WARMER MIXTAPES #1343 | by Mizan Kidanu [Mizan]

1. Lauryn Hill | Doo Wop (That Thing)

2. Simon & Garfunkel | The Sounds Of Silence
Hello, Darkness, my old friend, I've come to talk with you again, is the best opening line of a song I have ever...

3. Billie Holiday | Gloomy Sunday (Pál Kalmár/Hal Kemp & His Orchestra Cover)
Angels have no thought of ever returning you, would they be angry if I thought of joining you... Ahh, the sadness in her voice comes off the speakers like an absorbing spirit.

4. Björk | It's Oh So Quiet (Horst Winter's 'Und Jetzt Ist Es Still' Cover)
My first of her songs ever, how could I forget, it's how I came to adore the phenomenon that is Björk.

5. Nas | N.Y. State Of Mind
It takes me back in Time, especially when I go to Queens and I'm listening to him, I feel like I've entered this universe that exists only within the perimeters of the feelings he's feeling, the stories he's telling, and the moment in Time in which he told them... Like 80's NY; Struggle, Poverty, Aspiration. It's hard to explain. Nas is my number one.

6. Madonna | Erotica
Madonna's brand of Female Sexuality is genuine, it was untamed, not contorted for the misogynistic eye, it was real, it was who she really was, many have tried to imitate her 'cause she sold a lot of records... This song for me is not only really really good Music wise, but it also epitomizes the Spirit of Liberation, to have sexual fantasies as a woman, to own your sexuality. Naturally, she got so much shit for it. I think it was genius.

7. Asnakech Worku & Alemu Aga | Ende Jerusalem
Ahh, this lady, R.I.P., was like the Madonna of my country (Ethiopia), LOL, recently researched her life and she was quite scandalous, as her generation would say, but liberated, as I would say. She sings to kirar, which is a traditional guitar. Her songs are filled with metaphors and analogies which is much like how the language is spoken, it reminds me of the legacy of Music in my country.

8. Girma Yifrashewa | The Shepherd With The Flute
Another Ethiopian musician. He had Classical/European training, and the influence is there, but he writes amazing, uniquely textured Classical compositions with Ethiopian musicality. This particular composition is my favorite, it transports me, as they say. I was in piano class since age 7, never appreciated a damn thing about piano lessons, at 9am, every Saturday morning, but he makes me wish I could go back in Time and do some piano homework.

9. Al Bano Carrisi | Io Di Notte
My dad used to sing it always in his broken Italian, he had good taste, I basically hated this song growing up, but now that I've somewhat developed the emotional capacity to understand the song - OMG, my dad had good taste and I could have been more appreciative of the fact that he unknowingly exposed me to so much amazing Music.

10. SWV | Rain
Cool 90's song, it pains me to choose just one 'cause I can do a top 10 or 50 in this particular category. They were so good, this song exemplifies the cool-sexy factor that much of 90's R&B carried... So much of today's Hip Music tries to recreate this very thing. We used to salivate over the guy in the video when we were tweens, it was Tyrese, I'm pretty sure...

+11. Nina Simone | Strange Fruit (Billie Holiday Cover)
Because I can't end this list w/o Nina Simone, what can I say... The power of this song is almost - you can't take it! There needs to be more songs like this today, MEANINGFUL! Songs are meant to STIR! Make you feel as if you have a soul, you're supposed to go, ah, that feeling it's not just in my mind, it's in the very core of me, oohh, this Music is communicating exactly that intangible feeling that I have once deeply felt/always feel, so then we must all be the same inside, filled with things we can't explain, and that there is in fact so much more!... In this unfortunate, degenerating culture led by corporate robots... What are songs even for anymore, money? Yes.