WARMER MIXTAPES #971 | by Eric Sexton and Alex Spalding of Material Action

SIDE A | by Alex Spalding

1. Cabaret Voltaire | Big Funk
It's hard to pick a favourite band, album or track, but for me this would hit all categories. Cabaret Voltaire's period of paranoid, twitchy Electro Funk is an obsession of mine, one that spurred me into collecting all kinds of related Music, albums from groups like Torch Song, Chakk, Mark Stewart & The Maffia, Hula & their fellow Sheffieldians The Human League. It's very manic, knee-jerk Funk from another dimension with its cut-up Samples & fierce Synth/Rhythm Patterning. For being so mind-exploding, it's also an intensely Physical experience. It just grips me, locks my mind up, and then when the distorted Electro-freakout happens in the last 4th of the track... It's maybe one of the closest things to a Religious experience I've ever had.

2. Skinny Puppy | Dead Lines
Perfect Dark Electro Industrial. Skinny Puppy are an obsession of mine. I haven't listened to anything of theirs following The Process, though. This is one of my faves from their LP Bites, probably their absolute best album, alongside tracks like The Choke & Last Call -- my favourite version of the latter was on Brap (Back & Forth Vol. 3 & 4), it had a lot of fierce Sampling! While I prefer the LP version of Dead Lines, the first time I heard it was on one of the Funky Alternatives/Exclusive Alternatives compilations, and it's funny in retrospect now just how much Inspiration those comps had on me in my young teenage years that I'm still just as into those Artists & that sort of Sound, even having moved onto all kinds of other things. They were Taste-Making records, every track was Hypnotic, Funky Hi-NRG Industrial Electro-Wave, Dark/Alternative B-Boy Jams... Pretty much every single thing I Love, minus the Chill! The comps were also my introduction to New Order through the track Evil Dust, which was an exclusive Remix of Angel Dust and almost made my list. Anyway, this marked the beginning of a massive Music-Collecting period of time in my youth, largely spent hunting down various Wax Trax!, Mute, and Nettwerk Records releases. That was pretty much how I got through the late '90s!

3. Dead Or Alive | Misty Circles
I Love Hi-NRG! Anything Bobby "O", Stock/Aitken/Waterman, and also a lot of obscurities. Dead Or Alive, though, are at the top for me. This track is one of my Absolute Faves of All Time, with the Uptempo, Punchy Disco Groove, the Slap Bass, Synth Arpeggios and of course Pete Burns' Emotionally-Charged Vocal Performance! It's impossible not to want to dance to this.

4. Colourbox | Hipnition
I've been really into Colourbox for a long time, in my opinion they were the coolest group on 4AD. What inspired me a lot about them was how stylistically varied they were, and yet whatever they did it always sounded unmistakeably like them. I Love groups like that. This is an oft-neglected track from their self-titled LP. It really should have had its own 12" single, it's a shame that it doesn't. I Love these Basslines, and the Sections toward the end with the cavernous Drums are wonderful. I'm just in Love with this Sound.

5. Gwen Guthrie | Seventh Heaven (US Remix By Larry Levan)
One of my Favourite Boogie Funk Tracks Ever, alongside other notables like Take A Chance by Bill Summers & Summers Heat or D-Train's You're The One For Me. In my opinion this is one of the Most Beautiful Pieces of Music Ever Recorded, though. It's Pure Love in Sound Form. The Synths trickle down my spine while the pops of the Bass Guitar slap me in the face; the embrace of Gwen Guthrie's sweet voice carries me into a dizzy Space of Ecstacy and then Larry Levan's Mixing is just the right touch of FREAKY that it makes me lose my mind. It's a Masterpiece.

6. Scritti Politti | Absolute
I Love Scritti Politti. The Sound on their album Cupid & Psyche '85 took a massive departure from their earlier records on Rough Trade, but I think it's brilliant. It really inspired me when I first heard it in all its ultra-glossy Funk Pop glory.

