WARMER MIXTAPES #1426 | by Selwyn Walsh and Duncan Walsh of The Watanabes

SIDE A | by Duncan Walsh

1. Joy Division | Love Will Tear Us Apart
I remember it distinctly. I must have been 10 or 11 years old. It was a sunny Saturday morning. I was watching the Chart Show on ITV. Each week they played a classic retro video from the Past. This video came on from the 80s: A weird, kind of uncomfortable looking band in an industrial hall, with this slightly awkward lead singer. It was a happy melody, but the vocalist seemed sad. It was beautiful, but it was confusing. Even as a young lad, I sensed that this song had more meaning to it than the average Pop Music. For 3 minutes I was in Music Heaven, but before I’d looked for the band name, the video was over and the song was gone. I didn’t have pocket money to spend on Music mags and records. There was no Internet. I couldn’t jump on YouTube and find it within an instant. The song was gone. All I had was the memory of this joyful melody and rather awkward lead vocalist. About 8 or 9 years later, I went to my first Indie night at University and the DJ played Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division. As soon as that famous bass line kicked in, I knew I’d found that lost song from my childhood. Magic.

2. The Kelly Family | I Can't Help Myself
When I was 14 I went on the School German exchange. It was my first real trip abroad and it was the start of a Love affair with foreign culture and people. I had a brilliant exchange partner called Ines, and, although at the time we couldn't say much to each other, we certainly shared a love of Music. Perhaps that explains why we're still in good contact over 20 years later. Ines just happened to be the World's biggest fan of The Kelly Family. These guys were probably a bigger culture shock to me than Germany itself: A huge multi-national, multi generational Irish gypsy family band playing Folk Music, who were top of the German charts with this little number I Can't Help Myself. It was probably just a tad too cheesy to ever be successful in the UK, but it was a monster of a hit in Deutschland, and whenever I hear it, it transports me back to my week with Ines. Incidentally, Ines recently came to Tokyo with the Bremen orchestra, and dropped by a Watanabes' gig. We couldn't resist singing a few Kelly Family tunes together, and having a giggle. It's true what they say, Music is an international language.

3. Bryan Adams | (Everything I Do) I Do It For You (Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
We had a Disco at Primary School. It was held at the local village community center and a few generous parents would give up their time to serve soft drinks to the kids from a kitchen window, usually whilst puffing away on a fag. A young and affordable DJ was hired, with his own impressive kit of flashing Disco lights. It took place once every 2 or 3 months, and it was the talk of School for weeks in advance. Are you going to the Copeman Center Disco? my friends would excitedly ask. We had a ritual. When a slow song came on, you’d get your friend to ask the friend of your favorite girl, whether she’d be interested in sharing a slow dance with you. If you were shy and a bit frigid, you’d gently attach your arms to their shoulders with a visible space between you and the young lady. If you were a gentleman, but a bit more adventurous, you’d bring yourself closer and put your arms on their hips. And if you had a much older brother or sister who’d educated you in the ways of the World, you’d hold them tight, and cup your hands around their… For want of a better word… Ass. My girl was Katrina. Our song was Bryan Adams - Everything I Do. And if you’re wondering, I was a gentleman.

4. R.E.M. | Near Wild Heaven
It’s a bit cheesy, but we all do it: songs that we associate with people we had feelings for. I remember discovering R.E.M. when I had a huge crush on a girl called Ellie at High School. She was really good fun but such a vicious flirt, and needless to say I thought I had a chance with her – along with every other guy in the School! I remember listening to this particular song, belting it out on the School bus, not a care in the World. It was the summer, the holidays were near and I was convinced Ellie would soon be mine. R.E.M.’s Near Wild Heaven seemed so apt at the time. Heaven was near! Of course, it never happened and Ellie went off with an older guy, who had a car, but the dreaming was blissful and I forgive R.E.M. for encouraging me.

5. The Smiths | I Know It’s Over
So many people seem to think The Smiths are depressing. They’re not depressing. They’re hilarious! I remember going to a club at Uni with a load of friends and a bunch of nice girls. The bouncer let everyone in except me. I showed him my University ID. That’s not valid, mate. I got a taxi back to the Halls of Residence, picked up my passport and then went back to the club to prove my age. Still the bouncer refused, You’re too drunk mate. I trudged home, alone and depressed, feeling very hard done by, my Saturday night over and my chances with a certain young lady destroyed. I slumped on my bed, and blasted The Smiths through my speakers. Just me and Morrissey, lamenting our pitiable, sexless lives. As I poured my heart out to the lyrics, I felt so much better. In fact, I chuckled. Such romantic self-pity. It’s laughable.

6. Simon And Garfunkel | The Only Living Boy In New York
I was force fed Simon And Garfunkel by my parents from an early age. We used to go on family holidays up North. Dad’s very much a Classical Music lover, but sometimes he’d make a bit of a compromise with 60’s Rock instead. The funny thing is, I can’t remember if I liked it back then. All I know is, I love it now.

7. The Lightning Seeds | The Life Of Riley
Big Football fan me. Love it! And there’s nothing better than a selection of footie clips with a quality song to compliment it. The best one I ever saw was the 1993-4 Premiership Goal Of The Season clip using The Lightning Seeds as it’s Theme Music. The commentator Barry Davies’ voice and the atmosphere of the crowd seemed to fit together so beautifully with the mood and rhythm of the Music, Rod Wallace picks it up on the left… He’s past one… He’s past another… Now What? Oh, that’s Perfection. Music is an Art, and so is Football.

8. Natsukawa Rimi | Nada Sōsō (Ryoko Moriyama Cover)
The Watanabes were born in Japan, so it would be rude not to have a Japanese number in my top 10. This was the first Japanese melody that really stuck with me. I was traveling in a car through the snowy mountains of Gifu at New Year with my brother and an older Japanese guy. Communicating with each other was pretty exhausting and we were all feeling a bit sleepy. As the silence grew, he put on a CD. It was my first year in Japan, and I couldn’t understand a single word. But the melody spoke to me.

9. The Jackson 5 | I Want You Back
Remember when the Internet kicked off and everyone was illegally downloading Music? It was like Christmas. Literally any song you wanted. There, available at the click of a button. (Don’t do it anymore I might add!) Can you remember what the first song you wanted to download was? I can. It was Jackson 5. Pop brilliance and the theme tune to many a happy night out at University. Gets me boogying every time.

10. Neil Halstead | Paint A Face 
Our producer David Naughton introduced us to Neil’s Music. They’re pretty good friends after working together with Mojave 3, so I suppose you could call Neil a friend of a friend, and he felt like a friend when I heard his Music for the first time. Good lyricists do that. They feel like a friend. It was a grey Sunday morning in Tokyo and I had just made myself a cupper. I was feeling a little homesick for the UK, contemplating 10 years away from home. I listened to Paint A Picture for the first time and it just hit the sweet spot. Some songs are for Friday night. Some songs are for a big Saturday night. And some songs are for a thoughtful Sunday morning with a cup of tea.

There was something very magical about Music to me as a child. Songs and melodies were so fleeting. They only lasted as long as I could hear them, and then they were gone until the next time you had the fortune to hear them on TV, or on the car radio. I think that’s why songs at School became so precious to me. We didn’t have an expensive sound system at my Primary School. Our headmaster, Mr. English - a real nice fella, who seemed like a giant to us at over 6ft - used to bring his battered old guitar to morning assembly. He wasn’t a guitar maestro by any means, but he could play a few chords, which definitely livened up our School hymn for the day. They were mainly Christian songs, and many of them had the most beautiful melodies. I remember one, which I can only guess is called The Best Gift. I can remember all of the lyrics and the melody, but to this day, I still can’t find out who wrote it. I googled it the other day. Not a single video on YouTube to be seen! The only evidence I found of it was another person searching for it on Yahoo! Answers. The only way for me to listen to it now is by picking up my guitar and singing it by myself, which, to be honest, I’m rather pleased about. The Magic lives on!

