WARMER MIXTAPES #1116 | by Zac Cooper, Sean Gage (Le Fox), Rhys Grunden (Frames, Spell House), Tom Stephenson (Frames, Spell House) and Mark Gage (The MMC) of Foreign/National

SIDE A | by Mark Gage

Growing up in Australia I always felt an undeniable sense of Geographical isolation. When Music became a permanent fixture of my life I felt that isolation slowly loosen it’s grip. The Music I loved most had an ability to make the rest of the World feel more vivid and in a sense seem much closer to my bedroom in Melbourne than it could ever be.

1. Gal Costa | Baby
Over the past 12 months I have become obsessed by Bossa Nova and Brazillian Music in general. There are so many artists I could have added including Antônio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto, but this song is the one that I keep going back to. The sweeping strings usher in the song beautifully. But it’s the forlorn delivery of the vocals, which transcend the fact they are sung in a language I can’t understand and really convey the emotion of the song.

2. Chet Baker | The Thrill Is Gone (Rudy Vallée And His Connecticut Yankees Cover)
Chet Baker has probably been my greatest Musical revelation in the last few years and the great man is responsible for getting me into Jazz Music. I first listened to Chet when I was spending a lot of seedy nights out at a Jazz club in Lyon. The bar, I don’t believe was strictly legal and seemed to be perpetually open. In the early hours of the morning, as the club was winding down, they would turn off the Bebop and Swing Jazz and put this track on without fail. I’d never heard anyone sing this way before, his voice filled me with nostalgia for something I’m not sure I’d ever experienced, but, damn it, felt good. Now my nostalgia is for those nights.

3. Kings Of Convenience | Summer On The Westhill
Kings Of Convenience were the band that first really alerted to me to vocals and harmonies. Appropriately referred to as the Scandinavian Simon & Garfunkle, they are the perfect proponents of the adage less is more. Simple but undeniably engaging, Summer On The Westhill really makes me nostalgic for the various places I have called home throughout my life.

4. Kins | Cliche Ridden
Kins are originally from Melbourne but the band moved boldly to the UK and set themselves up in Brighton, where I was lucky enough to live with (singer) Thomas during my time there. Lyrically his ability to creatively describe emotions, feelings and sentiments has been a major influence on my own writing. To me this track perfectly conveys the feelings of Doubt, Frustration and Detachment. Growing up in Australia, at times I found the miserable, greyness of the UK difficult to deal with. This song really captured that. The mood is set by samples of a young girl speaking in a foreign monotone and a droning organ that reinforces the muted anger of the song.

5. Jóhann Jóhannsson | Fordlandia
This track is just epic. The pacing is perfect and despite running in at over 13 minutes, keeps your attention throughout. Like many Classical Compositions, the song is based around a theme or motif that evolves over the duration of the song. The song is taken from a concept album based on Ford motors Henry Ford and his failed experiment of making a Middle American town in the heart of the Amazon. I listen to this song every night as I’m going to sleep and it really helps my mind from wandering and keeping me awake.

6. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard | Head On/Pill
Despite sounding more a kin to a Psych Rock/Kraut Rock track, it bares a lot of similarities to Fordlandia and Classical Compositions in general. It comes in at over 16 minutes and explores three distinct ideas/themes that are altered, evolve and are ultimately returned to throughout the track. The stuttering delays and cacophonic guitars balance perfectly with a relentless rhythm section to give the track a sense of urgency even in its quietest moments. The production of the album was a huge reference on our first two singles. Easily the best live band in Australia at the moment, the fact that they can replicate a song as layered and extensive as this live is absolutely psycho.

7. Air | Ce Matin Là
Funnily enough Air were the first credible band I became obsessed with, previous to that I had really only listened to top 40 stuff and really had no taste in Music. I first heard this album when I was 15 and it really put me on a new course. I went some years without listening to it, but couldn’t resist the temptation when I moved to France. Despite the cliché, this song has ingrained itself in my memories of walking the grand boulevards to and from my language classes. Musically speaking this track is a perfect example of tastefully used brass and it’s uncanny ability to sound uplifting and melancholic simultaneously.