7. Paul Hardcastle | Don't Waste My Time (feat. Carol Kenyon)
Paul Hardcastle's a wizard. The guy's Sound is flawlessly smooth, and I Love it! It's just crazy. His Instrumental Singles are great too, like King Tut, Moonhopper & especially Rainforest with the classic Afrika Bambataa Breakbeat, instantly recognizable to any other lover of NY Electro & Miami Freestyle. This particular track is one of my favourites of his, Carol Kenyon's Vocals take it to the next level.

8. Araxis | Theme D'Araxis
I have to include something Italo in my list, since it's a genre I've been kind of obsessed with for several years now, delving into a lot of its obscure treasures & good time feels. There are SO many singles I could have added to this list, I considered Valerie Dore's The Night, one of Kasso's tracks, Glam's More Than Ever, X Ray Connection's Get Ready with its awesome Laser Toms, or Charlie's Electro-tinged Spacer Woman, but I ultimately chose this for my list instead as I think it's too fantastic not to be here. It makes me want to dance & it has a lot of cool Synth Sounds -- and Vocoders! It reminds me a lot of YMO. Theme D'Araxis is also missing that kind of weird part from the middle of the A-Side of the record.

9. A.R. Kane | A Love From Outer Space
This is such a beautiful piece of Dance Music! I always feel a great mood & the energy of Cosmic Love come over me when I listen to it, so it definitely belongs on this list. I first heard it when a good friend of mine played it for me at his place & I immediately wondered how I'd ever managed to live without it.

10. Absolute Elsewhere | Earthbound   
a. Earthbound + b. Future Past... If I ever went into Space, this is a track I would want to take with me, especially if I had a window seat on the rocket. Super Spacy Cosmic Fusion. It's one of those albums that really takes me on a Voyage. '70s Futurism in Music often feels very warm, druggy, utopian, naive, like a sincere desire to move through & sensorially experience the Cosmos.

+11. Air | Universal Traveler
I just really Love Air. There is a lot that seems Universal about their Music. Like, if I were to play any of my Noise records or some really heavy Avantgarde Art thing for other people a lot of them maybe wouldn't get it, but this is something I imagine I could put on for anyone & it would be instantly understood. Like so much of my favourite Music, it's very beautiful & even happy, but also tinged with Sadness. When I listen to it, it makes me crave Travel & Experiences, and yet I tend to put it on when I'm feeling caught in a rut & unhappy with the way things are moving in my life.

+12. Thomas Leer | Bullet Train Daydream
This is a part of my Soul in Music form. I think it somewhat recalls the Electronic Loveliness of the track Interferon from Thomas Leer's much earlier work on Industrial Recs with Robert Rental. I've long been hugely in Love with his newer Music, though, and wanted to mention it. It's a Strange, Expansive Sense of Awe & Wonder that this track evokes, involving personal Electronics & the way Technology is integrated into our Natural Environment. We've learned to see the World in so many different ways. I Love how Free-Form it is, too. It's like a wide canvas onto which various gorgeous Azure Sound Shades & Tones have been layered.

+13. Boards Of Canada | Triangles & Rhombuses
This is an example of the sort of thing that caused me to fall in Love with this duo, particularly the last few seconds of the track. It's like a little twilight, a piece of lovely in-betweenness on MHtRtC. It's not something I usually will just listen to on its own divorced from the context of the album, because part of what makes it so great is getting there while in the midst of listening to an already fantastic record. It's a kind of unique Magic it has that I associate very strongly with the years 2004-2005, during which time I was forming a lot of new impressions, getting obsessed with new Sounds, meeting new people after dropping a lot of previous associations, and falling in Love again. I discovered this group alongside a girl I was dating at the time who was really into Aphex Twin (I was more of an Autechre fan before-hand, but I Love both) & we kind of explored Warp & Clone Records' output together before moving on to other things & eventually breaking up.