SIDE B | by Selwyn Walsh

1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart | Concerto For Flute, Harp, And Orchestra In C Major, K. 299/297c: II. Andantino (Performed by Sir James Galway & Marisa Robles with Academy Of St Martin In The Fields; Conductor: Sir Neville Marriner)
Friday nights were Classical Music nights in the Walsh household growing up. Dad would get home from work after a hard week in the office, insist the TV was turned off and the game console put away. Then the lights were dimmed, the curtains drawn, and he and Mum would commandeer the lounge with a nice bottle of red to listen to their favourite Classical Music and unwind. Teenage boys are generally not the greatest lovers of such evenings, but since I was not yet able to drive and lived miles from town, I was somewhat trapped! On the upside, while my friends were getting drunk and copping off with girls, I got to discover some rather beautiful Music. Although, none that I would admit to liking at School.

2. Belinda Carlisle | (We Want) The Same Thing
Belinda was the soundtrack to many a School run or day trip to the beach in my youth. Our mate's Mum had the The Greatest Hits on cassette in her car, and it would get a regular airing whenever we needed to get dropped off somewhere, likefooty training or the local kids' Disco. I loved Belinda, and I secretly fancied her, too. Plus, I'll always associate her with the anticipation of going somewhere fun.

3. Lynn Anderson | Rose Garden (Joe South Cover)
This was one of my grandpa's favourite tunes. He died this year so I thought I'd include it in memory of him. He was an amazing man, a real character. Warm, funny, generous, big hearted and ever so slightly eccentric. We used to stay with him and Gran during the summer holidays and go on trips together to places like London Zoo or the seaside. A good proportion of those days would be spent in the car together listening to Country Music and sucking on boiled sweets (Gramps always kept a plentiful supply in his glove compartment.) This was one of his favourites and I remember him saying how he couldn't believe someone had written a melody so beautiful.That's the Power of Music. Whenever I hear this tune, I'll always think of him. Miss you, Gramps.

4. The Beatles | I Want To Hold Your Hand
I'm positive that one of the best live shows I've seen in my life was by a Beatles tribute band - The Bootleg Beatles. They played my University end of year ball and I have hazy half-memories of jiving along to this and truly believing in my 20 year old heart that, yes, I was actually watching The Beatles! (In fairness, I had just knocked back several double shots of JD and Coke.) The likeness of these guys was incredible... The voices, accents, postures, mannerisms. Genuinely impressive. I was young, drunk, at University and watching The Beatles... Life was amazing!!! Until, that is, I awoke just a few hours later gripping my stomach and wretching into my bedsheets... Yuck.

5. Belle And Sebastian | I Could Be Dreaming 
I had a housemate at Uni who was absolutely obsessed with Isobel from Belle And Sebastian. Obsessed. He'd spend afternoons outside of lectures waxing lyrical and force feeding me B&S tunes. At first, I resisted. I found them saccharine and a little too Twee for my tastes, but it was this song which really pricked my ears up. It felt like the soundtrack to a crazy dream. Ten years later and The Watanabes would find ourselves being produced by David Naughton, who'd worked with B&S on The Boy With The Arab Strap. He tells me Isobel wasn't all that. Ian, if you're listening...

6. David Bowie | Be My Wife
I'll always associate Bowie's Music with my first year out of University teaching English in Munich. I managed to catch him on his Heathen Tour and was hooked. I could hardly comprehend that a 60 year old guy could be quite so effortlessly cool! I headed down to my local record store the next day to snap up a few of his albums (in the days when people still did that... The year was 2002!) Ziggy Startdust..., Hunky Dory, Station To Station... All records I kept on heavy rotation for months. Low was the one that really resonated, though. Maybe because I knew it'd been recorded in Germany. I loved every track on that album and still do, but this one's my favourite. Tongue-in-cheek cynicism set to a Funky beat and bass-line. Just the way I like it.

7. Die Ärzte | Manchmal Haben Frauen...
One of the many brilliant things about Music is that it can be a fantastic motivation for, and a great way to learn a foreign language. A bit like talking to girls! This is one of the many songs that inspired me to learn German... And once I could understand it, I found it genuinely quite amusing. Hilarious Music Video, too. Who says the Germans don't have a sense of humour?

8. Michael Jackson | Billie Jean 
Anybody who lives in Japan knows they need to own at least one Karaoke song. It's imperative. It's compulsory. It's part of the Culture. To be armed with that one song you can pull out at a moment's notice, at an office party or your friend's birthday, and be able to vaguely entertain or impress people. Particularly that cutie you've had your eye on. It might be something you sing well, a great impersonation, or a funny routine. This song is mine, complete with every grunt, groan and hip thrust. I've been doing it for eleven years now. It is fading a little with age, but if you've ever had the good fortune to see it, I'm pretty sure you won't have forgotten it.

9. Kings Of Convenience | I'd Rather Dance With You
I love to dance. Absolutely love it. And I will dance to just about anything. Often is the case, though, that the Music I'm influenced by (and the Music I make) is not exactly the danciest. This is one tune, however, which successfully combines my love of dancing with my love of delicate vocal harmonies and Acoustic guitar. It has me boogying around my bedroom every time. Great song, and a great sentiment, too.

10. Bob Marley & The Wailers | Could You Be Loved
While I'm absolutely no fan of the automobile per se, I'd have to admit it's a great place to listen to Music. Watching the scenery go by is like a real life slideshow for your favourite tunes. Plus there's that cosy feeling of being all safe and snug inside your own little cocoon. Totally deceptive, of course, as my driving instructor always used to remind me. Anyway, this song takes me back to road trips across Japan with mates. Summer skies and beautiful landscapes, young and carefree, a head full of dreams. There's no better way to listen to Music.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1425 | by Denis Yakush [Ganju/WoodJu]

1. The Cinematic Orchestra | Breathe (with Fontella Bass)
In the long period of Depression, this track was around me all day and night.

2. Amon Tobin | Lost & Found
There's not a word to be redundant... Just opening to the World of Sounds for me. I admire.

3. Bon Iver | Perth (JacM Chillstep Remix) 
It was autumn and a great evening with a girl. Then I introduced her to the work of Bon Iver.

4. Kastle | Stay Forever
I was resting by the sea and on the beach here... From the open car heard this track. Thanks to this track then met with the good people.

5. Jamie Woon | TMRW 
This song was a long time on my alarm clock and I woke up singing...

6. Jedi Mind Tricks Presents: King Syze | And Now (feat. Apathy, Vinnie Paz)
Jedi Mind Tricks is an incentive for me to play sports, which includes running away. Music, only you and the road.

7. SBTRKT | Something Goes Right (with Sampha)
When I was in University, I was always, on the way there, listening to SBTRKT. It was the custom.

8. Mujuice | Decadance
This is my first decent familiarity with Russian Electronic Music.

9. Aphrodite | Ganja Man (feat. Deadly Hunta)
A 99 years coup for me in the Music World at the time.

10. Nirvana | Come As You Are 
The eternal musician, I, like many, grew up on his Music.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1424 | by Paul Hinks [Night Night Norcenni] of Some Kind Of Illness

1. Massive Attack | Unfinished Sympathy
I remember watching MTV in the '90s and always hoping that the video would come on. I wondered who the girl was walking through the streets of LA and wondered why this Music was having such an effect on me. I shared a room with my brother and I would play his records when he went out to work. He had the best record collection you could ever imagine. Blue Lines was my favourite album back then and Unfinished Sympathy - my favourite song... It still is. I love the string arrangements by Wil Malone who also worked on The Verve's classic album Urban Hymns and many others. The lyrics mean more to me now than ever before... Like a soul without a mind and a body without a heart, I'm missing every part... A song about being cheated on?... You just can't let go and you want them back so much, that's how I hear it... It's just an incredible piece of Music.

2. Moby | Porcelain
Back in 2002 I was working for a travel company called Euro Camp. Our job was to take down and clean campsites after the summer holiday season had finished and the customers had left. There was about 20 people in the group... We would spend our nights around the camp fire, playing guitar and drinking vodka. I was seeing a beautiful Scottish girl called Jayne and Life couldn't have been better. Unfortunately, one morning my boss caught me smoking a joint in my accommodation and I was sacked instantly. I had to leave and find my way home, but I didn't want to go back so soon, so I stayed in a hotel in the mountains of Lauterbrunnen and I met a cool English guy who said I could stay with him until I found something else... He was a drug dealer and he also ran a bar in the valley. I would spend my days writing songs and putting skunk into bags for him to sell to the tourists who came down from the Ski slopes in Wengen. He only had one CD in the house and it was on repeat the whole time I was there... It was Moby's 18 album. Whenever I hear anything by Moby... It always takes me back to that time in my life. I am going to choose Porcelain because it's on the soundtrack to one of my favourite films, The Beach, but I own and love all of his albums.

