WARMER MIXTAPES #1325 | by Azim Siddiqi [Vagabond Flag]

1. Oasis | Supersonic
Catchy and cool, Oasis showed how effective simple things can be. Supersonic had great riffs, Rocky guitar, lyrics which weren't too serious. Even after over 20 years, it's still great to listen to.

2. The Verve | Stormy Clouds
Taken from A Northern Soul, Stormy Clouds encapsulates all the great things about The Verve. The vocals are laid back but affecting and the guitar is just epic. It's a showcase for just how diverse Guitar Music can be and a strong influence in my own songwriting.

3. Sebadoh | Soul And Fire
Soul And Fire is soulful and emotional both in the sobre vocals of Lou Barlow and the accompanying soft guitar. It's an example of the power of Lo-Fi - shedding layers of production in favour of laying bare the rawness of the Human Spirit. I saw them a couple of weeks ago live and they showed how the best Music is the most Honest.

4. Real Estate | All The Same
Part of a crop of bands from across the Atlantic that are keeping the fires of Indie guitar alight, Real Estate dip thoughtful songwriting in a sea of chorus and reverb to produce a lovely, warming and slightly melancholic sound. All The Same has all these characteristics, but what makes this track is the long instrumental at the end where the same riffs/chords are repeatedly played to give an almost hypnotic effect which sounds even better live.

5. Temple Of The Dog | Times Of Trouble
Another example of how Guitar Music can be laiden with Emotion, Times Of Trouble is Chris Cornell's valedictory to his recently departed roomate. It’s a ride through the all the emotions of Grief, following tender verse with angry chorus and finishing with a listless ending that resigns itself to Loss. Real Pain cast in Music which Cornell never quite repeated with the better known Soundgarden.

6. Erykah Badu | Next Lifetime
Although I'm primarily a guitarist, I have a love for most forms of Music provided it expresses something. Next Lifetime was beautifully sung by a voice which conveys the story even without the lyrics. Also has a very personal resonance with me.

7. L-Fudge | What If (feat. Mike Zoot, Talib Kweli, Shabaam Sahdeeq & Skam)
Long before Hip Hop became a circus, it was a conduit for Political Expression as acts such as Public Enemy, Ice Cube, KRS-One all expressed their outrage and alienation from Contemporary America. What If is Political Hip Hop at its best. Its protagonists play about with alternative outcomes to events, be it in their lives or in the grander arena of World History. In doing so they highlight both the adversity and richness that Struggle brings. An example of how powerful Art is when unfettered by the chains of Commerce.

8. Blu Mar Ten | Adrift On Deep Water
Sweet and relaxed, Adrift On Deep Water counters the Agricultural Electronic Breakbeat of some of their contemporaries with precise, composed Electronic Jazz. The waves that roll in at the beginning of the song build into stronger rhythms, basslines and melodies that literally leave you adrift, like the track name.

9. Kool & The Gang | Summer Madness
Kool & The Gang released many iconic tracks - Celebration, Get Down On It, Jungle Boogie, but Summer Madness shows just how musically gifted they were. Like so many great songs, it starts simple with some synth and then adds layers of instruments (including some great guitar) to build up before bringing in an immense synth solo which leaves you wanting more.

10. Bob Marley & The Wailers | Don't Rock My Boat
Bob Marley also released many iconic tracks, but it’s the stripped down Reggae of Don’t Rock My Boat that stands out for me. It’s a showcase of Marley’s distinctive and soulful voice and is a go-to song when you’re falling in Love. Haven’t listened to it for a while then.