+14. Saint Pepsi | Carpark
Very recently I discovered & fell in Love with a lot of Vaporwave stuff, but maybe it's only existed recently! It's hard to pick just one track out of a genre filled with so many interesting Artists & awesome Musical moments that I'd Love to mention (18K, VHS Logos, Luxury Elite, Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza, et al), but it's one that really stood out for me. I Love the Groove, the Samples, the feel of the whole track. It's like a hazy moment from my barely cognizant past, a forgotten, faint trace of Muzak heard emanating from beyond the Concrete in a Shopping Mall. When I first heard this stuff I remember having talks with Eric like, Why aren't we making Music like this!!!...  It's just really cool, Saint Pepsi's Music is like a Bizarre Whirlwind of '80s/early '90s vapid Consumer-Fetishism & Fuzzy Vibes.

+15. Mumbles | Oceania
I used to own a few Ubiquity & Transient compilations that had a lot of really great Nu-Jazz, Breaks, Downtempo Goa, House & Trip Hop style Music on them. The Transient one in particular had some really cool tracks from artists like Luna & Slide, and Action Men, which I believe was a Trentemøller side project... This track was from one of the Ubiquity compilations, though. They all run together in my head, as I was listening to them in kind of the same time period! It's really deep, filtered Jazz Breakbeat that reminds me of when I used to walk around all over town late at night listening to Music. This was a part of my typical insomnial Soundtrack. Mumbles, and most of the other artists on those comps, was a total enigma to me. Later on I found a lot of other cool Music he was doing. His style of creating repetitive Jazz Loops & the way he structures the Sounds is really unique.

+16. Miles Davis | Ife
There are several, very particular points in Miles Davis' career that are extremely momentous for me... This album is one of the most indulgent, bizarre pieces of Jazz-Funk Fusion Noise & I'm addicted to it. The whole album is brilliant... Post-Bitches Brew/Live-Evil Era Miles in which the Recording Studio really feels heavily utilized. I'd have to make a separate list of nothing but Miles Davis tracks to really give him enough respect, on so many of his records it always felt like he was trying to get outside the Language of Music, reach for something beyond it all. This track, the whole record is more pre-meditated & deconstructed. I grew up with a lot of Jazz around since my dad played Trumpet & Loved this Music. I can remember getting dragged to recitals & concerts & things all the time as a child & feeling very bored, it took me a lot of years to finally get to a place where I could appreciate it.

+17. Tuxedomoon | Watching The Blood Flow
One of the truly great & Original Post-Punk groups (were there any other kind?). I Love how intense this track is. Anything Jazzy & out-of-the-bounds of Convention is something I Love. This track feels like the Madness of Cities. Crammed Discs was another Label that made a huge lasting impression on me because their output was so varied & excellent!

+18. Venetian Snares | Die Winnipeg Die Die Die Fuckers Die
This is one of my Favourite Breakcore Tracks Ever. It starts off like Noisy Percussive Chaos, but it eventually becomes or builds into this amazing thing, indescribable really.

+19. 23 Skidoo | The Gospel Comes To New Guinea
I have to mention this as it's one of the most foreboding, intense Industrial Funk pieces Ever Recorded, great for listening to late at night in the Dark, and Loud! It's a lot like ACR, early pre-Cyberpunk Clock DVA & Liquid Liquid, three other groups I'm obsessed with that I can't help mentioning since I'm kind of putting all kinds of other Music not formally on my list in the margins here!

+20. The Bollock Brothers | Horror Movies
I Love anything related to Halloween! This is a fun track, makes me laugh & causes me to look back nostalgically on my youth spent watching Horror Film Cheese. Speaking of, I think my first time hearing this one might have been on some Elvira compilation. The Bollock Brothers were just really cool. Horror Movies, Pizza & Wave are my life.

+21. Strawberry Switchblade | Go Away
I could have picked just about any of their singles, really. Strawberry Switchblade were a perfect Pop band... I like this one in particular because it's very depressive. I have a tendency to listen to Strawberry Switchblade a lot when I'm drinking alone.

+22. The Royal Family And The Poor | I Love You (Restrained In A Moment) 
I fell in Love with this single a few years ago after hearing it. For me it occupies a space between cold, depressive Minimal Wave like Victrola or Deux, something kind of Cosmic, like Throbbing Gristle's United, and something Romantic like Martin Dupont's Just Because. It's just perfect, a combination of a lot of things I Love, and very heartfelt.

