WARMER MIXTAPES #551 | by Samuel Frankland Falson [Sam Sparro]
1. Rufus And Chaka Khan | Ain’t Nobody
This track, for me, exists in a place beyond Time and Space and will get me into the middle of the Dance floor, or have me turn up my radio, no matter where I am. The perfectly syncopated mixture of programmed drums, synths and live guitars represents an amazing transition in Popular Music. Chaka’s vocals are at once lazily and urgently delivered. No matter how many time I hear it - It cannot and will not grow old.
2. Prince | Controversy
One of Prince's most concise and poignant lyrical achievements. He’s questions the existence of God and his own sexuality in the same song with a biting sense of sarcasm. This track is flawless and even better is the extended version where his pitched up voice sings I wish we all were nude.
3. Loleatta Holloway | Love Sensation
As a child a drove my parents crazy with my incessant rewinding of the cassette tape of Ride On Time by Blackbox. The track featured the vocals from Loleatta Holloway’s Love Sensation. It wasn’t until my teen years that I even realized this was a sample and now I much prefer the original - with all the drama of its lush string arrangement. Her conviction reminds me of some of the great Gospel voices but with a little bit of smokey-bar-smut thrown in.
4. Erykah Badu | Bag Lady
The metaphor in this song really gets me: the story of a bag lady who just can’t let go of all the crap she is carrying around. The weeping guitar lick is so catchy. I remember watching Erykah perform this at Brixton Academy about 10 years ago and she must have played this song for 10 minutes, breaking it down and building it back up again a few times. The audience was in Heaven.
5. Sylvester | Be With You
There is sense of heart break and desperation in this song that really moves me. But it’s not your typical Love song. No - it’s a 1980’s sweaty Hi-NRG floor filler with a Moroder-esque bass line and a squealing synth solo that surely must have influenced the work of Daft Punk. This song transports me to the Castro or New York’s West Village.
Whenever I sit down at a drum kit - I usually start playing the drums from this song. It starts out with just a kick and a rimshot and then out comes this voice. It’s one of my favorite voices ever.
7. Beyoncé | Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
I remember marveling at how unconventional this song was the first time I heard it on the radio. The chorus vocals are doing these 3 part major harmonies and then in come these dissonant dark synth chords that seemed so crazy and out of place... And then before you know it you can’t get enough and you’re doing the dance in your bathroom mirror.
8. The Swiss | Manthem
Instrumental Melodic Hi-NRG Disco heaven. I find myself humming the top line synth melody on this track a lot. The producer, Jono Sloan, did some work on my new record and told that this song is the result of an incredibly long jam session - and an even longer editing session.
9. Tensnake | Coma Cat
It’s rare that a House track with very little vocals can reach deep down into your soul and bring out so much feeling and euphoria. This is one of those tracks. When it first came out I heard it in so many DJ sets and on so many Mixtapes and best of lists that you couldn’t play it for awhile but I think it’s a modern classic that will always take me back to a time and place.
10. The Clash | Magnificent Seven
The Clash straddled this fine line between Punk/Post-Punk/Funk and Disco that I find irresistible. The bass line in this track is instant. I love this sort of syncopation as well. It’s one of my favorite tracks to play in a DJ set.