WARMER MIXTAPES #1635 | by Ray Willson [sundrenched]

1. Anathallo | Hanasakajijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash)
This collection has continued to inspire and create ideas for over a decade now and it never seems stale. Anathallo is like a fresh breath of Air - the name literally translating to to renew, refresh or bloom again. Their Music flows without Human boundaries, their Sound is emotionally explosive with quiet whispers turned to loud chants. They are never afraid to be or sound silly in order to get their idea across. Using both raw techniques such as banging on drums and more musical techniques like arranging melodies across several instruments, this album could have been made 300 years from now and it would be just as good. The image in their head is never compromised by Fear or other Human traits that get in the way. The individual members seem to disappear as all the moving parts work together to form an incredible and organic musical wave of Emotional Energy.

2. Explosions In The Sky | The Moon Is Down
A true journey. One of the first Instrumental bands that showed me you can say as much or as little as you want with what I thought was a limited format. Literal visuals appear in your mind as the guitars drift in and out of Melody. The range of Energy on this one song alone is ridiculous and it really feels like you've gone a trip with them by the end of it. The entire EP is incredible.

3. Teebs | Wind Loop
Teebs was one of the first artists that showed me you can be as musical using only Production techniques as you can using real instruments. Every sound has a specific place in the song, never overlapping each other, always complementing each other. Everything seemingly works together to unify into a complete image. He finds the sweet spot in every sound he shares and constantly keeps it changing and interesting.

4. Flying Lotus | Camel
Los Angeles. This whole album deserves this next slot. Released 10 years ago from the day I'm writing this, words can't do it justice. In a lot of ways it single-handedly changed the face of Beat Culture, bringing it into the realm of Legitimacy with every other genre of Music. And in a way, it is Genre-less, Timeless, etc. While the Production is beautiful, somewhere in-between Massive Attack, Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada and everything that was going on in the LA Beat scene in the mid 2000s, he really shines in his form. Programmed drums sound like they are being played live with the natural improvisational changes of an actual live drummer on a set. What you think is a keyboard for almost 3 minutes reveals to be a woman's voice in the last couple seconds of a song. At the same time it makes you stop and try to find all the layers. It is Sonic Art through and through. I think to this day I still put on this album and hear a sound I hadn't heard in the previous 1000 listens.

5. High Places | Head Spins
High Places have a special place in my heart. So innocent sounding, so raw, yet incredibly Experimental in their approach to creating Music. Their focus on the Nature of Music was what got me excited. Fooling around with rhythmic themes and ambiguous melodies over incredibly detailed productions while making you feel childlike. Crash Bandicoot comes to mind. Everything appears to have organically grown out of some Futuristic Nature.

6. Ben And Bruno | New Friend Song
The realest sounds I ever heard. This taught me it is OK to be vulnerable through Music, whatever you are feeling is also a valid sound you are allowed to make. Why should you front through a guitar-bass-drums trio when a man with a guitar can express more Emotion without words or even constant Tempo... The same way the Romantic Movement in Classical broke apart strict Tempo structures, New Friend Song seems to float in and out based on not Time, but Emotion and Energy. Watching him play live, eyes shut the entire time, gives a new light to the already incredibly fragile sounding studio version.

7. Sigur Rós | Hoppípolla
Everything by them! Arguably one of the most important bands in the past two decades. Their Sound was doing things Production-wise in 1999 that others only started to think about in the late 2010s. Their collage of sounds hits the spot, Music boxes, weird percussion and soft chants mixed with Jónsi's Pop tendencies and Classical background finds a new space they can truly call their own. One that is fragile, beautiful and genuine. Could be called Ambient at times, but once you get past the term and listen, it is a ton of concrete noises playing with each other. Sigur Rós never disappoints.

8. Justin King | I (from King West Manring Vamos)
Between Justin King, the CandyRat family and Nick Drake, my entire guitar background was based on Avant-Garde fingerstyle. Some would be surprised to hear I only played Instrumental Acoustic/Percussive Guitar for the better part of my life. Something about getting lost in the melodies. Something about trying to play so fast the listener can't quite catch all the info being presented. And the quiet/dulled Production gives you the ability to listen if you are energetic or even about to go to sleep.

9. Bibio | Light Up The Sky
Bibio is amazing through and through. He hits my favorite spot when he is focused on guitar based songs. Something about two or more instruments coming together just to form melody is always so beautiful to me. I don't know if it is the idea of Unity amongst Opposing Forces or if it is really just the Hi-End being turned down and having you focus on only simple sounds, or maybe the combination fo the two. His early work almost reminds me of Boards Of Canada arranged on guitar strings. Bibio is always beautiful.

10. Animal Collective | Fireworks
These albums were the soundtrack to my Coming Of Age era. This is the Sound of Freedom, Exploration and Fun. Dripping in Emotion and Lost Love, between the incredible Songwriting, Avey Tare's unique approach to vocals, Panda Bear's affinity for incredibly Natural Rhythms and Geologist's Psychedelic soundscapes and adlibs, they were truly one of the greatest bands in our current age. Strawberry Jam & Feels... These two albums were used for new relationships, messy breakups, fun one-off nights and everything in between to help make me feel alive.

+11. Dilute | Apple
I bought this CD in summer of 2008. Best decision I ever made. The guitar tones, the such literal interplay between guitarists, melodies were made across three instruments... All really struck the right feeling in me as I felt I was understanding themes and ideas I never had even thought of before. Math Rock, but with tons of vocals, would almost call it Indie Rock if the time signatures and instrumentation wasn't so upfront. The minute long break at the end of Apple with each of them going from musician to musician making small improvised noises is so incredible... They never lose track of Tempo or Time, locked into the Dilute aural ride at a constant pace. Being that they are Math Rock, the Time signatures don't disappoint either. (Some song segments are in 7/13 time?? How the hell!) Must have taken some serious time on Song Structure here.

Honorable mentions to Akron/Family and Matthewdavid for further reinforcing musical themes and ideas that helped make me who I am today as an artist.
Their Experimental nature and never ending output is continually inspiring to me.

Extra special honorable mention to Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada for being the first Electronic musicians I ever heard when my brother showed me them back in 2006/2007. Really changed how I looked at Music being that I was brought up around guitars and pianos.

Music can be anything if you are willing to hear what is there.
Even the little clicks your fridge makes in-between observed time.