3. Beck | Lonesome Tears
When I finally got back home to Manchester I missed Jayne very much, so I would take the train to Edinburgh to stay with her whenever I could. One day we were walking around the city and I found a little record store called FOPP... I hadn't heard Beck's album (Sea Change), but I bought it anyway...I  loved Beck already because I had seen him support The Verve at Haigh Hall in 1998 and he was such a great entertainer, but I never expected anything like Sea Change from him... It's a beautiful, heart breaking album. He really is a genius. It's one of those albums that you buy for all your friends, I think I bought it ten times... Saying to people you have to hear this record... I looked at Jayne through the window as the train pulled out of Edinburgh station... I had tears in my eyes and so did she... We both knew it was over, we never fell out, we never broke up, but it just wasn't the right time for us. I can listen to the album now and, even though it's sad, it reminds me of how happy I was and how much fun I had that year.

4. The Verve | Bitter Sweet Symphony
I can't deny and I am not ashamed to say that The Verve changed my life. In 1997 I was studying at College. I was walking down the corridor one day and these lads started shouting Verve at me. I didn't have a clue what they meant, but it carried on for a few weeks. I told my brother about it and he laughed and said that The Verve were a band and that I looked like the singer Richard Ashcroft. Later that week, my brother bought the album and I just got hooked on it. I watched them at Haigh Hall in 1998 at their homecoming gig. It's still the best gig I've ever been to in my life. Beck and John Martyn supported... It doesn't get much better than that. I stared at that stage and dreamed of one day being a frontman in a band. We had to walk for miles after the gig, through the countryside back to my mate's house... I got knocked over by a taxi... A proper hit and run... I could hardly feel my legs... I limped back to my mate's house in agony, but I was still buzzing from the best gig in the History of Music. It's difficult for me to choose a track by The Verve because I love everything they have ever done, but Urban Hymns is without doubt my favourite album ever... The Verve changed everything for me... The way I acted, the way I dressed, everything. Nick McCabe sent me a message on Facebook recently saying that he liked one of my songs... I nearly fainted.

5. Portishead | The Rip
I used to go to a sandwich shop called Marriots on Oxford Road in Manchester. There was a nice Polish girl called Asia who worked behind the counter... Every time she put ketchup on my sandwich, she would make a Love heart shape with it. After a few weeks I asked her out for a drink... We laughed a lot but it was hard to talk because her English wasn't the best at the time and I couldn't speak much Polish. Asia went back to Poland in the summer and invited me to go visit her and have a little holiday. I was always up for an adventure, so I thought I would go for it. I landed in Poznan and met up with Asia outside the airport... She was stood with two guys who had skin heads, dressed all in black. We got into a car and drove miles and miles into the countryside. Nobody spoke a word to me and I was starting to worry because I didn't know where I was going or who these guys really were... Asia suddenly seemed like a stranger... We turned off the main road into a forest and came to a little wooden house... Call me paranoid, but I was thinking I might be killed. More people started to arrive and Asia introduced me to everyone... It turned out to be one of the best holidays I've ever had... Everyone was so friendly, even though we couldn't understand each other. When we drove back to Poznan, we listened to the Portishead album Third. I'd seen Portishead perform some tracks live on Later... With Jools Holland a few weeks earlier and loved it... So I bought the album. Beth Gibbons has one of the most haunting voices I've ever heard. The Rip will always remind me of driving through Poland in 2008... What a band, what a tune, what a trip.

6. Spiritualized | Sway
I lived in Longsight, Manchester, for 3 years in a run down house. In fact it was falling down. I lived there with a few mates, most of them were in bands or could play an instrument. We had a recording studio set up in the damp cold cellar and I would spend most my time in there getting wasted and playing keyboards. There always seemed to be a band in the house, people asleep on the floor, beer cans all over the place... It was such a mess that house, but I had some great times there. I met two people around that time that had the biggest impact on my Music taste, a boy called Joe and a girl called Jo. I met girl Jo at a gig at Jabez Clegg in Manchester. I had a Walkman on me and played her some of my songs. We became good friends, I would go see her at a coffee shop called Misty's where she worked and she would cook me omelette and chips to try fatten me up... I was 6ft 2, but only 9 stone, and I think she thought I needed looking after. She would make these amazing tapes for me to listen to and turn up at my house at ridiculous times in the night whispering Phinxy, Phinxy, let me in! at my window... She got me into Super Furry Animals, The Velvet Underground, Nick Cave and a brilliant band called Maupa. Joe boy played me Spiritualized for the first time and they just blew my head off... It was late one night and he been to a dance club. I will never forget that night, I just couldn't believe I hadn't heard this band before. Jason Pierce is a genius and an inspiration... I can relate to the songs he writes. Go watch them live, they are the best live band out there.

7. Kurt Vile | Baby's Arms 
I read somewhere that Kurt worked as a fork lift truck driver and that his work colleagues used to tease him and had no idea that he had already written about 8 albums and was just waiting to sign to a label. I imagine it was a difficult to get a hard hat on that big hair... I have seen him play lots of times. Once I went to Brighton, booked a hotel and went to watch his gig on my own. I met him and his sax/guitar player Jessie and gave them a copy of my album. Then I travelled to Belgium with my friend Matthew to another gig... We drank lots of gin on the plane and lots more gin when we arrived, I had my pocket picked that night and lost my phone. I nearly got into a fight and I was dancing in a shop on the way back to the hotel... I was so drunk. The next day Matt forced me to get up and go for breakfast, I had to watch him eat these tomato meatballs and chips... I kept running to the toilet to be sick, it was a dreadful day but the gig was brilliant. For the rest of the holiday we sat in a park listening to Kurt's new album Wakin On A Pretty Daze. I am a huge fan of his songwriting style, he uses lots of altered tunings and finger picking and his lyrics are great. Kurt used to be in a band called The War On Drugs who are also brilliant.

8. Josey Marina | Beyond The Black
I met Josey when we played a gig together at FAC 251 in Manchester. It's a great little venue, it is owned by the people connected to the old Haçienda club and the famous Factory Records label. After our soundcheck that night, we went over the road to a pub to meet our friends... We didn't plan on catching the first act, but we got back over to the venue just in time to see Josey play her Acoustic set. We all just stood there and said Wow!!... Josey is by far the most talented song writer I have ever met and I can't believe she is only 18 years old. She has supported us at nearly every gig that we have played since and we have become good friends... Her song A Frozen Heart On Fire on YouTube is absolutely heart breaking and beautiful. If you haven't already, you should buy her EP from Bandcamp, even if it's just to hear the lyrics to Beyond The Black. She is a star.

9. Justin Sullivan | Ghost Train
An album about the Ocean, the Stars, road trips and ghost trains. I love New Model Army, they are the band I have seen the most, but I prefer Justin's solo work. They sell out gigs all over the World and I don't know many other bands who have a following so passionate. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you get to see Justin play Acoustic gigs in pubs and tiny Music venues in tiny towns. Apart from NMA fans, obviously, I don't know anyone who has ever heard this album. It's up there with anything by anyone, ever. I went to watch Rae Morris in a church a while ago and before the gig they played Justin's album... I couldn't believe my ears... I ran to the sound man and asked him who had put the album on and he said it was the artist's iPod... So I know that Rae Morris is a fan. I urge everybody to listen to this album... It would be on my desert island.