8. Sister Sledge | Pretty Baby
I was only introduced to this track recently, but it is fast becoming a key feature of my nights out. A Disco/Funk classic, Pretty Baby is carried by an insane bass line and a rhythm that won't quit. There is however, an understated quality to the song. Despite being incredibly upbeat overall; the chorus melody is unmistakably melancholic. I’m a sucker for this kind of juxtaposition in Music and the Sledge sisters balance it perfectly.

9. Phoenix | Rally
To me Phoenix creates the perfect level of Pop Music. It’s funny because as my Music taste has grown and matured I find myself consuming more and more Pop Music and striving to find instances where it has been done really well. Rally is great because it follows a very basic song structure and is just written with a standard drum, bass, guitar, vocal set up. But what the song really taught me is that you can write and record amazing Pop song without studio trickery. The Production is smooth and polished, but is also organic and disciplined. This allows room for the vocals and melody to grab your attention and draw you into the song on its first listen.

10. The Cardigans | Carnival
Much the same as Phoenix, The Cardigans write what I’d describe as perfect Pop Music. I’m a huge fan of the clever and sophisticated nature of Swedish Pop and I feel like The Cardigans epitomise that.

SIDE B | by Zac Cooper

1. Radiohead | Idioteque
Near impossible to choose my favourite Radiohead track - could have easily been Everything In Its Right Place or Nude, but I think it has to be Idioteque. There was nothing like it before and has been nothing like it since (it was released almost 15 years ago!) - at least not that I've heard. So incredibly creative, so incredible evocative. That relentless throbbing beat, the four most perfect tones you could ever hear, and such an impassioned vocal performance. No one ever accused Thom Yorke of not caring enough. Also surely the weirdest, most intense live performance ever on Saturday Night Live if you haven't seen it. Maybe my favourite song ever. Heard it 100 times, and will hear it 100 more.

2. Sigur Rós | Svefn-G-Englar 
Just staggeringly beautiful. Saw it live at Harvest Festival in 2012, and all my friends were just crying and hugging. 1000s upon 1000s of people, and you could hear a pin drop when it went completely quiet in the middle. My ultimate end of a big night walking home song. Incredible to make Love to as well, definitely don't fuck to it though. I assume this is what I'll hear when I die.

3. Liars | Plaster Casts Of Everything 
Liars are one of my absolute favourite bands, that can jump between being incredibly intense and incredibly catchy at the drop of a hat. Plaster Casts of Everything shows off both. Always experimenting, their discography shoots off in all kinds of wacked-out directions (do check out my absolute favourite record of theirs, Drum's Not Dead - so incredible.) Good Aussie boy as their frontman as well (even though they've never played a headline show in Australia). Criminally underheard and well worth your time - a band that really reignited a passion in Music in me at a time when I felt like I wasn't hearing anything new or exciting.

4. Talk Talk | Taphead 
Really hard to choose one Talk Talk track - their two final records, Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock are well and truly best heard in full. Taphead is one of the more ambient tracks on Laughing Stock, but holds such a quiet dark intensity that blows up in these big horn crescendos (there's that one chord that's just the best - you'll know it when you hear it). The pure ambition of Talk Talk's final couple of records is endlessly inspiring, and their backstory is just one of the greats that you hear Music whizzes always recounting. Genuinely stopped me in my tracks the first time I heard it playing in the background - my best mate was playing Laughing Stock at the end of his New Year's party to try to clear the house out. It kept me there when i was about to leave.

5. The Supremes | You Can't Hurry Love 
I've been trying to write a melody as good as ANY of the melodies in this song for some time, but it's just impossible. It's just hook after hook after hook - the living proof that Holland, Dozier and Holland were truly the greatest Pop songwriters (…maybe Brian Wilson). When people say that we're just nostalgic for 60s Pop and that it was no different to Pop Music now, just play this track. Or play You Keep Me Hangin On. Or play Baby Love. Or play Where Did Our Love Go. Or play...

