WARMER MIXTAPES #1511 | by Elizabeth Bernholz [Gazelle Twin]
1. Vangelis | Rachel's Song (with Mary Hopkin) (Blade Runner Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
As a pre-pubescent, I would inhale the smoke from incense sticks whilst listening to Enya and Clannad. I've always been inspired by the combination of perfectly executed, dreamy choral vocals coupled with murky synth and early modal harmonies. Here, Mary Hopkin's voice makes the perfect cameo. This song (and indeed the entire soundtrack) was something of a production template for me when I was working on Changelings, along with Prince's The Beautiful Ones.
2. Rockettothesky | Oh, Anna
If ever I was forced at gun point to make the infamous Kate Bush comparison, I'd say Jenny Hval comes close. She has an ear for Atmosphere and an apparently strong influence from Early Music. Her exploratory vocal technique is tactile yet introverted; similar to the strange character voices that Bush achieved without ever feeling forced or token. Medea is a very underrated album and in this song Jenny manages to slip in a quote from one of my all time favourite childhood films, the power of Voodoo, who do?...
3. Gil Scott-Heron | Your Soul And Mine
This album introduced me to the work of Scott-Heron too late to ever see the man in person. The sparse yet submerged, near-Industrial production is addictive, partly due to its simplicity. It's sonically and dynamically perfect, allowing just the right amount of space for Gil's vocal and the heavy thematic content.
4. Purple & Green | Human Nature (Unreleased, 2011)
I'm a sucker for Funk Pop. I was torn between this track and one of Janelle Monáe's from her The ArchAndroid, but this wins. Bernholz introduced me to this and I soon became addicted. Production and vocals are highly reminiscent of mid 80s Prince jams and vocals, but with more Self Consciousness, Humour and Freedom.
5. Prince And The Revolution | Purple Rain (Purple Rain Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
This will probably be my funeral song... It epitomises the overwhelming physiological affect that 1980s Prince has over me, without fail; it is energising, sexually arousing, dance floor breaking and infinitely sparkling through all Time and Space - Sheer Perfection (Thank You).
6. The Knife In Collaboration With Mt. Sims And Planningtorock | Colouring Of Pigeons
Everything that I love about The Knife but in a somewhat Classical setting; amazing, driving beats and emotional melodies on the theme of Evolution and Nature. I will continue to listen to and enjoy this album forever more.
7. Portishead | Machine Gun
The beauty in this track is the raw, distorted, rough-cut production and the soul-clenching beats which are so delicately treated despite surface appearance. I will always love and be loyal to everything that Portishead create. When I was 14 going on 25, Beth Gibbons taught me how to sing like a depressive English woman should. I saw them at ATP in London a few days ago. They performed this song. I touched Beth's hand afterwards. I'm still in awe.
8. Anna Calvi | First We Kiss
Is it possible for a female artist to sing about Sex and Desire, to be voraciously attractive and empowered by her own sexuality and supreme talent without practically showing us her cunt on stage? The answer is YES. There is also a melody in this song that is so similar to the theme tune to Bananaman (a kid's TV show from the 80s) that it almost brings me to tears, as did the original theme.
9. Sonic Youth | Shadow Of A Doubt
I was introduced to this song embarrassingly late in Sonic Youth's (and my own) existence. I heard it on a mixtape by Fever Ray in 2010. This song comes from a very dark place. It perfectly replicates the anxiety felt on waking from a disturbing dream. It encompasses a lifetime of emotional/traumatic experience in three minutes and thirty two seconds. It's too hard to put into words just how deeply this song affects me, but it is sublime for doing so.
10. The Bulgarian State Radio And Television Female Vocal Choir | Mir Stanke Le (Harvest Song From Thrace)
I always need respite in Choral and Early Music, or Music from a completely different tradition. The voices in this famous Bulgarian female choir restore my Musical Spirit as well as my ears. There is a link here to my strictly Western childhood - this particular Folk song was borrowed by James Horner for the main melody in his soundtrack to Willow (1988), which is actually wonderful despite some of its clichés.