10. Ludovico Einaudi | Waterways
This tune is difficult to listen to now because I broke up with the love of my life and it reminds me of her. She introduced me to Ludovico's Music. We went on holiday to Venice and bought a ticket to go watch him play, it was an open air concert. I felt a little out of place because everyone had smart clothes on and I had a Richard Ashcroft T-Shirt on. I bought a vodka cranberry juice for my girlfriend and it costs me 20 euros... She laughed. It was an incredible gig in the most beautiful setting. We sat high up at the back, under the trees, under the stars, watching the boats go by. I will never forget that gig and I will never forget that time... It was perfect and I was happier than I have ever been. Times change and people change, you can get your heart ripped out, but nobody can steal your memories. Music saved my life so many times and I know that I can relive all the best moments through these songs and the songs I write. Peace and Love.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1423 | by Konstantinos Soublis [Fluxion/Recast/Silex/Unsquare Mode]

1. Brian Eno - David Byrne | Regiment
I was studying Art in 1992 and my tutor was playing all sorts of rare, bizzare but interesting Music, while we were in class. I remember listening to this by Eno & Byrne. It is great discovering possibilities. A jam feel, East & West, live recordings, electronics, everything in there. It hit me like Electricity. I think they were both at their peak of Exploration.

2. Brian Eno With Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno | Under Stars
When I first listened to Apollo I felt being surrounded by Music and Sound. So detached but so warm at same time. It was my introduction to Ambient Music.

3. Aphex Twin | Untitled (Track 19 on UK vinyl and cassette versions only of Selected Ambient Works Volume II, sometimes referred as Stone In Focus)
I think it was 1993 and I was studying Music Technology in the UK and discovered Richard D. James releases... Surfing On Sine Waves, On, Selected Ambient Works 85-92, but it was Stone In Focus on SAW2 that was one of the most captivating pieces of Music from Aphex, that did it for me. You felt Calmness, Unease, Fear of Emptiness and the Unknown, all at the same time. Those releases were coming one after the other, at a period that the scene was dominated with Sample-based Music, with his weird sounding productions, Programming, playing a lot with Field Recordings, and Voice Manipulation. It was great times being in the UK.

4. Autechre | Nine
It was the same time and Amber came out. Full of inventive use of Programming, but also melodic-score-like elements. It was Nine that stood out for those reasons for me.

5. Basic Channel | Quadrant Dub I
I think it was 1993-1994. I was still in the UK at a friend's house, and while playing records, he played Phylyps Trak (I think that was the one) by Basic Channel and then mixed it with another one by them, or an early Chain Reaction release by Porter Ricks, Nautical Zone I think, and all of a sudden I felt overwhelmed. It was like so refreshing. Music, stretching the perception and ideas that can be incorporated into Modern Electronic Music. Most of those compositions avoided using any of their periods trends, that's why they lasted, they aged gracefully, and inspire.

6. Philip Glass | Metamorphosis One
I actually see all the parts as a whole, but having to select one, from this album, it must be Part One. Great cyclic movement with subtle changes.That was the element that drew me to get to know his work. A lite motif developed in an album lenght. I remember, around the time I was making the Vibrant Forms 1&2 sessions in 1996-1997, I was listening to Philip Glass and Wim Mertens.

7. Philip Glass | Music With Changing Parts
Music With Changing Parts was a long piece, not for every moment, that made you forget after a while the particular instruments being played... Once sucked in, you are listening to the composition as to one rich sound, an evolving/moving motif.

8. Vim Mertens | The Aural Trick (The Belly Of An Architect Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
I liked the movie, but the Music was great. The whole OST is great, but this piece felt like a force of Nature, full of Emotion, furious in a sequenced way, despite the fact that he used real instruments.

9. Arvo Pärt | Tabula Rasa: Silentium (Performed by Richard Studt & Tasmin Little with Bournemouth Sinfonietta)
One of the great composers of our time. Solitude, Tranquility, looking inwards but feeling in connection to everything at the same time.

10. Steve Reich | Music For 18 Musicians
It made me think about Coloration of Tones and Sound with not much going on. To hide things a bit, to have things revealed to an extend that may or may not be audible, and how this creates more of an adventurous listening experience. I like Music with repetitive structures, cycles, with subtle changes, I am still in that cloud, in a way. So listening to things that ignite and fuel ideas of how to shape up your environment is a special moment.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1422 | by Evelyn Malinowski (Experimental Housewife), Soren Brothers (The White Funz) and David Dunnett of Man meets Bear

Photo by William Kudahl Sorensen

SIDE A | by Soren Brothers

1. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci | Only The Sea Makes Sense
Euros Childs has been one of my favourite musicians and songwriters for years, and it’s almost impossible to choose a favourite song of his. I love all of Gorky’s albums, and also Euros’ solo albums since then, but this is one song that I feel captures him maybe at his best - a deceptively simple song with melodies that can call up anything from old Country to Medieval times, and lyrics which are perfect in their own distilled way, whether sung in English or (as is the case in many of his other songs) Welsh.

2. Do Make Say Think | The Apartment Song
I first began listening to Do Make Say Think around 2001, when I bought this album, Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead. It sat around for a while, not really catching my attention, until it struck me on one of the listens that it was one of the most accomplished, perfect albums I’d ever heard. I dove in deep, and this song was always for me one of the cruxes of the album. The phrasing of the song, the build-ups and anti-climactic pauses make it one of the most visceral and pointed expressions of Loneliness, expectations, and let downs that I’d ever heard.

3. Sparklehorse | Comfort Me
For years, Sparklehorse’s album It’s A Wonderful Life has been my go-to album for times of stress - beginning when I was a University student in Vancouver. This was the album that I would put on directly before writing any tests, sitting and waiting outside of an examination hall. Though I could’ve picked almost any song off of this album for this list, the title alone of this one suits the sentiment well enough.

4. Vincent Gallo | When
This entire album has a special place in my heart, as I bought it in a basement in Oban, Scotland, when I was working for a summer on the nearby Isle Of Iona in the Hebrides, in 2003. I first listened to this album on the ferry leaving Oban, and there was so much sadness and loss in the songs that I felt like crying every time I heard it throughout that summer. That was the same time and place that I ended up recording my first real Man meets Bear album, In The Starry Sky (which has since more or less disappeared and returned to the waves).

5. Hayden | Dynamite Walls
Every time I listen to Dynamite Walls, I’m transported to Ontario, picturing myself driving North out of Toronto on Highway 410, in the winter, towards Georgian Bay. I don’t know where Hayden wrote this song, or what he had in mind, but, to me, this song will always be describing the granite walls which were blasted to make way for that highway, with Ontario spruce and white pines overhead, the cold feeling of the back-seat window against my cheek, snow barely visible through the fogged glass as we speed northwards.

6. Neil Young | Ambulance Blues
It took me a long time to get into Neil Young, and many pushes from many friends. What finally opened me up to him was this song, Ambulance Blues. Someone had given me his album On The Beach, and I was listening to it while walking around in downtown Montreal, on a warm day, probably in 2008. I remember this track came on, and his slow repetition of being alone at the microphone drew me back to an older favourite album of mine, Alone At The Microphone by Royal City, a band from Guelph. Suddenly, as if a switch had been flipped, I could understand all of Neil Young’s Music - I could see that I’d always been inspired by Neil Young, indirectly through other musicians, and the Magic of his songs has stayed with me ever since.

7. Mount Eerie | No Flashlight
The Microphones/Mount Eerie/Phil Elverum has for years been one of the most inspiring musicians in my life. Phil’s Music somehow walks the fine line of capturing a spirit of Nature, approaching impossibly beautiful and deep Universal truths, while shying away from a heavy pretension. To me, he always comes across as a regular person who is simply awed by the World, and is doing his best to describe the profound Nature of the Universe, and his home in particular (Anacortes, Washington)… In this song he describes climbing a local mountain at night with no flashlight. The only reason I can say ‘no flashlight’ is because once I forgot it.

8. Polmo Polpo | Requiem For A Fox
I first listened to this album walking down Bloor Street in downtown Toronto on the morning after a blizzard in late December, maybe 2001 or 2002. I remember the difficulty of walking through the high snow in my winter boots. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I was completely warm in all my layers - I just felt like exploring the city with its new blanket of snow. This was playing on my headphones, and the swirling rhythms that Sandro Perri created somehow fed back to the rhythm of my trudging through the snow, and for a moment I remember having an overwhelming sense that the Universe, my walk, the blue sky, the thick snow, the cold air, and this song, were all one and the same.