6. Portishead | Cowboys 
If Glory Box is the definitive early Portishead soul track and Machine Gun is the definitive late intense arty Portishead track, Cowboys is that perfect midpoint. The first track on their second self-titled record which was supposedly meant to scare off all the people playing their music in the background of dinner parties, Beth Gibbons' voice has never sounded cooler and sexier and creepier, but that beat is just terrifying. Always makes me think of a siren out in the sea summoning sailors to their doom. Just a fucking great track, with a scratching solo that hasn't aged a day, which is a rare feat.

7. Aphex Twin | Windowlicker
Just the best beat ever (in my opinion). That it came out in the 90s amazes me - I don't want to think about how long it took to individually manipulate every sample here... Never has such a complicated and busy beat sounded so effortless and natural. There have been countless imitations, but none even get close. And for it all to just land in that wall of bass at the end - just huge.

8. Yo La Tengo | Our Way To Fall 
Such a subtle and beautiful song. Yo La Tengo are incredible at pulling everything back, and having incredible percussion and incredible harmonies - there's always so much going on, but it's all so subdued that it couldn't sound more simple. One of my favourite bands, a band so good that they genuinely can't seem to write anything less than great Music all the time now. One of their most simple and touching songs. If Svefn-G-Englar is just balls-out ethereal beauty with a capital B sent from another universe, this is that sweet whispered Human beauty that you see in the eyes of someone you love.

9. Donna Summer | I Feel Love 
If you wanna talk ahead of its time, then this takes the cake. It came out almost 40 years ago (!) and yet it goes off at a rave now as much as it did down at the discotheque in '77. With one synthesiser, Giorgio Moroder invented the Sound of Dance Music for half a century. I always feel bad, because it seems so unlikely to me that the song would ever be credited to the vocalist on it now, but hey, I guess that's the price of being too ahead of your time.

10. Grizzly Bear | Little Brother (Electric) 
This is off an obscurish Grizzly Bear EP called Friend, which I had never heard when I went and watched Grizzly Bear play at the Palais (my favourite Melb, Aus venue!) in 2010. Having only heard the Acoustic version which is on Yellow House, I had no idea what was going on when they dropped this track, but it was just massive like nothing else! Bombastically loud and intense, it didn't sound like the Grizzly Bear I knew at all. The first thing I did was look up it up and found this EP, which captured Grizzly Bear doing this kinda stadium-Psych thing that they never really did again (maybe a bit on Fine For Now). An incredibly unique and (as much as the word is overused) genuinely epic track, and a personal fave.

SIDE C | by Sean Gage

1. Vincent Gallo | Laura
Infamously quoted as saying, I stopped painting in 1990 at the peak of my success just to deny people my beautiful paintings. And I did it out of spite, Vincent Gallo is, undeniably, an absolute prick. But, to his credit, in 2001 he released his first and only album, When. From the moment my brother, Mark, showed me the album in the summer of 2012 I feel in love. The album is sinister, melancholy but above all beautiful. Laura is a plea to a lost love to return once again into his embrace. The vulnerability, vibrato and just the general timbre of his voice pulls at your heartstrings and you can't help but find yourself drawn to Gallo, regardless of how much you may despise the man. I love to put this track on at the end of a big night, when my friends and I end up back at my St. Kilda flat, smoking and drinking ourselves to sleep.

2. At The Drive-In | Chanbara
At The Drive-In are the pinnacle of Post-Hardcore. Their 2000 album, Relationship Of Command, had a profound influence on Music for the decade that followed, rendering listeners gobsmacked and speechless, like being punched in the face by your mother. I can remember a twelve year old me sitting in a restaurant having dinner with my family when they were first shown to me. I didn't know what to say about it, I'd literally never heard anything like it. I went home and listened to the album on repeat for weeks and At The Drive-In soon became my favourite band. I dare say it's thanks to them that I formed my first band. I explored their earlier releases and stumbled across the track Chanbara which remains my favourite ATDI song. Frontman, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, commands your attention with his non-sensiscal (often described as cryptic) lyrics combined with his brutal voice, creating an aesthetic I can best describe as badass.

