Am I alone in thinking that sometimes lyrics or singing can get in the way of a beautiful song? I appreciate artists that can form a mood and feeling of a song without having lyrics to help listeners understand. I also hate songs that have no body but just monotonous “background” music and a voice to carry the song (see: Dave Matthews). Anyways, I thought it was about time that some bands that create excellent instrumental tracks get a chance to shine here at All Things Go. These may not be the best of the best, but these are songs that either I am into completely right now or that really capture a mood perfectly without lyrics. With that being said, here is the All Things Go Instrumental Mixtape. Enjoy.
As usual, you can download the Mixtape as a whole directly below or download each song individually.
DOWNLOAD: All Things Go Instrumental Mixtape [follow link]
1. Ratatat – Lex
I am completely and totally in love with anything that Ratatat does so it comes as no surprise that this song, off their latest release, Classics, made it onto the mixtape. When the album first leaked, I had only had a chance to listen to “Wildcat” and “Tacobel Canon” (which I posted on earlier), but, on my trip to Martha’s Vineyard, Derek of GWFAS informed me that “Lex” was the real gem of the album. With powerful drums, overdriven guitars and helicopter noises (yes, fucking helicopter noises), this song might just give “Seventeen Years” a run for it’s money as the best that Ratatat has to offer.
2. Air – Alpha Beta Gaga
Air is another one of those bands that puts out alot of instrumental music, but they aren’t completely one-dimensional and do occasionally add lyrics to their work. This track, however, substitutes lyrics for whimsical whistling (alliteration!) and adorable synths. I can’t tell if the melody towards the end of the song is a guitar, banjo, mandolin, uekelele, or whatever but I can tell that it makes me quite happy.
3. Royksopp – Eple
I originally heard this song on Derek‘s Dance Dance…Dance M3, and immediately fell in love with the catchy, upbeat vibe. I am completely unashamed to say that “Eple” is actually my cellphone’s ringtone and I double dog dare you readers to listen to this song and not get the whistling melody stuck in your head. When intoxicated, a listener of “Eple” might feel as though they are actually inside the song. True story.
4. DJ Shadow – Organ Donor
I was first introduced to DJ Shadow by my brother Alex, and “Organ Donor” was the first song I heard. I wrote it off as semi-techno and forgot about the song altogether. I then listened to all of DJ Shadow’s finest album, Endtroducing, including another Shadow favorite of mine, “Building Steam With A Grain of Salt”, and I listened to “Organ Donor” again, this time with a more open mind. I took the song in a completely different way that time, so here it is on the mixtape.
5. Mountains in the Sky – Noah’s Arkestra
I wrote a post a few months back asking you guys to help me find the song from the NBA Playoffs commercial (no, not Remember the Name by Fort Minor). It turns out others were looking for it too, and we eventually found it. The creaky, almost spooky beginning segues perfectly into the drum beat, much like “Ghostwriter” (the next track on this mix), and climaxes quite nicely.
6. RJD2 – Ghostwriter
This song is far and away my favorite song in this mixtape, and has been in heavy rotation for me all summer. Structured very similarly to “Noah’s Arkestra, “Ghostwriter” is the creation of one of many beat-making white guys that have done some serious work with hip-hop artists, such as DJ Shadow, Keiran Hebden, and Cut Chemist. This song has that ability that I talked about of changing a mood and setting a tone, and, in my opinion, is the ideal summer chill song.
7. Four Tet – Everything is Alright
I’m not going to pull a Derek and use words (or in this case, compound words) like demi-god to describe Keiran Hebden AKA Four Tet, even though I’m pretty sure that’s the most fitting description. Four Tet was featured on the second edition of the Night Drive Mixtape, and he appears here again with his masterpiece “Everything is Alright”. I don’t know how to put into words how much I love this song, but I can say that when I listen to it, I picture myself in an indie film driving at night through the rain, possibly in a high speed chase. PS: I love you Derek.
8. A Small Good Thing – Saloon Dreams
Another track that I discovered through on of Lizzy’s sweet mixes, “Saloon Dreams” is a quiet, unobtrusive lullabye that’s perfect for a relaxing night of reading or something (note: I don’t read, so thats just a guess). While it is fairly monotonous, it’s perfect background music in my opinion and really holds up without lyrics.
9. The Album Leaf – Twentytwofourteen
I know I know. It’s an unwritten rule that you can’t feature the same song on two separate mixtapes. Well I say fuck unwritten rules. This song is too good to not be featured again. I’ll be posting a little piece on these guys in the very near future as I just came across the advance for their newest album, Into the Blue Again
10. Dntel – Your Hill
Let’s do some math. 1/2 Postal Service + Dntel + James Figurine = Jimmy Tamborello. While Jimmy is best known for his work with Ben Gibbard on The Postal Service, he does have a few projects of his own, including Dntel and James Figurine (who’s been going around the blogs recently). Dntel is a favorite of ATG writer Austin, and he’s the reason I first heard these guys. This song features an accordian and, even though this is the Instrumental Mixtape, Jimmy’s quivering voice towards the end of the song. “Last Songs”, another Dntel track from Jimmy’s 2001 release, Life is Full of Possibilities, was featured on the ATG Sleep Mixtape.
Bonus: Sebastian Tellier – La Ritournelle
Only because I love you did I include a bonus track. I can’t say I know much of anything about Tellier, other than that Derek and Everett are absolutely and completely in love with this song. I made this track a bonus because there are lyrics towards the end of the song, and because it needs to be heard. An incredible beautiful song beginning to end, and a great ending to the Instrumental Mixtape.
I hope you all enjoyed this as much, if not more, than the previous mixtapes. As always, hit me up with some feedback in the comments. Let me know what songs you like most or songs that you think should be on the mix (for example, ask me why there is no Explosions in the Sky on this mix. Except don’t. The answer is I forgot to put it on.). I’m interested to see how you guys feel about this mix in particular. Just remember, lyrics are nothing without the music behind them.
Also, on a completely different note, I am desperately looking for an invite to Oink or even to borrow someone else’s username. I’m willing to pay and it’d really help fuel my writing to get even more advances and singles and whatnot. So if you have an account or invite, please help me out and e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.