WARMER MIXTAPES #1107 | by Gabe Firmin [Rustica]

1. Brian Eno with Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno | An Ending (Ascent)
This song for me is the epitome of an emotion I love, it’s not happy, it’s not sad, it’s caught somewhere in a nostalgic middle ground. The soft pads give across a melancholic but gentle feel that is perfect for film, as shown by the sheer amount of films that have featured this song. For me, the title is perfect, this song feels like nothing but an ending, some kind of closure, you don’t have to know what it is, just that it’s ending, and that goodbyes need to be said. I love the simplicity of this track, it is not over complicated or crowded, it’s refined and just subtle enough.

2. John Murphy | Sunshine (Adagio In D Minor) (Sunshine Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
For me this song acts as a preface to An Ending, this is the ascending build leading to the storm. The orchestration in this song is perfect, from the quivering strings to the arpeggiated piano and pumping percussion. It has a sad resignation to it, but contains a glint of Hope within, this song runs a shiver through me every time I hear it, the chord progressions are stunningly moving and the rising builds a sense of power inside. This song for me is the ultimate crescendo, perfect for the conclusion of any film.

3. Led Zeppelin | Stairway To Heaven
This song takes me back to my childhood, of listening to my Dad’s vinyls in the summertime. The structure of this song is what makes it for me, the long, almost Medieval sounding intro that moves into Plant’s haunting vocals, then onto Page’s guitar riffs and the addition of drums, then the elated guitar solos and finally into those shrill vocal lines and power chords and drum fills. I love the shredding solos and thumping drum fills, they remind me of the ecstasy I used to feel as a child when listening to this. This song is also a demonstration of the type of Production I feel is overlooked today, the creative use of Panning is something that is rarely used in today’s Music.

4. City And Colour | Body In A Box
Body In A Box is my travelling song, this is my go to track for whenever I am racing through hills on a train, staring out the window at the slowly setting Sun. The Jazzy harmonica and organ is a highlight of this track for me, they bring back memories of summertime, good and bad, of sitting around campfires drinking, of walking through green woods with friends and of sitting on seasides, watching the Sun drop with the slow realisation that the summer days are coming to an end.

5. Vangelis | Memories Of Green (Blade Runner Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
The whole Blade Runner soundtrack is a huge inspiration to me, it was one of the first ventures into atmospheric Electronic Music and for me is a massive influence. I love the slightly detuned piano, the recordings of rain that are commonplace throughout the whole film and the use of analogue synths. The dark, moody atmosphere is something I really try and draw from in my music.

6. Asa | Leave The Light On (Stumbleine Remix)
Stumbleine’s remix of this already stunning track really encapsulates a style of Music that I wish I could master. This masterpiece really captures a nostalgic, melancholic summer sadness that I deeply admire. It’s reverberated guitars and gentle piano chords create a subtle but emotional bed for the echoing vocal samples and flickering drums to dance across. This piece is very heartwarming for me, albeit in a sad way, it whispers of lost summers and forgotten memories and I feel will sit close to my heart for years to come.

7. Sigur Rós | Varúð
Everything about Varúð really connects with me, the detuned piano, the bowed guitars, the ghostly vocals, the wistful strings. All of the elements combine to create a wall of sound that upon reaching crescendo really pulls at my heart strings, I feel waves of shivers roll down my spine with each chorus. The quality of the Production and orchestration of this song is something I really aspire to. Sigur Rós blend styles and challenge boundaries more than nearly any other band of this time, and their own brand of haunting, uplifting, Experimental Rock outshines, for me, the vast majority of bands out there today.

8. Bon Iver | Blood Bank
Blood Bank is my Christmas song, it brings about images of snow covered fields, the warm fireside and cold walks through trees. The stable but subtle kick drum creates a warm foundation for the rest of the track, the resonant guitars accompanying Vernon’s melancholic harmonies. This song is warming, wintery and the perfect song for a cosy Christmas.

9. Zomby | Witch Hunt
This track for me is a masterclass in Electronic Production, hypothetically, this track really shouldn’t work, the constant flicker of the high hats and the overpowering kick lend to a technically unbalanced track, however the harshness and darkness of the production really comes into it’s own. The track is a mix between grating urban sounds and dark, black-magic induced atmospheres, creating a mysterious yet heavy piece of work.

10. Burial | Homeless
I won’t deny the huge influence that Burial has on my work, truthfully, I wouldn’t be producing the work I do if it weren’t for stumbling across his Untrue LP all those years ago, I love his style of Music, the blending of genres and sounds, from the vinyl crackle, the metallic foley samples, the shuffley Garage drums, the dark but euphoric pads and atmospheres, the pitched vocal samples and the thunder-rumble bass lines. Burial epitomises not just a sound, but a feeling, an emotion, it’s walking home through empty streets in the rain at 3 in the morning, it’s looking out a window onto flickering lampposts at dusk, it’s a candlelit vigil through the dark streets of Mexico on a summer evening. Burial’s sound is that of a revolutionary one, he started something that no one else had ever attempted before, and for me, makes him one of the best producers around.