3. The Blood Brothers | Spit Shine Your Black Clouds 
As a young, aggressive and angst-driven teenager, Seattle Post-Hardcore band, The Blood Brothers were amongst my favourite bands. They released some totally wack material over their ten year career, with dual-frontmen Johnny Whitney and Jordan Blilie having two of the strangest voices I've ever heard, rendering Antony Hegarty and Kate Bush rather dull. Spit Shine Your Black Clouds is one of the band's more poppy and accessible tracks, with a sweet bassline and some awesome play between the two vocalists. When I first began writing Music around the age of 15, I dreamt of being able to create sounds like this.

4. The Dave Brubeck Quartet | Take Five
Saxophone was the first instrument I learnt, it was my introduction to the world of Musicianship. I was bullied rather relentlessly for it too. I can recall going home to dad crying about it and complaining that, as much as I loved playing the instrument, it was lame and no cool bands used it. My dad set out to cure me of my ignorance, and showed me bands such as King Crimson and Pink Floyd. He also introduced me to Jazz, and although the preteen me couldn't appreciate a lot of the aesthetics and sounds of the genre, this one bloody Dave Brubeck track got jammed in my brain, and try as I might, I couldn't get it unstuck. I soon set out to find the sheet music for Take Five, which became the first Jazz standard I learnt to play.

5. The Vines | Animal Machine 
Admittedly not their best song, pretty dumb and heavy. But it's a cool track that got me through my early teen years. I used to sit in my bedroom shouting along to it pre my voice breaking, pissing my parents off hard.

6. Gerling | Good Timing 
Whilst Gerling's fourth album, 4, was nothing innovative, it remains perhaps my favourite Australian guitar album. It certainly didn't push any boundaries in terms of Production or Songwriting, but nailed the genre. Opening track Good Timing has this sweet baggy rhythm and lazy guitar and vocals that exude effortless cool. And don't even get me started on Darren Cross' voice. Needless to say, his distinctive vocal style was a big influence on my own.

7. Beirut | Postcards From Italy 
Such a perfectly composed track, both the horn and vocal hooks are spot on. It transports me back to Europe. How cliché is that? It doesn't make the notion any less exciting however!

8. Tyler, The Creator | Seven
Yeah, you got me, I jumped on that bandwagon like the bullshit hipster I am. I don't take anything Tyler, The Creator writes seriously, it's just stupid, Fun Music that makes me laugh at times, and feel super badass at others. If at 2.05 he's saying jerking with the Fritzl's, then it is easily my favourite line in Hip Hop.

9. Gang Starr | The Militia (feat.  Big Shug, Freddie Foxxx)
Gang Starr's Moment Of Truth was probably the first Hip Hop album that I really got into and The Militia is, in my opinion, the best track off of it. In terms of verses anyway. It features Big Shug and Freddie Foxxx, and I'll be damned if Freddie's closing verse is not the coolest thing to ever happen in Hip Hop. WHAT! WHAT! WHAT!

10. Noah And The Whale | Stranger 
We all have that song and/or album that you flog hard after you break up with your first love. Noah And The Whale's sophomore album, The First Days Of Spring (and Stranger in particular), was mine. It's self-indulgent as fuck, but listening to Noah And The Whale and punching darts and beers with my boys was how I spent my first month or two of single life (after four years with the ol' ball and chain.

SIDE D | by Tom Stephenson

1. At The Drive-In | Arcarsenal
There’s an infamous video of ATDI playing Arcarsenal at Big Day Out in 2001. After repeated attempts to sedate the crowd – who are moshing dangerously hard for an underage festival – Cedric calls the quits just three songs into the set. You’re a robot, you’re a sheep! he yells, bleating into the faces of his furious audience. Later that day, 16 year old Jessica Michalik is crushed to death by the chaotic crowd during Limp Bizkit’s set. This video encapsulates what I love the most about Relationship Of Command: it’s a wonderfully articulate fuck you to modern Western society from a band deeply conflicted by their own Mainstream success.

