WARMER MIXTAPES #1441 | by Jan Bang [Mother Nature's Cloud And Shower Show/Room] of Punkt, Audun Kleive Generator X and Woodlands
Photo by Arild Danielsen
1. Knights Of The Turntables | Techno Scratch (12" US Import)
I was working in a record store from quite early on. Must have been around 83, an Englishman had this beautiful store in Grimstad, near my hometown of Kristiansand and was importing mainly 12-inch singles from the US and UK, primarily for the growing DJ market and distributing all over Norway. My interest around that time was Electro/Post Disco and remembering my first payment for delivering mail to the local post office was a 12-inch Techno Scratch by Knights Of The Turntables - who later formed Arrested Development. I used to fall into sleep listening to the import charts on Radio Lux presented by Benny Brown and Tony Prince, recording on the Boombox nicked from my sister's bedroom, and listening back to last night program before going to School in the morning.
2. David Joseph | You Can't Hide (Your Love From Me) (Original 7" Version)
Larry Levan did a remix of this one, but it's the original version that caught my ear. Released in '83 as a solo attempt from a young English Black musician, former of the English Boogie scene and the band Hi-Tension. I used to love this stuff and whenever traveling as a young football player, to Amsterdam and Belgium, I used to look sideways on the bus just to remember where the record stores were, so that I could return to the same spot when the bus finally arrived. Extra T's - E.T. Boogie, Extra's - Haven't Been Funked Enough, Central Line all were my own discoveries as a 14 year old kid. It was the escapism in this Post Disco/Early Electro Music that caught my attention. It was as if I didn't understand how the Music was built up - so, in a way, it was more abstract to me than the Music where it was clear what the instrumentation was (guitar, el bass, piano, drum kit, etc.).
3. The Clash | Magnificent Seven (7" Single Version)
In Primary School, a boy who's father had married a Norwegian woman started in our class. A Punk Rocker from South London and introduced me to things like Anti-Nowhere League, Crass, Sex Pistols and so on. But it was The Clash that caught my ear with the hybrid of Punk/Disco/Funk. Radio Clash was another one, and the graffiti artist, later involved with the Mo Wax releases - Futura 2000 - produced by The Clash. I always thought Joe Strummer had a beautiful voice. Always out of tune and sounding like he'd been shouting, screaming, whiskey drinking, drugged and dragged from Hell and back. But believing every line his voice sang.
4. David Sylvian | Weathered Wall
1984, Adolescence. Red Guitar was the initial warning. Then came the full album that was to turn my life around. I wasn't into Japan, not because of dislike, but because it was out of reach, I was never exposed to the band really. Brilliant Trees came at a time where I needed something that expressed my own emotional state of mind. It was Childhood ending. I never knew that 20 odd years later I would be working alongside some of these people. Funny enough, what in retrospect is clear to me is that I've always loved the sound of something that is out of the ordinary. I guess my role as both producer and performer is to find a way that leads to unexpected places. Listening to Brilliant Trees, it was all about combinations of different textures, the combination of different patterns. The symbioses of different parts was the key to the balance that gave place to me as a listener and my own emotional response.
5. Jon Hassell/Brian Eno | Ba-Benzélé
Although released in '84, I was confronted with this wonderful album after Sylvian's debut album. Inspired by Ba-Benzélé pygmies Nature recordings (woman gathering mushrooms), turning the cicadas into shimmering synth, the vocal call/response into trumpet loops, the tape loops of both percussion and bass line with the same starting point, but slowly going out of sync for obvious reasons (the tape size of the bass line and of the percussion was uneven). At the time I couldn't figure out how on Earth this was done - I have never been into counting bars, but the way this was done, it was somehow out of my understanding. It was out of sync - unlocked, but at the same time Funky as Bootsy. Later, when having a long breakfast with both Brian and Jon after yesterday's performance at Queen Elisabeth Hall at the Southbank, when asking them both How did you do it?... They looked at each other and responding in perfect synchrony: I have no idea. However, as they explained, it was tape loops all over the place, running from the control room out in the hall, into the studio - around the mic stands, engineers holding forks and back again to the tape machine. Jon always said that it was the charm piece that he played to Pran Nath - his vocal teacher of the Indian Kiruna style who was central amongst the new generation of composers like Riley, Young, Reich - that was the turning point for him as a composer. The acceptance of the master saying this works well.
6. Stevie Wonder | Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)
Renault 12, sitting in the backseat driving to the sea with floating Madrases singing harmonies to Motown. This piece reminds me of my brother and sister and that whole 70's feeling of Childhood never ending. Playing football, chewing gum, drinking Coke, ice cream and sweets for Saturday nights long before traveling alone, airport lounges, early morning flights, sound checks.
7. Johannes Brahms | Intermezzo In B-Flat Minor, Op. 117, No. 2 (Played by Glenn Gould)
Summertime, the sound of swallows flying low outside my garden facing bedroom and the sound of my mother playing the Brahms B-Flat Minor Opus 117 #2. It was the combination of the different elements I could clearly hear. Must have been very young, but it still is a clear memory from my own Childhood.
8. Sidsel Endresen | Dreamland
One of the most beautiful songs of the area written by Jon Balke and was Sidsel's debut album for Manfred Eicher's ECM label which she later abandoned and would later find a home outside in search for what has become a totally personal style, wordless, based on pitch, timbre, texture, rhythm.
9. Bootsy's Rubber Band | Jam Fan (Hot)
Cut outs, the cargo of Black American Disco and Funk albums that record stores could sell cheap and still make a buck. I didn't discover Jimi Hendrix, I got it through Eddie Hazel, Clinton and Collins. The mothership of Astro Funk had landed on my record player. The track where a young Talking Head got his multi-million hit was initially taken from this piece of plastic singing Burning, burning, burning, burning, burning down the house... Hot!... Burning down the charts... Blow dry me, baby!... You want me to be cool, but I'm not... And the backing singers goes you need a fan...
10. Arve Henriksen | Sorrow And Its Opposite
Something with the way this track lived with me and tortured everyone in my family and immediate surroundings for everyday in three months. I was asked by a former teacher of mine to make a new version of his catalogue. I brought my dictaphone and went to his office where he went through several pieces. I noted two candidates for my own interpretation and in the end came down to a singular piece that had especially caught my attention. Recording the melody, softly played on his piano so that the dictaphone could capture it with its specific way of compressing the signal - I returned to my studio at the half island and started working. Because of the piece being a religious psalm, and my connection with the composer from my Childhood around the Church, I decided to only use religious sample material. So my search led me to all the second hand stores in town. I noticed that there was an ocean of material lying around as none of the vinyl collectors seems to care for Christian Low/High Religious Music, except for the odd Rodney Franklin or Andrea Crouch recordings. With a good unheard selection in my bag, I started building from scratch creating harmony, textures, noises, melodic fragments into a tapestry of small deposits. I invited Anne Marie Almedal into the session to do a vocal version of the piece, but somehow, maybe because of the existing lyrics within the piece, I couldn't make it work for myself. I returned to my long time collaborator and friend Arve Henriksen asking if he would contribute to the piece by a trumpet overdub. Arve's ability to just walk into a session, unprepared to just feed off the energy without even listening to the piece before recording - has resulted in some of his best work, at least in my book. So, instead of following the original melody, Arve just followed and responded to the different elements in my arrangement, dubbing the 50's American Mormon choir, or the string sample from a Swedish Christian record and then returning to the melody, all in one take, just by responding and being the true master of his instrument that he is.