Armand Margjeka Makes MAGNET A Mix Tape


Armand Margjeka was born in northern Albania and seduced by American rock ‘n’ roll at a young age. “I spent all summer watching MTV Europe in the ’90s, fascinated by a combination of the West and pop culture,” he says. “I dreamed about going to America.” The dream became a reality when he moved to Birmingham, Ala., to pursue a career in music. On June 10, Margjeka will release sophomore solo album Hummingbird. In anticipation of the LP, we asked him to make us a mix tape. Check it out below.

Serge Gainsbourg “Je Suis Vue Te Dire Que Je M’en Vais”
Monsieur Gainsbourg is, among many other things, a guidance of sorts for me musically. This is one of my most crucial tracks to listen to when in doubt of creativity; there’s an amazing balance rhythmically and a vibe that doesn’t necessarily require lingual interpretation in order to be understood. Gainsbourg’s massive repertoire at such an early age of popular music has set a bar for other artists who are always interested in exploring through genres. Video

William Onyeabor “Atomic bomb”
This is a great record altogether. It can find its way in any mix-tape combination for me. The loud tambourine never gets in the way; if anything, it’s a constant reminder of effortless swag. In the studio, mixing fuzz, synth and organic fat drums, whether it’s a funk staple or not, is something I always find myself trying to apply. Video

Darkstar “Timeaway”
This London-based electronic band have put a couple of great records out in the last few years. This song translates melody and beat in such a transparent way without being easily digestible. These guys keep reaching for different angles, and they’re successful at finding them. Video

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds “Wonderful Life”
Slow, haunting and liberating. Nick Cave and crew sit alone on a hill disregarding expectation. They lay back the beat when they want and plunge forward as they please. Nocturama has to be on everybody’s digital or vinyl shelf. The relationship Cave has with song is one I’ll always strive to build for myself. Video

Ron Sexsmith “God Loves Everyone”
A close friend gave me Ron Sexsmith’s Cobblestone Runway, and I fell in love within the first word he sang on that record. Safe to say Sexsmith is one of the best songwriters of all time for me. The lyrical content in this song in particular is, in essence, classic. It’s a song for all, and it bears timelessness. Video

Beck “Earthquake Weather”
Working with some of the people who work on Beck records has made me even a bigger fan of his. There’s an outstanding type of creative discipline and work ethic that it must take in order to bring these records to life, and he’s always achieved it in an impeccable way. Video

Dead Snares “Blood”
Jeffrey Cain (Remy Zero, Isidore) put together what I can simply describe as a gorgeous record a few years back. I’m gently haunted by the picture this song paints every time I listen. It reminds me of the curiosity I sometimes have for ghosts or spirits … not scared of them, just intrigued enough to want to see one. Video

Ultraista “Smalltalk”
Atoms For Peace featured amazing work involving Nigel Godrich and Joey Waronker and now on this project. There’s more digging into other sonic sphere, and just when I think a beat had taken every color or shape it could, I listen to this and I stand corrected. Video