WARMER MIXTAPES #1600 | by Carim Clasmann ([bə:]) and Galia Durant (Team LG, Three No Fillings) of Psapp

SIDE A | by Carim Clasmann

1. Moondog | Lament I, "Bird's Lament"
This is simply the most moving and beautiful piece of Music I've ever heard! Supposedly it was the death of Charlie Parker with whom he was about to work with which made him write this - as a kind of requiem. It's a special combination of profound Sadness and Life affirming strength in 1:45 minutes. This piece fits to every second in my life. I'd like to use this occasion to thank Gareth Smith to pointing me towards this song; how did I miss this track for so long? I'm sure Mr. Scruff has lost some valuable karma points adding a beat to what's more or less the original version.

2. CAN | Sing Swan Song
This is classic hypnotic, dreamy CAN at its best. I associate this song with two events in the early nineties. Firstly, the weekly jam sessions of the Jaki Liebezeit and his pals in a small basement venue in Cologne, Germany. Like all improvised sessions, it was a bit hit and miss, but some nights it was simply mindblowingly good! At around the same time, I recorded an album at CAN's Inner Space Studio, a former large cinema which didn't feature separate control and recording rooms but was just one large space. The original ticket office was still at the entrance, featuring the ticket prices of 1971. Occasionally a red-eyed Jaki Liebezeit would wake up from his apartment above the studio and appear at 4pm, passing by without saying a word. We always recorded late and, when the sessions ended around 4 to 6am, work at bakery next door was in full swing and we were welcome to enter through the back door to get our hands on piping hot cinnamon rolls. The album production itself was less fun as two members of the band were having fist fights late at night (one was the female singers’ current boyfriend and one was the ex). Additionally, the producer had moments of paranoia due to illegal substance abuse (no names and details on this). In the end I was happy when it was over, although it is such a great atmosphere there. As far as I know, the studio contents has now been sold and set up somewhere else as a museum.

3. The Balanescu Quartet | Possessed
When Balanescu Quartet released their album Possessed in 1992, it seemed at first glance just another collection of Kraftwerk covers, this time by a string quartet. But when you get past the first five tracks of Robots, Model and Autobahn, etc., and encounter the title track... You enter a whole new world. Surely there's a little bit of Michael Nyman in there (with whom Balanescu Quartet worked with previously), but, with the constant variations and evolution of the themes, the shift from 4/4 to 6/8, the seemingly fragmented drum patterns at the start are unique. Luckily, I managed to see them live twice, the first time at a great location which used to be a seedy 1960's nightclub with original red velvet séparées. Balanescu Quartet, in their classical outfits with black suits and dresses, seemed oddly fitting. The track is nearly 17 minutes long, but never has it failed with its magic spell.

4. Rabih Abou-Khalil | Remembering Machghara
The first time I heard Rabih Abou-Khalil was when I was visiting my grand uncle in Amman, Jordan. My cousin Tony mentioned that he had just seen him performing live in Amman recently and I was surprised to find that Rabih Abou-Khalil had recorded an album with Balanescu Quartet (Arabian Waltz) which I hadn't heard about before. Shortly after my return, having breakfast at a cafe near my flat, I heard a similar sound and after quizzing the cafe's owner was introduced to one of Abou-Khalil’s previous albums, Roots & Sprouts. Remembering Machghara reminds me of the first bits of Music I can remember: my mother's collection of Lebanese records.

5. Joseph Maurice Ravel | Pièce En Forme De Habañera (Performed byThe Cleveland Orchestra, Conductor: Vladimir Ashkenazy)
Over the period of one year, I spent two nights a week working as a cab driver. I made myself several mix tapes on cassette, mostly Classical Music to accompany me through nights of waiting in the car for customers. The magic of the repetitive piano part with its occasional frills still manage to make the hairs on my arm stand up. The perfect soundtrack for quiet moments at night.

