To celebrate the release of its brand new self-titled LP, Toronto’s Strange & Primitive has compiled a list of songs that helped inspire its own music. Strange And Primitive features intricately wrought pop songs like “Difficulties Be Damned.” Check out the duo’s mix tape below.
For our mixtape we selected six tracks (all from artists that we love) that were more or less vertical compositions. These songs all build, evolve and develop over a repeating groove or riff that’s held for the song’s entirety.
Talking Heads “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)”
Talking Heads’s Remain In Light album really makes great use of the vertical composition. This album and Eno & Byrne’s My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts were really ahead of their time in regards to working with loops and samples. “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)” is the opening track and it’s one of our favourite album openers of all time. Therefore, it only makes sense that it starts off this mix tape list. Video
Talk Talk “Life’s What You Make It”
We absolutely can’t get enough of the piano hook running through this song. It’s definitely an interesting contrast to Talk Talk’s later works. The single stands as a bridge between their early synthetic pop and their later earthy textured improvisational sounding albums (the not to be missed Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock). Video
Kate Bush “King Of The Mountain”
“King Of The Mountain” is built upon ghostly rhythms that are juxtaposed with traditional guitars and drums that arrive later in the song. We really love songs that feel like they have arcs to them, and this is a perfect example, despite being built upon repetition. Video
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “Mercy Seat”
We went with the live version from Live Seeds for “Mercy Seat,” since it’s turned up and accelerated the fierceness and desperation of the original. The live setting gives the recording a more natural space that makes the piece sound much larger than life compared to the studio recording. Video
Wye Oak “Logic Of Color”
“Logic Of Color” is melodically complex in both the underlying bass synth line and the vocal. The track manages to transport you to very emotionally different places all the while still staying true to its form of a vertical composition. The entire album is so well written and produced, so go listen to it. Shriek was our favourite album from 2014. Video
Peter Gabriel “San Jacinto”
Peter Gabriel’s fourth album really showed off what the Fairlight CMI could do creating many samples to create such original sounds. The use of the technology really made the album stand out from a sound design perspective, and it still sounds unlike any album. “San Jacinto” is perhaps the most interesting to us on the album since it’s so textural. The track hauntingly unfolds over this exotic sounding soundscape that’s pretty difficult to describe. The result was one of Gabriel’s most emotionally powerful recorded moments of his career and an amazing vehicle for his vocal talents. Note: This song technically breaks vertically for the outro, but we had to include it because we like it so much. Video