2. Blink-182 | Asthenia
My introduction to Music was pretty dodgy. I can’t tell you why an eight year old kid was walking around listening to Get Rich Or Die Trying on an oversized Sony Discman, but Blink-182’s self-titled album was my saviour. I know these fourteen songs back to front – I probably listened to them every day for a solid two years – and they’re still as fucking awesome as they were a decade ago. While they’re all unquestionable Pop-Punk gems, Asthenia strikes me as the most lyrically engaging track nowadays; it details the internal monologue of an astronaut who, upon gazing down on planet Earth, wonders whether he’ll even return at all. That’s the good shit.

3. Godspeed You Black Emperor! | BBF3
I found the story behind this seventeen minute banger fascinating. Because the band is completely Instrumental, they often conduct Vox Pop style interviews on the streets to be used as samples within the Music. The Apocalyptic rants featured in this song belong to some cooked unit named Blaise Bailey Finnegan III; the poem he recites in the second half of the track are actually (surprisingly good) lyrics to an Iron Maiden song. Godspeed You! Black Emperor frame this ridiculously epic monologue with an achingly beautiful soundtrack that – to me – tragically underlines the fact that he is batshit insane.

4. The Mars Volta | Cygnus....Vismund Cygnus
While there are plenty of albums that blow me away with technicality – The Fall Of Troy’s self-titled record deserves a mention here too – Frances The Mute well and truly takes the cake. Omar’s guitar work on this track is beyond comprehension, and unlike anything I’ve heard since. Depressingly impressive.

5. Kayo Dot | Wayfarer
Kayo Dot are another band who – like Godspeed You! Black Emperor – take Classical Composition outside the box. For me, Wayfarer is the pinnacle of Toby Driver’s genius; it effortlessly meanders through several different movements, blending genres and moods into freaky combinations that sound remarkably organic. Jeff Buckley-esque falsettos, terrifying strings, shred-tastic guitar solos; it’s the whole bloody package.

6. My Bloody Valentine | When You Sleep
He may have brought a record label to financial ruin, discredited a dozen Sound engineers and sent the other members of the band slightly insane, but Kevin Shields nonetheless totally nailed it with Loveless. When You Sleep oozes out of your speaker like a Psychedelic sludge peppered with nuggets of Pop genius; listening to this song feels like trying to remember last night’s dream, where the details are hazy or forgotten. If I ever saw Shield’s pedalboard I’d probably shit my pants.

7. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Jubilee Street
Australian Music owes a lot to Nick Cave. The Prince of Darkness has covered a staggering amount of ground through his twenty odd album discography; from the Gothic frenzies of the Birthday Party through to the grandiose Alt-Rock of the Bad Seeds latest effort, Push The Sky Away, Cave’s stylistic progression hasn’t really left many musical rocks unturned. Nick’s scathing narration throughout Jubilee Street is totally immersive. When the final crescendo begins to swell – I’m transforming, I’m vibrating, I’m glowing, I’m flying – look at me now – you’re in for a ride.

8. Tame Impala | Runway, Houses, City, Clouds
How a single man can write and record such sprawling jams is beyond me. Runway, Houses, City, Clouds writhes around in a pool of its own effortless groove; chromatic riffs floating around in a panoramic fog of oscillation and reverb with remarkable clarity, reaffirming Dave Fridmann’s status as an absolute Sonic wizard. Pop on a pair of quality headphones, skip to 4:23 and prepare to lose your shit.

9. Spiritualized | Cop Shoot Cop...
The jam to end all jams.

10. Tera Melos | Melody 2
Tera Melos is the most mind-blowing guitar band ever - give Melody 2 a listen and then give up on Music.

SIDE E | by Rhys Grunden

1. Godspeed You Black Emperor! | Moya 
Although Moya is one of the shorter tracks from Godspeed, (at around 10 minutes) it encapsulates most of what I love about the band. The subtle build from a singular droning note to the roaring crescendo of the precisely layered instruments, (Drums, Bass and Guitars crossed with the most badass orchestra you've ever heard). For me, this track is Helplessness drenched in a heated Passion to Overcome. This band/track has always helped me focus when I paint.

