WARMER MIXTAPES #1279 | by Thomas Fisher, Rachel Davies and Daniel Copeman of Esben And The Witch

SIDE A | by Daniel Copeman

1. Pink Floyd | Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
Parents influence. Growing up listening to Pink Floyd, Led Zep, Jethro Tull. Still am really a Prog kid at heart. Kind of think we are a Prog band just minus the solos.

2. Kate Bush | Pull Out The Pin 
Eye opening as to what Pop Music can be and mean, tied together by the David Gilmour backing vocals. Introduced to me by a colleague in clothes shop when I was 16. A truly amazing artist, continuously inspiring and innovative.

3. Radiohead | How To Disappear Completely 
The first band I really fell entirely in love with, including waiting at the front of the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2003 for 14 hours to see them. The moment when the Music drifts away towards the end of the song and the vocal hangs alone before the song falls to its conclusion breaks my heart every time.

4. Joy Division | The Eternal
I shared a room with my big brother for my entire childhood and was fortunate enough to have a soundtrack of Joy Division, The Smiths and Portishead enforced upon me as he was the eldest so was in charge of the Stereo. The pacing of this song and atmosphere of was first introduction of how powerful Space, Production and Tension can be in Music.

5. Neutral Milk Hotel | Oh Comely 
Recommended to me by Blaine from the Mystery Jets. Lyrically still one of the finest things I have ever heard, the imagery and rhythm of the vocals lead you rapturously through its 8 minutes while giving you the feeling that the song has left you far too quickly. The barely audible cry from the studio of Holy Shit! at the end sums up this songs impact much better than I could.

6. Magik Markers | Axis Mundi 
My introduction to how aggressive and loose and sexy Music can be. Ironically introduced to me by an ex-girlfriend. This band and particularly the record Boss that this is taken from are fantastically emotional and unconventional songs that weave and slink and claw at you.

7. Scott Walker | Amsterdam (Jacques Brel Cover)
It's hard to describe how much I love Scott Walker and how much of an influence he has been on me personally and musically. This cover also introduced me to Jacques Brel who is an artist I cannot encourage everyone to give time to. Amazing lyrics and delivery. A masterclass.

8. Scott Walker | Clara
12 minutes long and describing the last night and subsequent public parade and murder of Benito Mussolini and his mistress after the conclusion of the Second World War, this sounds like it could be hard work, it is. Including periods of A Capella vocals and the sound of a man punching the carcass of a cow that was hung from the ceiling of the studio, this song is magnificent and utterly mental. Showcases late Scott Walker at his best, ignoring and of the constraints of accepted Mainstream Songwriting and just following his incredible Artistic Vision. Above all else his voice carries this song along pulling you into a horrific story like a great narrator.

9. Jon Hopkins | Abandon Window 
One of the most beautiful songs I have heard in a long time. The piano chords that begin the song have such a majestic forlorn tone that is only increased by the lack of any accompaniment. Over the next 3 minutes they are subsumed synthesisers that carry more emotional weight than any other synthesiser tone I think I have ever heard. Firework samples and effects increase the atmosphere until the song disintegrates and you are left feeling both elated and morose simultaneously. That's some achievement for a 4 and a half minute Musical Composition.

10. Ben Frost | Venter 
Magnificent. The whole of Ben Frost's new album Aurora is fantastic, but this in particular, as the first track released from it, is so exciting and brutal. The drums in the beginning are aggressive and so well produced as to make you feel like you are being bombarded and attacked on all sides. The synths that accompany the first half are almost deliberately confrontational in places, including some frequency tones that can only have been included to aggravate the listener. Half through the song takes on a some what more melodic but no less intimidating character. This song takes no prisoners and at no point accommodates the listener. You listen to it because you want to, it does not give a shit if you like it.

SIDE B | by Rachel Davies

1. Bardo Pond | Tantric Porno
I really love this song. It's got such a groove to it, with the sexy slinking bass line that runs throughout to the meandering guitar chimes that float on top. I love the stoned, almost undecipherable vocals of Isobel Sollenburger and the way the guitars become raucous and distorted at the end is pure unadulterated bliss. A great song to listen to on the road, staring out the window as the World goes by.

2. Burial | Archangel
This song for me is one of the best examples of just how emotional Electronic Music can be. I think the way Burial uses vocal samples in his work is unparalleled. The repeated refrain of Tell me I belong and the way it's both delivered and manipulated I find really affecting. It's Total Soul. I save this song to listen to on my evening walks home, stumbling and singing along. Burial's work is definitely suited to night-time ponderings.

3. PJ Harvey | Silence
It's hard to isolate my favourite PJ track, but I've gone for this. I love the harmonies and how brave and sparse this song is. Just a piano, vocal and a distant drum. I think the delivery of the line I freed myself from my family, I freed myself from work, I freed myself, I freed myself and remained alone is absolutely brilliant and it gets me every time.

