WARMER MIXTAPES #801 | by Rick Holland
1. Jehst | True Intention
This can't be my beautiful culture. Earlier Jehst, the young Billy Brimstone, is like our generation's young Bob Dylan when rhymes just cartwheeled out of him and staggered the World (the World that was actually seeking and listening at least). He's grown up, smoked too much weed, beats and lyrics got strung out along the way with the Bitterness of The Industry and the World but the poet still lives strong in Jehst, masquerading behind the Hip-Hop clown that has to perform for his bread money. A True Scribe. In my early years in London, I would say I listened to the Falling Down LP every other day, marching around London and on the tube, discovering standalone lyrics of rare Beauty in the soliloquoys and his language as Music.
2. Simon "Bassline" Smith | Midnite
L.T.J. Bukem/MC Conrad - Promised Land Volume One... For me this is still peerless as a words and beats concoction. I could listen to this every day. I don't remember the details of anything in my day-to-day, but I can remember every single lilt and sway of Conrad filling the silences between Bukem's snake-spine Percussion, it is a kind of Active Listening whenever I buckle back into this, the repetitions are just so freeing. This has also come to represent a time for me when experiencing Live Drum And Bass, with the lyrical interjections of MCs, was all the Music I listened to. These experiences were never carved into wax, Music is a Living Culture, and I was never as fully immersed in Music as I was in Drum And Bass clubs in my teens and early twenties.
3. Brian Eno | Lux 1
Music is a Living Culture. This takes on new meaning when I think of Brian and the impact he has had on my life. I had always found Freedom in the repetitions in Music that let my own brain water the garden. Rich Colours emanate, once you let the process happen, and it is this more than anything else that I have learned by listening to and watching Brian's work, and him at work. I choose Lux 1 from Lux above other of his work because of the memory of being asked to listen to it and respond before it was released. I saw Light from it, this is the most simple explanation.
4. Jon Hopkins | Immunity
This is the final track from his latest album, also called Immunity. The whole album opens up a world of Inner Experience, Ecstatic and Melancholy and Nostalgic. Within the journey - the whole album feels like a Journey - his Piano plays an out of reach plot above the crunch and grind of our inner experience as loving, curious humans. But it is with Immunity, the final act, that a Human voice peels out of the great lake of the rest of the work, and we know what it is singing about without being able to pick out words.
5. Mr One Hundred | One Man Island (feat. Crystal Xulu & Chris James)
Which brings me on to the work of the person who has more ably captured inner experience than any other Musician I know. This is an artist who in this Modern Age could well slip unnoticed into cracks and crevices, but every piece of work he makes fills me with a certainty that he understands our Essential Existence. The format doesn't yet exist to best represent his work, though simply playing it to a room the size of the Albert Hall through a ritual like placing needle into groove and making people listen is the stage it should have.
6. Eddie Cochran | Milk Cow Blues (Kokomo Arnold Cover)
As surely as Crystal Xulu hints at the Future of our Music and Music Listening Experiences, Eddie Cochran for me represents the very earliest encounters I had with the power of Music to Transport, regardless of whether it was a co-opted genre, or how it had arrived at my ears. This could also have been Elvis' All Shook Up, both heard from my Uncle's Record Collection, and listened to over and over and over and over.
7. The Crickets | Not Fade Away
Pop Music again, that era. Simplicity. Repetition. Joy. I can't remember how long this song is, but I think it is around two minutes. As such, it is the song equivalent of having a beautiful quick thought that you note down. This is pretty much what great Pop Music is, it is like a direct vein to a beautiful quick thought that doesn't necessarily make sense, but it can transport you straight back to where you were when you had it. I also Love the story that the Drum part was played out on a cardboard box when it was recorded.
8. Wu-Tang Clan | Triumph (feat. CappaDonna)
The sounds of the Wu-Tang lyricists hit me before I had any idea what they were rhyming about. I discovered this track on a blank cassette tape. No context, no idea who and what it was. I bomb atomically, Socrates' philosophies and hypotheses can't define how I be droppin' these mockeries and then the voices kept coming, different flows, lilts, making up their own rules and walking your Imagination around their worlds. I was totally convinced. I believed it, without any idea what it was I believed, this is the Greatness of Music of Any Kind.
9. Dead Prez | 'They' Schools
Dead Prez, their album Let's Get Free blew my mind wide open. I was at University and feeling increasingly desperate, as though my education in Literature and Language was actually closing my mind down rather than expanding it. The situations laid out in this album were more Education than anything I had experienced up until that point. Listening back to it now, it still explains so much about the Real World, combined with the Musical Fluidity of the Human Voice when it mingles with Lyrical Poetry. Lessons cascade into your world, and on this album they range from the grandest Social Critique to the kinds of foods you should eat to stay healthy.
10. Bob Dylan | Not Dark Yet
Truth and Dedication mean Everything to me in the work of other people, and it is what I pour into my own. I won't stand for anything else. I don't think you can get a more Inspiring example of someone who has kept pouring his truth out than Bob Dylan. I believe him.