WARMER MIXTAPES #1509 | by Steven Jon Cobby [Steve Cobby/J.J. Fuchs/PVP/The Solid Doctor/White Dopes On Funk] of 2 Loops Lautrec, Ashley & Jackson, Barney Mullhouse, Brazil Nuts, Citrus, Deep Six, Heights Of Abraham, Hey, Rube!, J*S*T*A*R*S, North East Sound System, Peacecorps, Spokane, The Cutler, Horsemilk, Chieftain and Fila Brazillia
1. Led Zeppelin | When The Levee Breaks (Version of Kansas Joe And Memphis Minnie's 'When The Levee Breaks')
My brother brought home a selection of Zeppelin albums when I was a very young teenager in the 70’s. I loved the Diversity. How they got bracketed as Heavy Metal still bemuses me. They offered a wide variety of styles and approaches. Physical Graffitti and Presence especially stood out. But Ill go for When The Levee Breaks from Led Zeppelin IV as my pick for this list.
2. Cabaret Voltaire | Just Fascination
My uncle John had an extensive Underground Music collection. Red Mecca by Cabaret Voltaire sounded like Non Music. I'd never heard anything remotely like it. Cut ups, Noise, Electronica welded with distorted guitar and bass. Themes and motifs floating in and out in a disembodied fashion. Not long after this Damascene moment they released The Crackdown. I was hooked.
3. The Comsat Angels | Our Secret
My old friend Steve Netherton introduced me to The Comsat Angels. A band that never got the credit they deserved. They captured the mood of living in the North in the early 80’s like no one else for me. Sparse, angular arrangements. Drums recorded in lift shafts. Subtle keyboards and in Steve Fellows, a fantastic soulful voice and lyricist. The first three LPs were faultless.
4. Chakk | Out Of The Flesh (Mix I)
As Cabaret Voltaire released the first Chakk 12" Out Of The Flesh on their Doublevision label they were already rubber stamped. Lean Industrial Funk, as it was named at the time, but that does it a disservice. Again, the vocalist Jake Harries was one of the main reasons they stood out. A fantastic singer with a great range that was complemented by a tight unit playing tough grooves.
5. Magazine | Back To Nature
A fellow roadie for a local band I worked for turned me on to Devoto and Co. when I was 15. Brilliant songwriting. Quite cinematic in their scope. One of my favourite lyricists of all Time, coupled with some fantastic players in McGeoch and Adamson. Dave Formula's keyboards again setting them apart from the run of the mill Post Punk dirge of most of their peers. Secondhand Daylight, their sophomore offering, is a seminal piece of work.
6. Mr. Fingers | Washing Machine
+ Can You Feel It... I bought the Chicago Trax - Volume 1 compilation in '87 and it sounded as fresh as new paint. As if the Minimalism of Kraftwerk's Electronica had been coupled with American Soul and Jazz sensibilities. This purchase coincided with my first DJ gigs in '86. I leathered it. Both of these tunes were on it. I couldn’t choose between them.
7. David Bowie | Wild Is The Wind (Johnny Mathis Cover)
I started this top ten on the Thursday before he passed away, so it's not a sentimental addition. From watching him perform Starman on Lift Off With Ayshea when I was 8 years old (at the behest of our next door neighbour Jeff - who was bass player in The Rats with Spider From Mars Mick Ronson), up to his final releases, he was always an inspiration for his iconoclastic outlook. Why repeat yourself when you can break new ground? A plethora of tracks I could choose from on Hunky Dory, Low, Lodger, Heroes, Scary Monsters are all virtually perfect. I've plumped for his cover of Wild Is The Wind off Station To Station for sentimental reasons.
8. Bill Nelson | When Your Dream Of Perfect Beauty Comes True
I was too young for Be Bop Deluxe, so the Bill Nelson I connected with in the very late 70’s
was the one that was eschewing Rock cliches in favour of a more Experimental approach that embraced new technologies. His instrumental LP’s were my fledgling introduction to what Ambient Music could offer as well as presenting soundscapes that allowed for a more Freeform and instinctive approach to Writing and Recording. Huge influence on how I went about things.
9. Brian Eno - David Byrne | The Jezebel Spirit
The LP My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts still sounds as fresh as the day I first heard it. Astonishing collage of Sonic elements. Well before Sampling had taken a foothold, this assembly of performance and found sounds hit me like a ton of bricks. The atmospheres it created took me to another dimension. I cannot underestimate it’s influence on my Musical development and how I began to perceive the possibilities of what Sonic reverie a studio and a situationist attitude could offer.
10. A Certain Ratio | Knife Slits Water (12" Version)
Again, another uber influential band in my formative years. A great amalgamation of Northern Edge and Funk and Latin influences. When David Byrne heard them he transformed Talking Heads from a Garage Rock band into a slick, Deep Funk unit. ACR’s guitarist Martin Moscrop produced my first commercial release in 1989. He educated me and broadened my musical mind like no one else has ever done. The tapes he made for me are some of the best I've ever owned.