4. Joanna Newsom | Emily
This is so nostalgic to me, I adore this whole record. To me this song is suited perfectly to Autumn scenes. I remember listening to this years ago, walking along a leaf strewn avenue at dusk, kicking the leaves as I walked. At 15 minutes, you can immerse yourself in the world Newsom paints totally, a Folk tale so rich and vibrant. With Van Dyke Park's magical string arrangement you feel like you're inside an old Disney film. I think she's such a wonderful lyricist, it made me realise how innovative, how imaginative and how brave you can be when writing lyrics. She's a big inspiration to me.

And everything with wings is restless, aimless, drunk and dour
The butterflies and birds collide at hot, ungodly hours
And my clay-colored motherlessness rangily reclines
Come on home, now, all my bones are dolorous with vines 

Just brilliant.

5. Godspeed You Black Emperor! | East Hastings
I think this is a masterpiece. This is what I think would soundtrack the End of the World. The score for an Apocalypse. From the first opening sample of the street preacher's rant to the out-of-control train rumbling conclusion, it's magnificent. When we were in Canada a couple of years ago we accidentally stumbled into the district of East Hastings in Vancouver. An experience I don't think we'll ever forget. It's an area blighted with drug addiction, prostitution and general horror. This song paints a vision of it so effectively. Powerful stuff.

6. Arthur Russell | This Is How We Walk On The Moon
This songs makes me want to cry and smile in equal measure. Knowing that Russell wrote this when he was dying from AIDS makes the whole sentiment so powerful, so poignant. Every step is moving me up. I find this song, whilst sad, incredibly moving and ultimately uplifting.

7. Bohren & Der Club Of Gore | Midnight Black Earth
This was the first Bohren track I heard and I instantly fell in love. It's so slow, so deep. I love listening to this on the tube, it's a surreal experience that I'd recommend people to try out. It feels like everything is in this sticky slow motion, everything caught in a moment, like an astronaut floating without Gravity and when the brass comes in, oh when the brass comes in! THIS is how to deploy a saxophone. It makes me feel like I'm melting... In a good way.

8. Shellac | Prayer To God
A song to fight to. We used to listen to this before we went on stage. To rile up the primal urges, to get us ready for battle. I love how brutal this is. How passionate, how angry, a song for a lover scorned. It still has tender moments hidden inside the bitter, these lines for instance;

Her - she can go quietly, by disease or a blow
to the base of her neck,
where her necklaces close,
where her garments come together,
where I used to lay my face...
That's where you oughta kill her,
in that particular place.

It makes the final guttural shouts commanding to Kill him, just fucking kill him! all the more potent.

9. Slint | Washer
Another night-time song, you may be seeing a pattern! The guitar in this song is so brilliant, so sophisticated. The repeated phrase acting like a chorus almost. It's beautiful. The opening line and delivery of Goodnight, my love, remember me as you fall to sleep is totally heartbreaking and then you get the pay off at the end when everything sounds like it's imploding, the guitar screaming it's mournful cry over the top.

10. Grouper | Alien Observer
I'm a big fan of Liz Harris's (AKA Grouper) output. This song soothes all qualms. It's so meditative, so tranquil, the scaling keyboard sounds acting like a lullaby. This is what I think Dreaming sounds like. It makes me breathe better and totally calms me down, something I consider quite a feat.

SIDE C | by Thomas Fisher

1. Godspeed You Black Emperor! | The Dead Flag Blues
The car is on fire and there is no driver at the wheel... I know those words well, but hearing them while a fire burns in a broken bin and there is nothing but black hills stretching in all directions, I felt like I was hearing them for the first time. We encountered this scene when we were touring in the U.S. We are on the hunt for a place to eat and have stumbled across a place called Reliance. It doesn't seem like there's anywhere to eat at all. Just the night coming on and the sky closing in over a burnt out church. The Dead Flag Blues are building around me and it's almost too much. We stop the van and turn it around in the road, there's no food here, just telegraph poles reaching over the horizon.

2. At The Drive-In | One Armed Scissor
This is a real rush. I find it very invigorating to listen to and everybody needs a song they can shout along to. I don't really understand the words and sentences themselves, but I love that pieced together they form these dystopian images and scenes of broken machines, failed experiments, brutal regimes, dying worlds, snapshots of a Sci-Fi Future that remind me of The Atrocity Exhibition by Ballard. I never watched it at the time, but Rachel recently showed me their live performance of this song on Jools Holland. It is a thing to behold! A string breaks almost immediately and they all just power on regardless sounding all the more brutal for it. Now that I am on stage performing myself I am acutely aware of how things like this just happen sometimes, nothing you can do about it and I consider this performance a benchmark in not just overcoming adversity but turning it into a powerful weapon.