6. Patrik Fitzgerald + 3 | Tunisian Twist 
Although I've never been a fan of his earlier records and their streamy guitar street poet style, his album Tunisian Twist is really captivating. When I finished School, I spent a couple of weeks working night shifts in various factories, some assembly line work at a printers, supervising a machine making a new type of fibre glass and other equally menial jobs. In between making tests of samples of fibre glass, I passed the time walking around outside in this deserted industrial world listening to the album on headphones. The surroundings seemed to be outtakes from a Blade Runner set. No signs of Life, a large well lit city of industrial buildings, chimneys, pipes and wiring as far as the eye could see. The song Tunisian Twist is an odd blend of 80's synths, flanged guitars and and a Tunisian brass band. If you think there’s no Tunisian brass bands, then you would be wrong. At my sister's wedding near Tunis I was surprised to find out that they do exist and sound more Sicillian than Middle Eastern.

7. Talk Talk | Myrrhman 
Aaaaaaages ago I visited a friend of mine, the keyboard player of my band back then, on a summer's day, in the early evening. As I plopped down on his sofa, he put on a record without any comment. It started with a little noise from the guitar amp with the tremolo modulating the noise, the guitar chords bursting in, fragments of woodwind and then the despite, pleading voice of Mark Hollis. I was so captivated that I didn't say a word and neither did my friend and without a word he turned over the record after 20 minutes or so and we listened to side B while it was getting dark. No one turned on the lights. Once it had finished, we sat in the dark with only a little light coming in from the street, the noise of the vinyl's last groove still crackling away and we looked at each other as if a space ship has landed in his front room and we didn't know how to make sense of it. We did recover the power of Speech eventually, but it is still the most mesmerising listening experience I've ever had. As I missed out on the album Spirit Of Eden when it came out, I still considered Talk Talk to be a Pop band with an unique sound, but in no way I would have expected such a major tectonic shift in their style. Those two albums, Laughing Stock & Spirit Of Eden, have become classics while their previous releases, though still good, have not aged as well.

8. Gétatchèw Mèkurya | Yégènèt Muziqa (from Éthiopiques 14: Negus Of Ethiopian Sax)
It's amazing that the Ethiopian Music from the 1970s hasn't caused more of a stir at the time, although I wouldn't have known it back then as I had just hatched. The unique blend of African and Arabic Music mixed with a pattern style form of Jazz couldn't have come from anywhere else. Visiting Ethiopia twice, I've heard some incredible Music - so far removed from predictable Western 4/4 rhythms, with melodies that seem to start unannounced out of nowhere and snake their way through the arrangement in ways I haven't heard before, evil in their own mysterious ways. On arrival in Addis Ababa I stayed near the airport for a couple of days, trying to find out what happened to my luggage which got lost along the way. Not having much to do, I ended up floating about for a week enjoying the very lively nightlife of Addis, one of the most fun cities in the World.

9. Motörhead | Ace Of Spades 
This is the most authentic, raw Rock 'N' Roll song ever. Ever since I heard it when it first came out I haven't tired of it. Who would have thought that Lemmy would make it to 70? RIP! It brings out my fatalistic evil streak every time I hear it, but it hasn't got me into gambling yet.

10. Tom Waits | Clap Hands
Once the gong rings on the first beat of the song and the marimba built out of various bits of 2x4 rattles, the rainy atmosphere oozes everywhere. Although this song hasn't been featured in the film Down By Law (several others of the album Rain Dogs did), it still evokes similar images in my head. The perfect song to listen to when going home at 4am on a weekday in the rain, with only a few lost souls out and about and steam rising from the sewers. The whole album has got an incredible sound where room microphones seem to pick up even the noise of the mice scurrying around beneath the floor boards.

SIDE B | by Galia Durant

What a journey this has been sifting through my favourite songs.
I feel like I’ve been in therapy. Thank you.

1. Chris Isaak | Wicked Game
Recently, all my Twitter and Facebook pals have been citing their most influential and beloved records. Effortlessly cool, perfect and probably generously edited lists… Lists upon lists. I always knew I wasn’t cool, but when I sat down and wondered what I would honestly say about the records that inspired and excited me from childhood, I realised it wouldn’t be Devo, Wire or Philip Glass as much as I might enjoy them now. Wicked Game has the most beautiful plaintive vocal - bruised and distant. I couldn’t say when I heard it first - this song which I have known so long is in my bones.

