this whooping, hollering, joyous jam from 1959 encompasses a whole century of American music - reaching fifty years into the past to the beginnings of modern popular music and fifty years into the future to where we are now. Never gets old.
8. Joanna Newsom | Good Intention Paving Company
I'm still listening to last year's beautiful Have One On Me triple - yes, triple! - album and this is one of the more uptempo numbers from it. It's a killer bluesy piano stomp with daffy but deep lyrics. It's far from a club track but I'm convinced that it would make sense at the right moment on the right dancefloor. Still waiting for that moment though.
9. The Jimmy Cake | Jetta's Palace
In the continued absence of long-awaited new material I'll pick this storming piano and horns driven number from their superb 2008 album, Spectre And Crown. If you don't already know Ireland's finest group do yourself a musical favour and go get this record.
10. Gil Scott-Heron | Lady Day And John Coltrane
A poem to the healing powers of music and art and one of the greatest songs ever written. Gil's death hits hard but he leaves a serious legacy.