+23. The Cure | Charlotte Sometimes
The Cure have been one of my favourite bands since High-School & I got to see them Live once... That was a very Magical experience for me. Out of a lot of their Music I picked this single because it's one of those songs that reminds me & keeps me connected to my feeling of being Younger & Always Alienated & Detached From the World, finding Love & Comfort in Music Mostly, Little Else. My favourite Cure single, though, was always Other Voices from their album Faith.

+24. The Chameleons | Paper Tigers (Live at the Haçienda, Manchester, UK, 1983)
As far as my listening habits go, there were only a few proper Goth bands I ever Loved to death: The Cure, if you consider them Gothic -- maybe they were during their best period -- Siouxsie And The Banshees, and The Chameleons. I Love the Brittle Guitar, it reminds me a lot of Surf Music, and the inscrutable Poetry of the Lyrics. There's a particular Live recording of Paper Tigers, I believe it's the one taken from their Performance at The Haçienda... I had it on CD & can remember one autumn night when I was about 14 or 15 years old I just sat outside watching the stars while listening to this track ritualistically over & over. A weird moment out of Time.

+25. The Fall | Smile
I Love The Fall, and like anyone might say, it's all about Mark E. Smith's Lyrics & Vocal delivery. They were John Peel's favourite band, too! This is one of many of their songs I could have chosen, but it's the first one I heard that got me really into them. It's one of those harsh Post-Punk tracks, like The Pop Group's We Are All Prostitutes or This Heat's Makeshift Swahili, Pure Audio Anarchy. I Love that, Anything That Reflects Rejection of Garbage Social Norms.

+26. Slowdive | Morningrise
Every time I listen to their Music I get caught in a swirl of various Emotions & Feelings. It's a blur of Gregg Arakki Films, memories of the '90s, Marijuana Daze, many lonely moments & moments in Love, Autumn Leaves, cigarettes & trying to figure out my life. Slowdive are one of those bands who I felt wrote really great Lyrics, but I never really payed attention to what they were saying as much as how they were saying it & how what they were saying felt in the Soundscape. Like in this track, everything kind of builds to the words slip away & yesterday, and it's very Temporal, it takes me out of Time. Another one of my absolute favourites is Melon Yellow from their album Souvlaki. So long, so long. It's painfully beautiful, a Suicide in Slow-Motion or a letter you wrote to someone you loved while crying.

+27. Craft Spells | Your Tomb
This is a band my girlfriend introduced me to. I quickly fell in Love with their Sound, they have a vibe that's a little bit of early Goth Rock & definitely also a New Order thing going on. This track is my favourite from their album Idle Labor. It earns a distinction on my list also for being what was in our CD Player when my daughter was born, so in that way it connects in a huge way to my life.

+28. Tears For Fears | The Way You Are
Tears For Fears were my first favourite band & so my Love for them coincides with my first Awareness or Consciousness of Music, at least of having a taste for anything. Everybody Wants To Rule The World was the first song I ever heard that I liked. About annually I'll feel nostalgic & want to go back & listen to some of their Music again. Though I also love Head Over Heels, this is my favourite TFF single at this time. It's got a very bright Synthpop Sound & I Love the self-conscious Lyrics, sort of like something Martin Gore would have written.

+29. Yoko Shimomura | Somnia Memorias (with Shani Rigsbee) (Parasite Eve Original Soundtrack)
This is a random Video Game memory of mine, when I hear it I'm reminded of a time in my life full of Square Games & Loneliness. It was the reward for completing a run-through of Parasite Eve on Playstation.

+30. Malkit Singh | Gur Nalon Ishq Mitha
Bhangra Music is great & Malkit Singh's Voice is absolutely amazing. This track always puts me in a really good mood when I hear it, it has a sound that... I was trying not to call cheesy, but it IS Cheesy & very '90s Sounding & Glorious. I Love it for everything it is. I put it on sometimes just to cheer myself up.