9. LIVINGSTON | Springtime
Henry Adam Svec is a folklorist, musician, and teacher from Southwestern Ontario, a strange peninsula with a history of cultures laid thickly over one another to the point that the concept of local has become all but lost. Just as Jorge Luis Borges created his own romantic folklores and mythologies from scratch, so has Svec sculpted his own Canadian and Ontarian mythologies, most recently through LIVINGSTON, a computer which is programmed to write classic Canadian Folk songs, which Svec brings to Life by involving local musicians. I first heard Springtime while walking around Guelph, Ontario, in the depths of the winter vortex, around January or February of 2014, and everything about the song captures the essence of Southwest Ontario, and its hollowed face which eludes definition.

10. The Dinner Is Ruined Band | Bought Yerself A Bullet
The reputation of Toronto within Canada is generally one of a business city, overrun by black suits and ties, and empty, clean streets. For me, Toronto has been, and will maybe always be, something of a caged animal… Despite its outdated puritanical laws, the city meshes with the surrounding countryside in a way I’ve rarely seen in any other urban environments - growing up downtown, it was rare to pass a summer night walking through back streets without running into a raccoon or skunk, and I’ve always felt like this energy somehow extended to the people who live in the city, which sometimes to me feels like a village of five million people in a swampy forest, intersected with hidden ravines and back alleys. No Toronto group, in my opinion, has reflected and captured this sentiment as much as Dale Morningstar’s The Dinner Is Ruined Band, and this song off their album A Maggot In Their Heads ‎ is a great example of the confused, disjointed, unleashed culture of Toronto which hides in the bushes, islands, and industrial yards, just below the surface.

SIDE B | by David Dunnett

1. Fela Ransome-Kuti and The Africa '70 with Ginger Baker | Let's Start  
Live! I can never get bored of this album. Geniuses at work. Beautiful, beautiful stuff.

2. Tortoise | Eden 2
Standards. Underappreciated Tortoise album. Tortoise didn't do much for me when I first heard them in the TnT era, but after seeing them live in Toronto on the Standards tour I heard the band completely differently and have had Standards on regular rotation ever since.

3. Fleetwood Mac | Go Your Own Way
Rumours. I got my beat-up copy of this record (along with a shit-ton of Hall & Oates and a copy of Paul McCartney - McCartney II) from a box on the curb in front of a neighbour's house in 2003. It surprised me how much this album took me in once I put it on. I don't care how Mainstream or overplayed these guys were back in the day, this album is a goddamn classic. The production is glorious, the songwriting is spot on, and the performances are absolutely captivating.

4. His Hero Is Gone | Like Weeds
Memphis Crust Punk. This shit is just so powerful. Majestic and awe-inspiring. Weird song-structures, jarring changes that totally work, and a convincing, massive sound. The whole thing just feels like a huge ship barreling through violent sea storms in the night.

5. Shotmaker | Failure
Ontario legends at their prime. The slithering, clacking, bending bass and that iconic pseudo 3/4 drum beat, with the driving guitar and that ridiculous but somehow fitting caterwaul. So mechanical but so moving.

6. Holy Other | Know Where
Very nice open, empty, Electronic stuff.

7. Jim Croce | You Don't Mess Around With Jim
A true classic. Skateboarders of a certain vintage will recognize this as Rodney Mullen's main track in the Plan B - Virtual Reality video. Love it to death.

8. Eiyn Sof | Weight Of The World
I bought this record from Rick White's Blue Fog Recordings label on a whim while visiting Toronto a few years ago and it's been in regular rotation ever since. A pleasing and exploratory mix of a record, it continues to grow on me with each listen.

9. Godspeed You Black Emperor! | Storm: 1. Lift Yr. Skinny Fists, Like Antennas To Heaven...
Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven... I just have to list the whole album here. I mean sure, I guess the different songs have names, but I have always just listened to this album the whole way through and treated it as a single work. This was always a good album for long-haul drives. It's special to me though, because I saw them touring this album in Toronto at the Bloor Cinema, and at the time it was hands down the best show I had ever seen, and it still ranks way up there for me today. It's a show I very nearly missed though. Because when I showed up to the venue I opened my wallet to get the ticket out and found that it had somehow vanished within the last couple of hours. The show had long-since sold out with no sales at the door and I was afraid of missing what promised to be a totally amazing show in an equally amazing venue. So I hurriedly retraced my steps under full panic. With luck, and to my great relief, I found the ticket lying in the gutter by a streetcar stop back in Chinatown. I ran back to the show and managed to get there just in time to see the show start. And it was glorious.

10. Betty Harris | There's A Break In The Road
I was introduced to Betty Harris by the Saturday Night Fish Fry compilation of New Orleans Funk and Soul, an album which is chock full of gems. And Betty Harris, as I later found out, has produced loads of great material outside of what's featured on that compilation. But this track in particular stands out for me. It's filled with piercing guitar feedback and these drum patterns during the chorus that sound like a never-ending break falling over itself again and again.

SIDE C | by Evelyn Malinowski

1. Bark Psychosis | Rose
///Codename: Dustsucker. Walking around the 13th district of Vienna, I fell in hard, Macrocosmic Love with this album, and realized that it was going to be my favorite album of all time, for the rest of my life, whether I like it or not. The production, mood, song titles and flow, lyrics, German lyrics vertraue mir in the last song Rose: it still feels like this album is meant for me personally. The only thing that could top this would be a new BP album, and I know I'm not the only fan eagerly awaiting such an occasion.

2. Mahogany | Light Will Deserve A Place
Memory Column: Early Works And Rarities 1996-2004. I love Mahogany. They are a relatively unknown, sweet mixture of Belle & Sebastian + Stereolab, with a Shoegaze finish. Given my predisposition to Techno and Electronic Music, I like that Mahogany's songs all sort of sound the same. This album is the best collection of their work, and it fits driving through Montana (where I live), contemplating the concept of home/belonging, and feeling the pull from the direction North.

3. Cocteau Twins | The Spangle Maker
It is very difficult to narrow down on the Cocteau Twins, but this track never fails to take my breath away. It is heavy, ominous, beautiful, and structurally outlandish; it is a four minute piece that continues to inform my musical tastes as well as sustain my intellectual aspirations; it wails on about inclination towards intense romance while complements my deep longing for True Love. It is a reflection of a personal or tangible indecisive storm which I want to listen to over and over again. Loudly. Simply put, I'm positive it is the greatest Love song of all time.

4. Aix Em Klemm | Sophteonal
I don't remember the particular circumstances, but I remember turning up Aix Em Klemm while in my car, probably stoned, 17 years old. I fell into complete awe of the surprising beauty and expansive geography of my home state under the influence of this album's strange poetic drone. It fit those pink clouds and miles and miles of power lines so well. I then journeyed onward into the sounds of Windy & Carl, Gastr Del Sol, and Do Make Say Think, into Post Rock, which led me back to Electronica, but transformed, ready for Minimal Techno and beyond.

5. Sting | If I Ever Lose My Faith In You
Ten Summoner's Tales. We all have our guilty pleasures. This Sting album stands in place for similar nerdy, New Age tastes, such as Enya, Dead Can Dance, Steve Roach, David Sylvian (recommended by my bandmate Soren), Roxy Music, etc. I choose this one, though, because I have strong memories associated with it. I liked it as a child when it was first released, and I remember driving around the suburbs of Houston listening to it from the car cassette player with my mother at the steering wheel. Ten years later, during the summer of 2005, this album returned to focus, and it came to represent intellectual, nostalgic, and mystical tenets coming together for me. Something about its anglophylia, romantic melodies, and eruditely lyrics fit my interests and aims at the time, which were familiarizing myself with the English canon and pursuing Medieval studies. I went to the UK for the first time that summer, which was my first time abroad ever. I was very attuned to my surroundings, enjoyed contemplating the staying power of pre-Christian mythology, and searched for it in Medieval texts. The reference to Chaucer here is also fitting.

After much deliberation, I've decided that I love all the M.I.A. albums equally, and claiming this one as my favorite demonstrates that decision. I get excited just playing around with the idea of playing the album to channel its hari kari for writing about it.

