WARMER MIXTAPES #1102 | by Toby Campbell [Anomie Belle]
Photo by Eric Krebs
1. Tricky | Hell Is Round The Corner
When I was fifteen, I went to Europe for the first time with my Soccer team. In Denmark, I met and hung out with a tall, handsome Swedish boy named Tom. I remember he wanted to become a chef. After the trip, he and I exchanged letters for a time before falling out of touch. He sent me a cassette mixtape with some of his favorite music, and it was filled with tracks mostly from Tricky’s Maxinquaye album and Björk. To be honest, I remember it really stretching my musical taste at the time. I found it bizarre, unfamiliar sounding, and strangely inspiring. Little did I know how much that mixtape would foreshadow my own musical journey over the years to come.
2. Vittorio Monti | Csárdás (Played by Joo Young Oh)
When I was eleven, my Elementary School Orchestra teacher asked me to perform this violin solo with the orchestra. So I learned and performed the piece (minus the section with the terribly difficult false harmonics, which I returned to in College). I have a cassette tape somewhere of the performance. I returned to study the piece again with my violin teacher at University, and to this day, if you wander into one of my sound checks before a show, you’re likely to hear me playing this violin solo on stage to warm up.
3. Elliot Smith | Say Yes
I grew up in Portland, and for years listening to Elliot Smith always brought me back home in my mind. I lived outside of the States for several years in my early twenties, and whenever I felt homesick for the low, grey, misty skies, dark evergreen trees and the quiet sound of rain falling on ivy, I would listen to his albums. I used to cover this song in coffee shops as a teenager.
4. Beck | Peaches & Cream
I was hired first as the Music Director, and later as the General Manager of my College radio station. My first year at the station, Midnight Vultures came out. I always loved that Beck was such a visionary with his albums – from the Songwriting and performance to the tiniest details of Production. And the production of this album was such a huge part of its conception. So, as I became friends with the quirky and creative crew of Music-obsessed Indie/stoner/partiers that were the station staff, this was the soundtrack of our season.
5. Buena Vista Social Club | Dos Gardenias
This album conjures of scenes of cooking and traveling in Spanish speaking countries. A few of my best friends and I would get together and cook dinner together in College every week, and this album was often the soundtrack to our evenings. The songs conjure up culinary aromas in my mind as much as they do melodies. I listened to it a lot when I was living in Argentina, too. This particular song is still one I’m likely to begin absent-mindedly singing if I’m in a good mood and am wandering around the house cleaning or doing dishes.
6. Boards Of Canada | Chromakey Dreamcoat
When I was 22, I moved to Amsterdam. I didn’t know anyone there, and I arrived with just my violin and a backpack. It was early January. I subletted a studio apartment from an airline stewardess for the first six weeks I lived there. The apartment bordered a quiet canal, and during the days I would go on long walks along icy canals and through parks. At dusk, I would hole up in her warm little studio. The lighting and décor were lovely. She had tons of candles and incense, and a great Stereo and CD collection. In the evenings, I would sit by myself, smoking, burning scented candles, listening to Boards Of Canada, drinking tea, and looking out the window at the canal. Every time I listen to Boards, it brings me back to this time and place.
7. Michael Jackson | Beat It
I know there is contention around Michael Jackson as a public figure, but when I was a small child, his music was infectious to me. I was so young that it was almost an unconscious sort of absorption, but his Soul-inspired Pop songwriting sensibility definitely had an influence on me in my early years.
8. Radiohead | Just
This isn’t my favorite Radiohead track, but it marks a specific memory that’s etched into my mind. As a teenager, I spent summers working as a summer camp counselor – at sleep-away outdoors camps on islands off the coast or in the plains below mountains in Eastern Oregon. One summer on Orcas Island, on one of my days off, I walked down to the beach with my Walkman and this album. I listened to it start to finish three times in a row. Each time through, I intentionally directed my attention to the parts and performance of a different band member or instrument – drums, guitars, bass, etc. I was captivated by how each member of the band contributed something essential to the Music, and began really listening to production with some intention for the first time. Looking back, it was an important moment in my Artistic development – and is a memory accompanied by images of water lapping against the coast of the Puget sound and sunshine on the rocks.
9. The Notwist | Consequence
This track conjures up such instant nostalgia for me. I love the subtleties of the production, and the strong mood the track evokes. This is actually the one song I actually make specific reference to in the lyrics of one of my own songs. It reminds me of a specific time in my life when I was falling in a youthful kind of love. After a few weeks of dating, we realized we’d both been listening to this song on repeat when the other person wasn’t around.
10. Jon Hopkins | Vessel
This is a present-day favorite. A gorgeous track, start to finish. The composition, programming, flow. Such a satisfying piece of work. Over the past few years, I’ve blared this track in car stereos driving through the Olympics and the Alps, and it reminds me of road trips through majestic natural beauty of snow-capped mountains.