SIDE B | by Eric Sexton

1. Kraftwerk | Neon Lights
It's no secret that Kraftwerk has been one of the Most Inspirational Bands of All Time in Electronic Music. Neon Lights is a track that really speaks to me, the delightful Analogue Strings, Basses & High Frequencies are beautiful to the ears & I've enjoyed this track on many drives at night. It's a long track, aproximately 12 minutes in length. The Vocals are great & then it goes into a kind of Jam Session with all the Sounds at once, it always makes me think that they really enjoyed making the track & were getting into the Groove!

2. Neon Indian | (If I Knew I'd Tell You)
If you haven't heard him yet you should check him out, this guy is amazing! I first had the pleasure of listening to this album on a cold November night. Every track just breathes good feels & good times. Now, about this track... I Love it because it's short & sweet, like the Artist was giving you a little Sample of their Talent & it really shows! It's Funky & awesome, Classic JAMMING well worth a few listens.

3. Alex Spalding | 5th Cup/Divinorum
I just want to say that I had this album for a while, but I didn't hear this track until I was doing a THOROUGH listen through of all of Alex's independent works. Everything about this track is incredible, most notably there is a lot of Bass! It's gritty, with almost Wasp-like Strings, Funky & almost Dub at the same time & it flows so well into the second Chorus. Anybody who knows of Alex or his works knows that his Rhythm Pattern knowledge is second to none. I dub this track a must listen.

4. Topaz Gang | The Cooler Information
This track has a late 70's/early 80's vibe that I totally dig! The way that they mixed the track to have almost a Tape Warble effect makes it even cooler. What can I say, that sort of Funky Synthesizer work is just my kind of vibe!

5. Mr. Oizo | Analog Wormz Sequel
I first discovered Mr. Oizo after walking into a Music Store & randomly selecting an album without looking from the Electronic Music section. Analog Worms Attack is what I picked up & what an album it was! I'm going to use the word Flavors here because it's hard to pinpoint an exact style, it's Funky, Electro, with some Hip-Hop feels & even a touch of Turntablism with some added Sound Effects. I've had this album for many years, about 13 I think, and the thing I liked about this track is that it had a deep, almost delayed Bass Drone on top of Live Drums with sizzled Oscillator Effects. Mr. Oizo is unique in the Electronic Music World & that's what makes it good, it's out of the norm.

6. Funkstörung | Fat Camp Feva (feat. Tes)
I Love these guys & I wish they were still Making Music. What I liked about this track was the Vocal work & Effects, very masterfully executed. I also enjoyed the subject matter, and the Rhythms were just sick! I enjoyed this track on many occasions in my car with the system up loud & still do! It never gets old. It's hard hitting & yet fun.

7. Kid606 | Catstep/My Kitten/Catnap Vatstep DSP Remix By Hrvatski
I first received this album when my system was well up-to-par, and even then this was a very Noisy, Shrill album for the most part, but if you can hold out & handle the Digital, Ear-Splitting High Frequencies long enough a campy Drum & Bass tune comes in & it's like Reggae & D&B rolled into one, with excellent Vocoder action. I want to emphasize that I am not in the least bit a fan of Drum & Bass or Happy Hardcore types of Music because in my personal taste I find it cheezy, but I would definitely make an exception for this track, it is well executed & was my favorite track on the whole album. It's a fun, happy track.

8. Autechre | Eutow
This track reminds many of a Racing Game! The thing that is the most amazing about this track is the Analogue, Orchestrated String Sounds. They are so amazing, especially on a High-Quality Sound System & when the Bass drops & the Beat kicks in you know you're listening to Perfection!

9. Strictures | Me And My Rhythm Box
Gloom Wave Klassicks!! Arguably one of the Greatest Industrial Albums of All Time. When I first heard this track I was addicted, the Beat is hard-hitting & just makes you want to rage. This whole album is a must listen!

10. Alexander Robotnick | The Dark Side Of The Spoon
When I first heard this track I fell in Love with it immediately. I was lucky enough to add it to my collection for much enjoyment. The Synth work is just unreal since this is an 80's album, it always reminded me of Video Games like Metroid or Megaman.