2. Tera Melos | Melody 9
This is a trip. An absolute mesh of Ambient goo with some whacky vocals and repetitive bass tones. These dudes are also crash hot Math/Experimental/Rock/Pop geniuses (which I absolutely love), but this track just does something for me, it's laid back Tera Melos, which is hard to find in most of their other regimented, disciplined , crazy tracks.

3. Mac DeMarco | My Kind Of Woman
Just a fucking killer Pop track, straight up and honest. Classic little Love song that actually got me going. Thudding verse bass/drum line, sweet movement into the chorus. I also dig the Production on it, nice and laid back, cool cat Lo-Fi drum work and some crispy organ to fill in the gaps. Mac DeMarco is one hell of a cooker that I genuinely dig. I recommend belting out the chorus at the top of your lungs and think about your girl/girls/partner.

4. The Microphones | I Felt Your Shape 
Beautifully shaky, minimal and raw; purely vocals and Acoustic guitar. This track has been able to pull every memory of Love I have and muddle them around into a soup of subconscious Joy, Loss, Uncertainty, Self-Doubt, Reassurance, Confidence and Loneliness.

5. Beach House | Walk In The Park 
An absolute ripper of a chilled out semi-melancholic Pop track. Something about overcoming Loss and unwarranted Criticism resonated with me in this piece. The clip that accompanies the track is also absolutely brilliant, lovely bit of otherworldly, weird justified revenge. The washy, Minimal reverb soaked layers of melody sit oh so well over the crisp digital-esque drum sounds with huge cymbals filling up the chorus and peaks of the song while the vocals project and cut all the way through.

6. Broken Social Scene | Swimmers 
Lovey dovey dreamy song that caught me at - If you always get up late you'll never be on time... Lovely bit of applicable truth for anyone. That's honestly what sucked me in the first time I heard this piece. About a year ago I got into Broken Social Scene and it's been a bit of a Love affair since then.

7. Giraffes? Giraffes! | The Ghost of EPPEEPEE's Ghost
This is my number 1 Ambient track. Gusting winds of digital guitar noise, insane non linear drum work, a wicked guitar loop. Something just smacks me in the face and says everything is OK when I pull this one out. Giraffes? Giraffes! are also an absolutely radical duo (Drums and Guitar) that can smack out some of the more complex progressive, melodic Math jive.

8. Kidcrash | Turtlelephant 
This has been one of, if not my favourite band for around a year now. I've been consistently impressed. Musicianship, Technicality, Lyrical Content, Phrasing and Tones. I'd been searching for this Sound for so long. The balance between melody, noise, Technicality, Heaviness and general vibe is everything I'd been looking for in Heavy Music. Emotionally fuelled and aggressive, this track (like most of their work) is ridiculously progressive; to have so many parts flow so well within 5 minutes is, to me, mind blowing. I love that vocals take a back seat in volume and how often they appear, it lets the ever so important instrumentals really shine through in all their dank, rough style. Any guitarist should listen to this band whether they hate the Music or not just to hear how the two guitars intertwine and work together. Any drummer should listen to the dynamic and driving choices Buster Ross ( the drummer ) makes within Kidcrash's Music. Really, any musician should just listen to this band and try to pull something positive from it.

9. The Fall Of Troy | Ghostship I 
A band that heavily influenced the way I play drums now. I spent a long time learning these Ghostship Demos and, man, are they badass. My first love in the heavier genres of Music, I would have been about 16? These guys spawned my love for Progressive/Technical Music.

10. Grizzly Bear | Ready, Able 
Introduced to me via the incredible stop motion Animation (Claymation) by Alison Schulnik, this track is, for me, Grizzly Bear doing what they do best. A very hard Sound to describe; I'd say it's very texturally and tonally driven with some of most tasteful harmonies and vocal layers I've ever heard. When it comes to dynamics, Grizzly Bear tease you with tasteful restraint before flowing into continually larger, more intensely layered arrangements. Beautiful synth/keyboard and especially guitar tones ranging from percussive scratching to soaring, crunchy lead melodies. Some excellent Mixing and Production on percussion through to vocals throughout the entire track. If you haven't yet invested in Grizzly Bear, do yourself a favour and jump in the deep end.