7. HTRK | Give It Up
Psychic 9-5 Club. This album came out in April 2014 on a label that I used to consider my favorite label. I find their new catalogue impotent, uninteresting, and pretentious. Not this HTRK album, though. I got it last summer because I heard and enjoyed the opening track enough that I felt like I should try the whole thing out, especially because I always moderately loved HTRK. Listening to it again and again in mellow moods during these hot afternoons, not seeking anything in particular out of the Music, I came to realize that I love this work, and that it really speaks to me. This is one of my top five favorite albums of 2014, I think.

8. Dettinger | Untitled (Track 3 on Intershop)
As stated earlier, one of my favorite themes of Techno and Electronic Music is Repetition. This artist is one of the best examples which suits the Repetitive Techno subcategory. Intershop, however, is a collection set apart from his other work. Dettinger is a somewhat mysterious producer who hasn't released any material since 2000. His tracks seem to usually exist out of only a handful of samples, some of which are from Cocteau Twins. Intershop is a concise collection of these beautiful and simplistic tracks that have no beginning nor end, just fading in and out. They are spacious, gentle, and always recognizable, as if pieces of the archetypal continuum. Furthermore, they sound like snow falling on Berlin.

9. Paula Temple | Colonized
Paula Temple is one of my heroes, and this song is rank with superior sick crunchy bombastic fuck yeah plus political attitude. Just play it, turn it up, and you'll hear what I mean, and understand why I can't articulate more than profanities in describing it. Communication. Break. Down.

10. Bvdub | A Quiet Doorway Opens
Tribes At The Temple Of Silence. Prolific, relentless production of relentlessly repetitive, big Electronic sounds + terribly cheesy titles = one of my favorites forever. This album is so beautiful, and I like the percussion.

+11. Sasha | Xpander
One of my themes for Life, Time Travel, and the medicinal uses of archetypes; still to date the most beautiful, epic Dance Music song - I don't care if it's Trance.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1421 | by Andrew Phillips (Mike Rosenberg Band, Passenger) of Grasscut

1. Maurice Ravel | String Quartet In F Major (Performed by Budapest String Quartet)
A muscular machine of a piece, with the best string riff you'll ever hear at the opening. It's so restless and so inventive.

2. Kathleen Ferrier | I Know Where I'm Going (Traditional Scottish or Irish Ballad Cover)
A traditional ballad recorded in 1949, AND the title track of Powell & Pressburger's brilliant film. There's something so pure and fragile about her voice despite its technical strength. And I love Phyllis Tuckwell's piano accompaniment. I sampled Kathleen for the Grasscut track We Fold Ourselves.

3. Charles Mingus | Mood Indigo (Duke Ellington And His Orchestra Cover)
This is one of the best titled pieces of Music I know. In Mingus' version of the Duke Ellington classic you sink into the colour with every harmony and blend of the horns. There's so much discipline to this Music - it doesn't, like so much Jazz, just rely on the individual brilliance of the musicians, but ebbs and flows with a massive collective strength.

4. Gavin Bryars | Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet 
This 25 minute piece based on a tape loop recording of a tramp singing dares you to look away. It emerges slowly from Silence, and then wrings every ounce of Emotion out of it. Stick with it, it just keeps giving you more and more.

5. Brian Eno | The Big Ship 
From one of my favourite albums Another Green World, this fragment of an Electronic Waltz is so brief and yet condenses so much feeling. I love the CR78 drum machine, accordion-esque synths, and Robert Fripp's distant driven guitar.

6. Joy Division | Atmosphere (12" Vinyl Version)
Every sound is perfect, and makes so much more sense when you listen on vinyl. (Though I'm no vinyl snob. It just does sound better). Martin Hannett was a genius.

7. Robert Wyatt | At Last I Am Free (Chic Cover)
From his 1982 Rough Trade album Nothing Can Stop Us, this is such an elegant cover of the Chic original. Like all really great singers, Robert makes the song his own. I absolutely love the drum machine, ride cymbal, vocal, piano and toy organ combo. Magic. I tried to pay homage to this sound on our recent single Catholic Architecture, a cover of a Wyatt original.

8. Arvo Pärt | Fratres (Played by Gil Shaham & Roger Carlsson with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Conductor: Neeme Järvi)
This is some of the best writing for violin I know. Pärt makes Music you want to have with you when big things happen. Beautifully austere and timeless.

9. Luke Abbott | Meeting Hill
This feels like son of The Big Ship to me. A wonderfully elusive, tactile piece of Electronica, I can never quite get my head around the rhythm, which I love.

10. Nils Frahm | Keep
I love the sound of this man's records. It's as much about Timbre as it is about Notes: he's as much a percussionist as a pianist. Brilliant.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1420 | by Scott Morgan [Loscil] of Thee Crusaders and Destroyer

1. The Velvet Underground | Heroin
Similar to The Clash, The Velvet Underground just kind of opened my mind when I first heard them as a teenager. What is this sound? John Cale’s viola was equal parts shrill and beautiful. A strange kind of itching, nagging but intoxicating sound. The Minimal combination of instruments and Lou Reed’s voice were just magic to my ears. It was unlike anything I had heard at the time and I couldn’t stop listening to it. The tension and angst, dynamics, drone and noise. I still turn to it now and then after all these years. Beyond seminal.

2. Sonic Youth | Candle
Sonic Youth in my young adult years really introduced me to this idea that Art Rock could be so much cooler than it sounds. The guitar could be something different - still catchy and accessible - but pushing the sound towards something arty and different. Daydream Nation really stands the test of Time unlike so much Music from the ‘80s.

3. My Bloody Valentine | Only Shallow
I could pick any song from Loveless as that record really changed everything for me. This idea that the guitar could provide this amazingly dense wash of Sound was so incredible to my ears. Like many others, I worshiped MBV and when I saw them live in Vancouver in the 90’s it was at the peak of this Love affair with their Music. It was likely the best live show I’ve ever been to in my life.

4. György Ligeti | Atmosphères (Performed by Vienna Philharmonic; Conductor: Claudio Abbado)
Although I probably would have unknowingly first heard this in 2001: A Space Odyssey, it wasn’t until going to University that I was officially exposed to this as a piece of Modern Music. In my opinion, this is one of the best pieces of Music written in the 20th Century. It truly epitomizes Texture and Density as Musical Forms and uses the orchestra in this truly interesting and deep way. All the while it is incredibly listenable, engaging and beautiful.

5. Brian Eno | 1/1 (From Ambient 1 (Music For Airports))
Eno. What else can you say really. Eno bridged that gap that had formed for me early in my adult life between Intellectual, Serious Music and Pop Culture. He found a way to have a foot in both worlds and make it sensible. I remember feeling so lost in either camp for a time. I had some Academic Music instructors who fully rejected the Pop world out of some kind of fear of illegitimacy and friends from the Indie Rock world who rejected the Avant-Garde for being too elitist or snobby. Eno was one of the first that bridged those worlds in a perfect way for me. Music For Airports might seem like an obvious influence for someone who makes a lot of Ambient Music, but it cannot go without mention for me. I spent many hours daydreaming to that record.

6. Steve Reich | Come Out
This piece just bent my mind when I first heard it. I mean, things happen in your head when you listen to this and many of Reich’s works. These kind of aural hallucinations. The Acoustic pieces like Piano Phase are like this too… Strange things happen when you submit to listening super intensely to those works. Come Out was one of the first pieces I ever remember listening to that blended Sound with Music in this interesting, thoughtful and political way. It definitely opened my mind to Sound as Music and the power of a simple idea.

7. Augustus Pablo | 555 Dub Street
I probably first heard Dub via The Clash in my teenage years, but have turned to King Tubby's Meets Rockers Uptown over and over through the years as a kind of palette cleanser. There is something magical about the sound of those records from the 70’s and 80’s and I think all the bass in my own Music is a pale imitation of that sound. So deep and rich and full.

8. Aphex Twin | Untitled (Track 3 on CD 1 of Selected Ambient Works Volume II, sometimes referred as Rhubarb)
Although I liked a lot of Aphex Twin in general, Selected Ambient Works Volume II  really was the record of his I listened to the most. In fact, it could be argued it is the reason I started making Electronic Music as Loscil. There is something so insanely incredible about that record, it’s Simplicity, Texture, blending of subtle melody and rhythm with this kind of ambiguous Darkness.

