Hrtbrkr Mixtapes collaboration #3 ~ Three Beams a.k.a James Balmont
Three Beams is the musical blog brain child of James Balmont - musician with London hip band Mafia Lights, and now turning his hand to blogging with prowess. Three Beams features all the best of upcoming bands, as well as giving a bang on musical critique of sorts which’ll make you never have to read The Guardian’s music column ever again (unless there’s a particular album you want to read about I mean he doesn’t review everything ever released give the kid a break). I asked him to compile us a list of ten tracks (as always), and this isn’t just full of massive tunes, but also some of the funniest anecdotes I’ve ever come across in the mixtape biz.
All music has been placed into a handy 8tracks playlist. See below.
2 Morro Morro Land by Lightning Bolt
I was pretty much brought up on Kerrang! TV and nu metal. I’ve got so much time for Marilyn Manson and Slipknot. I don’t know how I came across Lightning Bolt but it was so fucking mental I thought I was a right little nutter listening to music like this. I finally got to see them live about 3 or 4years ago and pissed myself in the crowd.
Teenage Angst by Placebo
Placebo’s first album was amazing. I’m pretty sure I first heard this through some kind of music television thing, and a lot of people used to give me shtick for listening to a ‘gay band’, but I always stood by it, and the album’s aesthetic opened loads of doors, helping me discover stuff like Sonic Youth (a major influence on Placebo’s debut), and Pixies afterwards.
Sheena Is A Parasite by The Horrors
When Sheena came out I had just turned 15 years old and the Myspace era was reaching its peak. It was pretty much the most exciting musical era of my life. Sam Kilcoyne had just started Underage Club (now Underage Festival), which was basically all about getting all the sick new bands to play daytime gigs exclusively for under-18s, and I’m pretty sure that it was The Horrors’ engagement with these events that got them all the hype… those gigs back in the day were absolutely amazing, we were all obsessed with them, and it was through these fucking cool guys, and Underage Club, and all these young kids like Sam, that that a whole new world of music was suddenly opened up to us.
Only Shallow by My Bloody Valentine
I used to be friends with one of Faris Badwan’s brothers, and it was pretty much thanks to Faris’ handed down record collections that I got into half the music I listen to today. This was the first taste I ever had of ‘shoegaze’. It was a great day when I realised that My Bloody Valentine were actually amazing, after having dismissed them for months thinking that everyone was talking about Bullet For My Valentine.
Metal Fingers in my Body by Add (N) to X
I can’t remember how we managed this one, but somehow we got invited to a kind of huge party in 2007 when Mute Records’s offices were about to be demolished or something. It was like a huge office block where you could do whatever you want, and us kids brought a load of spacehoppers with us and had the most bouncingest time of our lives whilst people like Moby were smashing leftover records and having fire extinguisher fights.
Four Minute Warning by Radiohead
I got in trouble for bunking off college after a friend rang me to say that Radiohead were playing a surprise free gig at Rough Trade East in 2007 or 2008. We didn’t even get in because it was so over-subscribed - I can’t even remember if they even played, but that album remains to be one of the most influential records of my life, and I never tire of it. Their finest hour.
You’re Gonna Miss Me by The 13th Floor Elevators
God bless Dads who own a copy of Nuggets. When I was about 16 I remember coming across a very colourful record in my Dad’s collection, it really stood out amongst the likes of Tom Waits, David Bowie, Roxy Music - and it was one of the most rewarding listens of my life. I’ve been in love with psychedelic music ever since, and this track, arguably the song that started the whole ‘60s psychedelic movement, is still one of the best there has ever been.
The Lung by Dinosaur Jr
Aside from keeping it real with Queens Of The Stone Age (great band), I ditched most of my Kerrang bands for other music. When I came across You’re Living All Over Me by Dinosaur Jr I realised that massive guitar solos and ridiculous wah effects were actually the fucking bomb. This song contains one of the best guitar solos in any song ever.
Open Heart Surgery by The Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Brian Jonestown Massacre are one of my all-time favourite bands. After I finished college I spent a good year working my arse off and smoking weed with my friends as we honed our music tastes by listening to an unearthly mass of albums. We managed to exhaust their entire discography without ever becoming bored. I must have watched ‘Dig!’ about 15 times that year too.
Break Stuff by Limp Bizkit
The sound of a generation.