3. Bohren & Der Club Of Gore | Staub
This is Music for walking the streets at night. Or catching a late evening train or something. I was once told by a close friend that you can't trust anyone who listens to Bohren in the daytime. It reminds me of walking down one hill in particular. It's a residential part of Brighton, a park, flats rising on either side and a church. It's winter and it's quiet, just streetlights and the darkest blue sky. Then at the bottom of the hill the main road joins and here the sounds of the city merge into the Music and the two weave together. The sound of sirens and organs twisting around each other. People hurrying and the sound of cars, occasional shouts and horns filling in those beautiful spaces that Bohren leave behind.

4. Misfits | We Are 138
This is a rabble rousing call to arms. I have spent many nights howling along to this. I can imagine it blaring out of an old set of speakers as a bike gang cruises over an apocalyptic wasteland trailing a huge banner adorned with the Misfits fiend behind them. Danzigs at the helm, repeating the title refrain over and over as the guitars surge underneath until it all collapses after about a minute and a half, into fuzz and the chanted refrain now just eight eight eight eight.

5. Of Montreal | The Past Is A Grotesque Animal
I now present my ultimate driving song. I don't even drive so really I should be calling this my ultimate passenger song. Either way I've lost count of the number of times that someone will deploy this tune to spur a vehicle on its way. I must confess to not really liking Of Montreal that much in general, I went to a gig of theirs simply because I hoped they'd play this song (they didn't.) The Music is relentless, building slowly, incrementally rising, new instruments joining the fray that is careering onwards down the road at night. Motorway lights are flashing by in the background and all the while there is a voice, high above the melee, delivering bizarre and wonderful statements into your ear that shouldn't really make any sense but in the moment feel like the wisest words you ever heard.

6. Angelo Badalamenti | Twin Peaks Theme (Twin Peaks Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Very few things have affected me quite like Twin Peaks. When we were in Oregon last year and we decided to visit the small town where some of the show was shot... We were getting close and someone up front in the van started to play the Theme Music. It is so evocative, you can almost see Dale Cooper on the street or Bob lurking in the forest all around. We ate burgers, (probably should have had cherry pie) in the diner where Shelly works and then drove up to the falls, all the while that song going round in my head. The falls themselves are beautiful, it was a fine day so the water was much brighter than I thought. Meanwhile though the song keeps playing in my head, telling me, yes, it is beautiful, but something here isn't quite what it seems.

7. Mogwai | Punk Rock:
This is a mission statement if ever there was one. I could pick all kinds of tracks from this album, from this band in general in fact. But when they were first recommended to me by a guy I knew this was the first thing I encountered. I went and brought the CD of Come On Die Young and put it straight on. Those opening guitar notes, the suck of feedback and then the interview comes into focus. That was years and years ago, but what Iggy Pop has to say on the subject of Punk Rock feels to me as powerful now as it ever did. Surely the most stunning deployment of a vocal sample in Music. The way the words and the guitar flow together is a thing to behold, the notes, steady and relentless beneath the ebb and flow of Iggy Pop and the studio which steadily rises to this beautiful description of what Music means to him When I'm in the grips of it I don't feel pleasure and I don't feel pain, do you understand what I'm saying? Have you ever felt like that? When you just couldn't feel anything and you don't want to either. You know, like that.

8. Souls Of Mischief | 93 'Til Infinity
This is my Summer song and has been for every year as long as I can remember. I first heard it in an old Skate video, I don't remember which one, but I was instantly drawn to the track. It's got such a great feel to it, really mellow sounding and uplifting, excellent for morale at all times. You need a few tunes like this in your locker for sure.

9. Swans | A Piece Of The Sky (with Jarboe and Akron/Family)
I think this is such a wonderful piece of Music. As with lots of Swans Music there is a sense of real, physical scale to it, but this feels a bit warmer to me and I like that. Less serrated and uncomfortable so you can really settle in for twenty minutes. I listened to this over and over when we travelling across Montana last year. Hills rolling in all directions, traces of snow higher up, Serenity. But as night begins to fall it begins to change, the Wilderness becomes lonely and dark and it's just purple Nothingness stretching away. We need to get fuel and there is nowhere, suddenly it feels dangerous. For me that change, that balance, between Beauty and Horror, is the same place Swans are mining.

10. The Cure | A Forest
I got into The Cure when I was pretty young, they were one of the first bands I really fell in love with. They are probably one of the only bands I listened to in those days that I'll still listen to now. I was walking home from a friend's house one evening years ago when I decided to veer off into the woods that ran beside the road as this song came on my headphones. I remember just bundling through the forest with a mixture of exhilaration and fear. I was young enough and drunk enough to be totally undeterred by the fact that walking off into a forest whilst listening to this song is a bit of a cliché and, to be honest, a bit ridiculous, but I doth my cap to The Cure for inspiring such behaviour anyway.