9. Arvo Pärt | Für Alina (Performed by Alexander Malter)
This is probably the single most beautiful piece of Music ever written. I mean that. I don’t think Music can get much more beautiful than this. It’s so fragile, exposed, delicate and haunting. I don’t think Music this simple is easy to write or play either. I dare anyone to try to be this Minimal and record it and have it turn out as perfect as this piece. Listening to Pärt for the first time was akin to seeing my first sunrise.

10. Ornette Coleman | Lonely Woman
It might seem odd, but I listened to a lot of free Jazz for a period of my life and there’s none greater in my mind than Ornette Coleman. I think it was via John Zorn’s Music that I was exposed to Ornette Coleman. The Shape Of Jazz To Come and Tomorrow Is The Question! are just insanely embedded in my Musical Consciousness. I grew up playing tenor and baritone sax too, so there is a deep down affinity for the instrument. His film score collaboration with Howard Shore for Naked Lunch was really amazing too. Genius. He might seem to sit outside the scope of my influence, but it’s in there somewhere.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1419 | by Duncan Meadows, Jamie Crossley and Richard Talbot of Marconi Union

SIDE A | by Duncan Meadows

1. Arvo Pärt | Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten (Performed by Staatsorchester Stuttgart; Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies)
This one piece of Music provided me with a wealth of Inspiration and Emotion. Pärt creates an atmosphere and allows it to breathe. The Musical elements almost become incidental. The piece taught me a lot about how using a Minimalist approach can allow Music to sound as it is has a life of its own. The emotion of Cantus In Memoriam is never completely overwhelms me, but I do sometimes find it difficult to listen to without thinking of people I have known and people I will miss.

2. Mogwai | Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home
I first heard Mogwai through a live broadcast of one their gigs on BBC Radio 1. The noise and the scale of their Music was something I hadn’t experienced before. I went out the next day and bought their debut album Young Team. The first track on the album contains all the elements about Mogwai that made me love their Music: the dynamics, the emotion, the noise. I remember it was a great summer that year, and I recall walking to get the bus to College and feeling totally elated by this song and looking forward to seeing my friends.

3. Nirvana | Smells Like Teen Spirit
I first heard this song at a youth club shortly after its release. I can remember the reaction of everyone in the room as Dave Grohl’s drum fill smashed in and the wave of new emotion I felt surge through me as we began leaping around the room. Nirvana became my number one band. I would drum along to Nevermind using pens and ice creams tubs as a drum kit. Later I would attempt to sing songs from the album in my first band. I wasn’t very good.

4. Edward Elgar | Enigma Variations (Performed by BBC Symphony Orchestra; Conductor: Leonard Bernstein)
This reminds me of my first trip to Berlin. I went to watch a youth orchestra perform the Enigma Variations and afterwards as I walked through a U-Bahn station I began whistling one of the phrases from it. When I stopped I heard someone else whistle the next phrase. Good times. I wonder if there is any other city where that would happen.

5. Lateef The Truthspeaker | The Wreckoning
I haven't heard any Rap that moves other than this one. I'm not usually moved by a musician's performance, but there is something about his voice on this which really gets me, I can hear how much it means to him.

6. Roxy Music | Love Is The Drug
A couple of years ago Marconi Union played at the Punkt Arts Festival in Norway. During the farewell party the DJ played Love Is The Drug which led to unprecedented scenes of dancing and merriment amongst us. The few days we spent in Kristiansand is one of my fondest MU memories and hearing this song always takes me back there and reminds me of the great people we met.

7. Fluxion | Bipolar Defect
This track was played to me during a car journey at night. Everything about it drew me in. The rhythm and sounds were the perfect accompaniment to the sights and sounds of the motorway – the blurring lights, the rumble of the tyres. The gradual shift in the syncopation is almost unnoticeable, until the track begins to end and you realise what has happened. Listening to Music has always provided me with a way of escape, however musicians like Fluxion taught me that Music can provide a soundtrack which immerses you in your surroundings rather than taking you away from them. Sometimes when I’m travelling without listening to any Music I will use the sounds of the environment to make a sort of Music in my head. A bit weird maybe.

8. Radiohead | How To Disappear Completely
Kid A is my favourite Radiohead album. It became an obsession for me, or maybe a habit. I listened to it everyday for months. I remember reading something about Thom Yorke saying that Kid A was partly to do with dealing with Mortality. At the time I didn't really get it, I was at a stage of Life when you think you'll live forever. But I wasn't enjoying certain aspects of my life and the idea of disappearing sometimes felt like a good idea. When I listen to the song now it makes me think more about detachment, the experience of being somewhere but not really feeling like you are there. That feeling is something I struggled with for many years, without realising it.

9. David Bowie | Station To Station
I didn't listen to much Bowie until my mid-twenties and maybe because of that a lot of Music by him reminds of me of good friends who I have known for years. Station To Station fills me with a chaotic joy, which describes the parties and nights we had listening to Music and drinking. I have a hedonistic urge which I mostly keep in check, but when I play this song I immediately want to start drinking.

10. Samuel Barber | Adagio For Strings (Performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; Conductor: Leonard Bernstein)
I was in my mid teens when I first heard this piece of Music and it completely shattered me. I remember sitting in the living room of my parents' living room and playing it on my dads Hi-Fi. It was a Sunday afternoon – the saddest time of the week for me back then. It took me years until I could bear to listen to it again which was unusual because I loved melancholic Music, and still do. Melacholic Music usually has quite a positive effect on me and I get a cathartic feeling from it.

SIDE B | by Jamie Crossley

1. Buzzcocks | Breakdown
Spiral Scratch EP... I used to watch a local band rehearsing every Sunday and songs from this EP were part of their repertoire, it was also played all the time in the local youth club. It was originally released by the Buzzcocks on their own label (New Hormones) and I think they only pressed 500 copies which were no longer available, so it was a very rare record and as much as I loved the songs I never actually owned a copy. I remember going to a record shop in Manchester on Saturday afternoons and they used to have a copy on display for £15 which might as well have been £150 to me, I could never afford it. I would just stare at the band photograph on the cover and think they were the real deal, very cool. Spiral Scratch eventually got re-released at a price that I could afford and it then became part of my Buzzcocks collection.

2. Marvin Gaye | Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
I used to spend a lot of time at my friend's house, he has a massive record collection. Every week he used to play me an album that I’d never heard, it was like a little ritual we did, we would have a smoke and then he would select a record for me and we would sit down and listen. One night he chose Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On. I’d never heard Music like this before, I was confused and yet totally immersed in it all at the same time, by the time it got to Inner City Blues I knew that I was going to be listening to this album again.

3. Joy Division | I Remember Nothing
They were the first real band I ever watched live, they were supporting the Buzzcocks in Manchester, 1979, and my sister took me and my friend to our first concert, we were incredibly excited. The look and sound of this band had a profound affect on me and the memory of this concert is still extremely vivid. They finished the concert with this song and then left the stage, the keyboard they used was still making this droning sound, it was a great way to leave the stage, very mysterious. I got the album Unknown Pleasures soon after the gig, I could have picked any track off it really, they're all so unique in style and sound so different.

4. Doves | Catch The Sun
I remember watching the Doves (before they were famous) in Manchester at a 3 day free festival called Castlefield, they were playing on Sunday the last night. It was a typical cold, wet and grey Manchester evening and there wasn’t really much of an audience. The band came on and started to play and it was a bit chaotic, they were having technical issues and there were lots of messing about in between tracks, however, they carried on playing and slowly but surely the few people that were there started moving closer to the stage. After 3 or 4 songs it was a brilliant atmosphere and the few of us that were there were having a great time and then they played Catch The Sun. It seemed so funny considering the weather, but no one was bothered, this song just had everybody jumping. It really did feel like you were catching a moment that you wouldn’t forget, it wasn’t long after this gig that the Doves became Pop stars.