2. Ivor Cutler Trio | Darling, Will You Marry Me Twice
Darling, will you marry me twice? Once for my head and once for the rest of me. The whole mystery and oddness of Ivor Cutler adds Charm and Extra Magic to his Music. This song is just so honestly deliciously romantic. It’s about Real Love - Love where our bodies and heads fuck up, fart, fail and rot and are all the better for it. I was lucky to see his last gig at The Queen Elizabeth Hall, a sad drooping plastic sunflower in his hat and an organ with sewer scrawled across it in white paint and a hushed and reverential audience (he didn’t allow applause).

3. Malvina Reynolds | I Don’t Mind Failing
A balm... A fixing song. Malvina’s croaky voice is one that it takes a while to get used to - she uses it to communicate her message and not to sound pretty, but there’s a higher beauty in that. All of her Music has a moral - there’s a hope for Humanity nestled in the disappointment of her words. This is a great song to live by - the premise really is that Failure is not failure if you live wisely and kindly and hurt no one.

4. Talk Talk | Inheritance
Spirit Of Eden... An ex (though still dear) boyfriend and I sat on the top of a double decker bus and shared headphones listening to this record. We travelled along the Old Kent Road from Elephant and Castle all the way to Greenwich in cold wintery light. It’s not often I am silenced by anything (sorry about that), but this record left me speechless. The Sparseness of the arrangement, the choir and riding on top of it all the fractured, raw voice of Mark Hollis. I’m certain that this record is exactly as Hollis heard it in his head and The Intimacy is sometimes unsettling.

5. Fela Anikulapo Kuti & His Africa '70 | Unknown Soldier
Hard to choose between I.T.T. and Unknown Soldier. Can I just say EVERYTHING BY FELA KUTI? If Pure Euphoria could be seamlessly converted to Sound, this would be it. It’s so pure. I remember hearing The Master first at my old job - I worked at a record label and my boss, Tony, put it on the stereo. Those manic keyboard solos on trashy detuned organs and the frantic urgency of it all... It’s just so physical. I often try and channel that euphoria when I play keyboard solos - whether it’s audible to anyone but me, I don’t know. I saw an amazing photo of Fela Kuti somewhere, sitting in a bare room, in saggy pants, clutching his sax and looking as regal and noble as any opulently draped king.

6. Ralph Vaughn Williams | The Lark Ascending (Performed by London Philharmonic Orchestra with David Nolan, Conductor: Vernon Handley)
My brother and sister were quite a bit older than me and both had impressive cassette collections which I furtively and ruthlessly trawled. I found this tape in my sister’s room, probably expecting something completely different and got into bed with my Walkman on. It was my first taste of Romantic Music - where Classical Music had started to openly reference Folk Music with its modal scales and raw Loveliness. I felt as if I had had some sort of epiphany that night and travelled to new lands where there was a sound for my nameless feelings. Sometimes Music can take away a deep Loneliness by expressing The Unsayable and reminding us that so much of our Human Experience is Universal.

7. Droolian | Jellypop Perky Jean 
I have a small person called Jean at home and this is her anthem. It’s not a perfect song (there is a long pretentious ramble in the middle and it’s more of a repeated riff than an actual song), but The Love and Emotion are palpable. It always gets me going.

8. Steely Dan | Babylon Sisters
I briefly went to Chelsea Art College in the late 1990 in London and the girl opposite my studio space, Sophie, I idolised in a way that eventually threatened to suffocate her so she stopped hanging out with me... It was a deep and profound heartbreak when I realised I was actually really pissing her off and she stopped answering the phone to me. But she introduced me to Steely Dan and I never looked back. It’s often said that Steely Dan’s Music - the Musicianship and Songwriting is just Cleverness for the sake of Cleverness, but in this anthem for luscious West Coast 70’s Hedonism is just so undeniably beautiful. Every note is necessary and Joy-inducing.

9. Broadcast | Echo’s Answer
It seems like a lifetime ago that I met my husband. The song that always reminds me of our first chapter is Echo's Answer by Broadcast. I remember sitting in the dark listening to the crackly opening loop, the haunting vocal and knowing even then it would be a moment that would be branded on us both forever.

10. Tom Waits | Clap Hands
Carim put this track as well, I know - and I love it for all the same reasons he does. I can feel the damp rising and the hunched backs of soggy loners walking the streets at witching hour. It really reminds me of our old place in Kings Cross too - sitting on Carim’s elderly velvet sofa and smoking endless cigarettes and enjoying being enthralled together while we plotted our next noise. I couldn’t leave it out.