WARMER MIXTAPES #840 | by Ryan Farrington [Akouo] of Letters To The Sun and JNA

1. Michael Jackson | Bad
I must have been around 10 years old when I bought my First Album, it was Michael Jackson's Bad on Cassette Tape. MJ's Music blew my mind, man, I listened to that tape over and over in my Walkman for months. It's one of the only albums I can remember being obsessed with from those early Developmental years of my Life. The track Bad was great because it was a stage of my Life where I was only just beginning to Understand Confrontation through School Bullies, so I use to listen to that and imagine myself being the baddest kid on the block, haha.

2. Pearl Jam | Jeremy
I was around 13-14 when this I first hear Pearl Jam's Jeremy. This track left a huge Impression on me in regard to the way I thought about Lyricism. I was listening to a lot of Nirvana and Angsty, Rebellious Music back then and that was appealing to me, but when I heard Jeremy, it became apparent that Adult Themes like Suicide and Depression were common in the Music I listened to. I wasn't depressed as a kid, but maybe that's why Music of that nature was so appealing to me, it was taboo - something Unusual and Foreign to me - something parents sheltered their kids from at that age.

3. Metallica | One
The first song that I wanted to learn the Solo of - in Full on Guitar. Being Self-Taught, it made me think about how Scales worked and brought me into the World of Weird Tempo/Feel Change Ups Mid Song. Although I was only 14-15, this song was Absolutely Important in my Development as a Musician.

4. The Notorious B.I.G. | Big Poppa
I bought my first Hip Hop album - Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready To Die one year when my grandparents sent me some money for Christmas. I was Downloading a lot of Music from Napster (back when it was Free) at the time, slowly getting a little Hip Hop into my playlists, but as soon as I got this record, Biggie moved directly into Heavy Rotation. I was going through my first Romances, Breakups, Family Problems, problems at School, etc., so I use to blast this LOUD in my bedroom every night. I remember Big Poppa being a standout for me back then.

5. Incubus | Nice To Know You
Incubus had this Clean, Electronic Rock thing going on that no one else could touch. They were using Jazz Timing, with the Metal Riffs, Hip Hop Chops and Samples, Spacey FX and Clean, Melodic Vocals. Musically, the Morning View album just taught me so much about using FX Tastefully in my own Music and it was one of the first Instances that made me look into the Sound Design side of Music rather than just Thrashing an Instrument. Nice To Know You was especially Important in that sense.

6. Tool | Sober
Man, Tool's use of Obscure Timings and Drum Patterns had me appreciate Drums more than Ever, plus their Arrangements were so Strange, they'd go from one Extreme to another, Soft to Heavy without any kind of Build Up and it just worked. Sober was a constant favorite during College years.

7. Jurassic 5 | Quality Control
Before I got into J5, I was listening to a lot of Harder, Angry Hip Hop, but toward the end of College I started Getting Less Angry, Smoking More Weed, Drinking More, Hanging with More Girls, Skating Some, Things Were Good and J5 were so Positive and Summery, their Beats were Bouncy and Raps were Infectious. J5 were the reason I started making Beats, and Quality Control was a Big Contributing Factor.

8. DJ Shadow | Midnight In A Perfect World
How Magic is this track? I mean really, when you close your eyes to this song, it really does feel like Midnight In A Perfect World. The Aural Textures, the Chords, the Drums, the Vocal Samples, Everything just Feels like a Dream. This song was a Slow Burner for me, I had Endtroducing..... for a few months on a burnt CD with No Song Names, but this track was always a favorite on that album and in Time it influenced the Way I put Emotion into my Music. It was never really a song I'd listen to with friends. Being from Tasmania, so far away from Hip Hop's birthplace, it was something I'd listen to when I wanted to feel close to the Hip Hop Culture. DJ Shadow Is and Will Always Be one of my All Time Favorite Producers.

9. People Under The Stairs | San Fransisco Knights
This is an Absolute Classic. I've always been a sucker for a nice Beat. Often times, I'll put up with Lyrics that Lack Much Substance if the Beat is Good Enough. The Lyrics didn't really stand out, but the Beat is Phenomenal and Timeless. That Guitar Sample would get so stuck in my head back in the day... These guys made me want to Dearch Deeper into the Underground Hip Hop Dcene in the mid 2000s.

10. J Dilla | So Far To Go (feat. Common & D'Angelo)
Dilla is one of my Major Influences, his Sound Design and Drum Patterns was/is Unmatched. My favorite Dilla joint is So Far To Go, featruing Common and D'Angelo. This one is so Smooth, so Beautiful. I always found Common to be Quite Boring and Samey, but on this track he sounds at Home, and of course D'Angelo only needs to open his mouth and it's over, this track is no exception. A rendition of D'Angelo's Vocal Melodies on this one are often heard coming from my shower on the occasional Early Morning.