5. The Smiths | How Soon Is Now?
I’ll never forget the night I was at a girlfriend's house and she had the John Peel radio show on. I never really listened to the radio much (that night was no exception), but then I heard the tremolo guitar intro to How Soon Is Now. It immediately caught my attention and I was hypnotised by what was to follow, I was so excited by this track I didn’t want it to end, John Peel then announced that it was The Smiths new single.
6. Sex Pistols | Pretty Vacant
This was the first song I ever remember hearing by the Pistols, the opening guitar riff is an absolute killer, Steve Jones really was a fantastic guitarist. I also used to love playing the B-side No Fun, at the time I didn't even know it was a Stooges cover. The Sex Pistols were probably the first band that really got me into Music, their albums sounds just as relevant now as it did back then.

7. Magazine | The Light Pours Out Of Me
A classic atmospheric song from Magazine. Everything about this track is right, I love the pounding of the bass and drums and then the mysterious Minimal guitar riff from John McGeoch (one of my favourite guitarists), great atmospheric keyboards and then finally the icing on the cake - Howard Deveto’s voice. I never really know what his lyrics are about, but they always sound so good, the title itself is just so intriguing.

8. Public Image Ltd | Public Image
This record sounds so good even now, the newspaper sleeve was just fantastic and they had a great video which captured the atmosphere of the song. I couldn't wait to buy the album, however when it was released and I heard it for the first time I was confused, I didn't really understand what this Music was about and yet there was enough about it to keep me interested. Eventually after a few months I grew to love this album and the subsequent Metal Box album.

9. Wire | Map Ref. 41ºN 93ºW
I was given the album 154 by my sister in 1980 and, a little bit like the PIL album, I didn't get it straight away, however this track always worked, I loved everything about it. I used to play the album and listen to the other tracks and I'd find other songs like 40 Versions starting to have the same affect on me, eventually it all just clicked. I find albums that appear to be challenging on first listen are the ones that stay with you forever.

10. Radiohead | Exit Music (For A Film)
I was working in a studio around this time and the producer that I was working with brought the OK Computer album in on the day it was released. We made ourselves a coffee and then sat down to listen to it before anybody else arrived, it was a great experience just the two of us listening to it through some big studio speakers. When the album got to this particular song I felt a bit overwhelmed with sadness, however, I do like Music that evokes those kinds of feelings.

SIDE C | by Richard Talbot

1. Brian Eno | Lantern Marsh
Sometimes you find the Music that affects you and sometimes it seems to find you. I still remember hearing Brian Eno’s Ambient 4 (On Land) (the album that features Lantern Marsh) for the first time and the incredible impact it had on me. Up until then I’d messed around with Music, it had been in a very disorganised fashion. I’d never learnt to play anything, I had an electric guitar which I’d bought for £15 and I’d experiment with plugging it into my Hi-Fi (I didn’t have a proper amp). I’d distort it and try to make strange sounds which I’d turn into tape loops on cassettes. Later, I got a two track reel to reel which I’d use to make recordings which I’d chop up to create sound collages. I wasn’t consciously trying to create a serious artistic statement, I just really liked making odd noises. So, when I heard On Land everything came together for me. I immediately understood that I wanted to do what Eno had done exactly, i.e. create sounds, textures and atmospheres that conveyed images. I guess that idea has been the blueprint for everything musical that I’ve tried to do since. I sometimes wonder if I hadn’t heard that record at that moment in my life what I might have ended up doing?

2. John Cale | Close Watch
There isn’t a lot to say about this track except that it never fails to move me… In the privacy of my own bathroom I like to sing along with my favourite songs, but I can never quite manage it with this one as I always get a bit too choked up! There are various versions of it, but the one I really recommend is the version from Music For A New Society, which is sparser and to my ears more emotional.

3. The Beach Boys | This Whole World
I genuinely consider this to be a contender for the perfect Pop song, it has absolutely everything, great tune, brilliant chorus, harmonies, twists and turns. It probably has more ideas in two minutes than most people’s albums. It does everything that Pop Music should do and finishes leaving you breathless.

4. Miles Davis | In a Silent Way/It's About That Time
I often struggle with Jazz, mainly because I intensely dislike instrumental soloing, I really like ensemble playing and the textures you get from different instruments working together. In A Silent Way is great though, because all the players lock into each other and develop the piece at the same time. On top of that there is the strange, slightly unsettling but warm atmosphere. On the down side though, In A Silent Way and it’s follow up Bitches Brew inspired a generation of Jazz musicians to try play Rock Music, ultimately ending up with Jazz Rock and Fusion, which I, almost without exception, abhor. It seems to me that Fusion simply meant that we got the worst aspect of both Rock and Jazz bundled up together to make truly dismal and depressing records.

5. Robert Lippok | Close
This came out on as part of a three track CD on Raster Noton Records sometime around the turn of the century, I’m really not sure why more people haven’t heard it. I think it’s one of the best of all those Clicks ’N’ Cuts tracks from that era. The first track on the Open Close Open EP is a beautiful landscape of loops and crackles that constantly change, it’s absolutely impossible to describe so I would just recommend people to check it out.

6. Loscil | Lucy Dub 
I could pick a number of tracks by Loscil, everything he does is very good. I settled on Lucy Dub because I love the sense of Motion that it has and the depth of the sound. All of MU are big fans of Dub and there is a very strong sense of that Space and dynamics in Loscil’s work. Like most of my favourite tracks, it’s very warm and enveloping. I like Music that you almost feel you can step into and immerse yourself in.

7. David Bowie | Aladdin Sane
I must have been about 10 or 11 years old when I saw David Bowie on Top Of The Pops performing Starman, I still clearly remember his beautiful big blue Acoustic guitar. Although, I hadn’t really developed an interest in Music at that time, something caught my attention and lodged there. However, the greater revelation occurred shortly after that. I was in a high street, newsagents that sold records and the cover of Aladdin Sane was on display. For a geeky kid who didn’t feel they fitted in, that picture signified so much stuff. Firstly, here was something truly exciting that had so far been out of my world of experience. Secondly, that this man had somehow stepped outside of the real and very mundane world of seventies Britain and transformed themselves, into something better, more glamorous, even alien. How could I not be impressed? Just that simple cover seemed to promise a whole world of brilliant possibilities. In retrospect, I can see now that one of the things I most value about Music is “otherness”, a sense of being taken somewhere different and unfamiliar. I have never been attracted to Social Realism in Music, for me it has always been about letting your imagination run free to visit those places and experiences that might not be open to you in regular life. Ironically, despite having some great songs, (Cracked Actor, Lady Grinning Soul, Drive In Saturday) Aladdin Sane is not one of my favourite Bowie albums, for me, it is far overshadowed by the albums he made later, Young Americans, Station To Station, Low, Heroes, but that cover, in some small way, might have changed my life.

8. Jan Bang | Passport Control
Most of the album and songs I’ve listed date back to my youth. I guess that is inevitable, we are most impressionable when we are young, also much of what we hear is new to us. As you get older you hear less and less Music that truly sounds new. ...And Poppies From Kandahar is probably the newest album on my list, one of the things I really like about this album is the sense of there being a narrative. This is helped by the unusual and filmic titles which sound like scene descriptions. A couple of years after this album came out Marconi Union were very fortunate to play at Punkt Festival in Norway, which is an event started by Jan (and the equally talented Erik Honoré, check out his recent excellent Heliographs album). The aim of Punkt is to promote the concept of Live Remixing. Artists will perform in one room while remixers sample them and then proceed to create new Music. Both Poppies and Punkt really opened my mind to the possibilities of Live Sampling and Sound Design, inspiring me at a time when I felt very jaded. So it’s an extremely big thank you to Jan and Erik.

9. Wire | Marooned
As a kid I used to tape John Peel on an old two track reel to reel which could record the whole two hour programme so I could check out everything he played. One night he played Marooned by Wire followed by a live recording of Roxy Music doing Out Of The Blue.

10. Roxy Music | Out Of The Blue
Both of these tracks had a massive impact and I’ve always linked them in my mind ever since. It’s interesting because in many ways they were different musically and they were from opposite sides of the Punk Year Zero divide, but I think there was a sort of open mindedness about of both groups, a willingness to explore ideas and try things out. Marooned was quite a bold track for it’s time and Wire’s decision to embrace synths saw them get a lot of stick from the luddite sectors of the Music Press, but it was also the moment they became a truly great group with their own identity. I still play both these records regularly and they still sound completely fresh.