WARMER MIXTAPES #1063 | by Mikael Lind
1. Aphex Twin | 4
This track made me laugh when I first heard it. I started listening to Aphex Twin around 1993, so I knew his music, but I could never anticipate the development his music would take, and this track blew my mind in so many different ways. The beat was something completely new at the time, even though it now is heard a lot in so-called Drill 'N' Bass, but there's also something so warm and alive in the melodic and harmonic content of this song. Countless artists have copied Aphex' style, but none of them has ever made anything as good as this!
2. Kraftwerk | Ohm Sweet Ohm
This track is perhaps one of the lesser known Kraftwerk tracks, and it appears on Radio Aktivität, where it is the last track. The melody is very simple, and so is the harmony, but the broken analog synthesizers in this track just break my heart and give me tears in my eyes. A clear-cut example of how the cold Electronic sounds are brought to life due to the small imperfections in older technology; if this track was to be played on ultra-clean synthesizer plugins in a modern sequencer, the result wouldn't be half as charming!
3. Steve Reich | Section IIIA (from Music For 18 Musicians)
OK, maybe it doesn't make sense to single out one section from this amazing piece, but for those who haven't heard this seminal work in Minimalism, this gives a nice glimpse of how the whole piece sounds. This music is completely Acoustic, but it's not difficult to hear how it has influenced modern Electronic Music composers. Stunning!
4. Sufjan Stevens | The Tallest Man, The Broadest Shoulders - Part I: The Great Frontier; Part II: Come To Me Only With Playthings Now
Obvious Steve Reich references in this track, but Sufjan does it so well that the result is just amazing. Perhaps one of the best attempts ever to blend Pop Music with modern Classical Music. Haven't listened much to Stevens' newer stuff, but Illinois and Michigan are both great records.
5. Arvo Pärt | Fratres (Played by Gil Shaham & Roger Carlsson with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Conductor: Neeme Järvi)
I used to be a huge Pärt fan, but I think his newer works are really not that interesting. Still beautiful music, but I'd much rather listen to medieval composers such as Dufay instead. Fratres from 1977 caught me on first listen, and I couldn't get enough of the piece. The odd thing is that the piece is so simple on the surface, with a structure that you think should somehow bore you in the long run. Somehow it doesn't, so Pärt has here succeeded in entering musical eternity, one could say.
6. John Cage | In A Landscape (Performed by Stephen Drury)
Now here's a composer that should surely be remembered for his creative ideas on composition; he really anticipated a lot of factors regarding development of music and compositional techniques in the modern times. Still, this minimal, meditative, almost Satiesque piano piece is something which I keep playing and never get bored of. Very often, the best ideas are actually quite simple, and the genius to see greatness in simplicity is what makes some simple ideas live on forever.
7. Boards Of Canada | Telephasic Workshop
To me, the best album from Boards Of Canada is Music Has The Right To Children. It's much more beat-driven and rough than their later releases, but really playful all the same. This track is my personal favourite, and it sums up the album pretty well. Great stuff!
8. David Lang | Sweet Air
David Lang is obviously influenced by the great American minimalists, but although this piece bears some resemblance to some works of Philip Glass, I find Lang's compositional approach far more interesting and developed than Glass'. It's minimal without being too repetitive, there are always some micro changes in the piece that keeps the flow going.
9. Autechre | Pir
The drums are reminiscent of tin cans in space, and that's not a bad thing. Another masterpiece from the golden years of Warp in the 90's! Really beautiful and emotive without being boring; the best kind of Experimental Music there is.
10. Radiohead | Kid A
Kid A is better than OK Computer, that's my humble opinion! I love the first track, but my favourite is this cute creation. Thom Yorke sounds like an alien, and the synthesisers sound so much interesting than the standard Rock band guitars usually do. What is Radiohead up to today? I'm not sure, but one can't deny that they have created a great, important record in Rock history with their Kid A album.