WARMER MIXTAPES #1360 | by Phill Jenkins of Life On Planets
When somebody asks you what you listen to - your mind whirls, drawing blanks, nostalgia, memories - be they drunken, blurry, sexy or embarrassing. It can be so hard to pin down which ones top the others, which ones are more important… These ten songs are my favorites because they represent different periods of thought, of locomotion and developments in the way I think about Music.
1. Slave | The Party Song
There are a number of songs my father, who used to be a DJ, played in the car. I loved his edits of The Brothers Johnson, Parliament and Funkadelic. This party anthem by Slave is killer. Its thumping bass and horn solos are electrifying, if you haven't heard this Funky song you need to.
2. James Brown | Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine
I remember hanging at my great-grandmother's place - God rest her soul; listening to her James Brown tapes, dancing in my socks, singing and carrying on in the living room. I didn't know what a Sex Machine was; I was four and all I knew was I loved that groove!
3. Chris Botti | Drive Time
This is another song from the car. My dad found this CD in an elevator… It was all chipped and scratched up and said Summer ’99 on the front. We listened to it over and over again. Drive Time was the first track and it started many a Saturday drive. I could see a story in my mind every time it played. There I was, in the Wild West, doing my thing, twirling around my pistols, saving beautiful women and dealing with the Darkness inside. I was 9. Sounds are beautiful, but what is more important is what those sounds make you see, what the synthesis creates.
4. Jorge Ben | Magnólia
A friend of mine introduced me to Jorge Ben through this song. I had always loved Bossa Nova and was a huge fan of Black Orpheus; but this song sounded like such a fusion of Classic and Fresh Sounds, I thought it was Contemporary. I was surprised to find out it was recorded in the '70s. The way Ben takes that one phrase and breaks it up gives it multiple meanings, like looking through a prism. Beautiful.
5. Piero Umiliani | Crepusculo Sul Mare (La Legge Dei Gangsters Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
This song is short, sweet and painful. Listening to it, I feel a nostalgia, a longing - for what I do not know. The booming bass, whirling guitar play and airy strings make it a surprising listen every time.
6. Bloc Party | Banquet
I had a roommate when I first started College that loved Bloc Party. He and a few other friends turned me on to a bunch of Indie Rock bands. I remember getting hyped to the off kilter guitars and driven drums. The perfect way to start our debaucherous weekends, getting into mischief around the city.
7. The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)
This song was the first song by Hendrix I had to learn in its entirety. Sure, I could improvise the solos in Purple Haze and Foxy Lady, but this was different. Every note was apart of this voyage to the Promised Land. The lulling voices carry you off on an amazing journey.
8. Pink Floyd | Time
Have you seen The Dark Side Of Oz? It is The Wizard Of Oz synced up to Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon. Through it, you can see into one of America’s Classic pieces of Cinema and realize the depth, conscious or not, of the American struggles at the time. The bright colors of the movie and the breathless quality of this song burned a vision into my brain and informed the direction of my Art.
9. Psychic Mirrors | Charlene
I heard this song and knew that Funk was back. For a long time, I wondered where it disappeared to, and longed to hear some modern stylings that weren't cheesy or straight rip offs. This song has it all, merging old and new. With sweet vocals, a badass bassline, subtly shifting beats and a sense of mystery, Charlene keeps you coming back for another listen. Classic.
10. Minus The Bear | Thanks For The Killer Game Of Crisco Twister
Minus The Bear was one of the first bands I started looking at when I was learning guitar. I loved the way the guitar danced on top of the subtly mathematical beats. The beautiful chords, dazzling use of effects and guitar play on this track will always hold a special place in my heart.
+11. Tame Impala | Mind Mischief
+12. Pharrell | Brand New (feat. Justin Timberlake)
+13. Foals | Balloons
+14. Foals | Total Life Forever
+15. John Coltrane | Giant Steps
+16. John Coltrane | My Favorite Things (Mary Martin and Patricia Neway Cover)
+17. Michael Jackson | Billie Jean
+18. Michael Jackson | Remember The Time
+19. Parliament | Flash Light
+20. Funkadelic | Cosmic Slop
+21. Alvvays | Archie, Marry Me
+22. Mndsgn | TXT (MSGS)
These songs, old and new, gives me that feeling in my heart and my gut that makes me believe in the Power of Music. They make you want to howl and cry and yell for joy, stomp your feel and find out who’s behind the Magic.