WARMER MIXTAPES #291 | by Young Magic

It’s the first day of 2011. I’m living in a small mountain town near Tepoztlan in Mexico and recording. It’s mostly jungle up here with a pyramid down the road which still confuses me how the Aztecs built it so high up in the clouds 600 years ago. It’s been a crazy and beautiful 2010, even the hard times like lost cards stolen gear weird police with machine guns asshole border security having no money or being lost with no language. Here are some songs that have followed me...

1. Can | Vitamin C
A delicate, pulsing trip. These sounds take me back to long nights of conversation, understanding, and the type of old-school head nodding you did when first listening to records as a teenager. Sift through their back catalogue to find so many other diamonds.

2. Dorothy Ashby | For Some We Loved
At first it could sound kitsch, but spending time with these sounds I heard a women’s genuine soul searching on record in a post Coltrane world. Dashes of harp float over vivid stories and middle eastern percussion carry these stories along like a soundtrack to an exotic film real or imagined. I like when people explore a little more and make albums like these. Colorful winding sounds remind me of that feeling as a kid reading adventure books about faraway lands like Persia or Japan or Mars.

3. Christy Azuma & Uppers International | Din Ya Sugri
I need a time machine. This is my kind of dance music; makes me feel a little more human for 7 minutes of the day, and then the rest just seems not quite as interesting. Do you ever get this feeling?

4. De Frank & His Professionals | Afe Ato Yen Bio
I really need a time machine. Find this.

5. Catherine Ribeiro + Alpes | Paix
Her voice is so goddamn commanding. Melts me. Every single time that first vocal drops at around the 10 minute mark I get that shiver run my spine and hit my brain direct. Zap. One of those journeys that either forces the room silent and slip into a new world, or you switch to some background music like Weezy’s latest records and split.

6. Taking Heads | Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
I remember this first jumping out of the stereo and I didn’t know what to do, kind of stopped me in my tracks and threw my hips and head into a new world. From that day on I found out everything about the people who made this record and My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, why Tina watched David when she played, why David likes bicycles. A mild obsession. I loved the basslines, it’s playfulness, how Byrne and Eno took control and shaped this new beast from pre-existing sounds. I loved the rhythm, a sharp snake gliding though the record. It danced and I liked it. I still do.

7. The Rotary Connection | Turn Me On
After the first verse, and everything goes ahhhhhhhhhhhh and kind of faints into the chorus I go ahhhhhhhhhhh and feel like grabbing the sun even it burns a bit. Heard this on a Chess compilation years ago and flipped, tripped into a world of big bands, sharp studios and warm gear. See I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun for more ahhhhhhhhhh moments.

8. Flying Lotus | Breathe . Something/Stellar Star
Float to space. Snaps me back to a time of dark rooms and warm multi-colored praying mantis-like creatures caressing my body in higher dimensional planes. That sounds ridiculous, I know... But what other real way do I have to describe this? Swimming in a new pool.

9. The Beach Boys | Good Vibrations
Every year as a kid we’d take long road trips down the East Coast of Australia and the first disc I claimed from my folks was a BB best of. The compositions, the harmonies... One of those sounds thats followed me through life popping it’s head up in all the right places. The way Brian Wilson works these individual recordings together like the most intricate and beautiful puzzle still splits my mind: four separate studios to record this? Toes in a sandpit under the studio piano to get feeel? I think he was hearing things the rest of us don’t.

10. Ebo Taylor And The Sweet Beans | Odofo Nyi Akyiri Biara
This feels so good man, straight up. Spent all last night shaking to this song whilst watching the clock count down to 12. West African music shouldn’t work so well in Central America. I need a translator.

+11. Samiyam | Deathrace/Moon Shoes
My neck is sore in diagonal patterns.

+12. Jay Dee | Beat 05
My neck again. This time my heart and soul as well. Even these sketches have such a magic touch.

+13. James Blake | Klavierwerke
Head nodder x 3 from somewhere between the planes. Really feelin this negative space.

+14. Fugazi | Closed Caption Demo
I used to watch the Jem Cohen film Instrument a lot. To my ears at the time it was unashamedly creative, raw unguarded and real. I loved the ideas, words and ferocious energy, but they’e also really beautiful in the slower moments as well when dub and space crept up through wirey crescendos. From fourteen years old I’d start punk bands with friends playing basements and DIY spaces and most of the time this band was in mind.

+15. Wire | Map Ref. 41ºN 93ºW
While we’re here, another four guys that made total sense to me during these years. I liked the beautifully dry sense of humor floating under all the situationist leanings and minimal warped song structures, and with this one I particularly loved the title. I have a thing for maps.

+16. The Go-Betweens | The House Jack Kerouac Built
Robert Forster used to live around the corner and would come by sometimes because my friends parents sold him organic vegetables. I didn’t really know who he was then, but down the track found a lot of time for The Go-Betweens songwriting and this wistful sense of nostalgia they seem capture so well. So many of these songs are now stamped to different sections of my life growing up, clearly with heart, and in the best possible way. Sounds to make a wandering boy homesick.

+17. Roy Ayers | Everybody Loves The Sunshine
This one kind of explains itself. Perfect cruising tune, perfect synth sound.

+18. Erykah Badu | Incense (feat. Kirsten Agnesta)
Last up. Late at night, headphones, hashish and maybe someone close tucked in under your arm. Leveler. Madlib sounds are smoother than ever. On repeat whilst drifting into dreamworld. Never quite sure what to put on afterwards though...