Seasons come and seasons go but the mixtape continues to inspire.
A more flexible form than the standard album, it's been use by musicians to flex their creative muscles, to try something new without the heavyweight status of the LP.
Bastille have long been fans of the format, kicking off their own mixtape series to provide a channel for their whims, passions, and experiments.
New release 'Other People's Heartache Pt. 4' is out now, and it pits stellar collaborations against exclusive re-works, and much more besides.
Clash invited Bastille's own Dan Smith to pick out some mixtapes that have inspired him...
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Frank Ocean - 'Nostalgia, Ultra'
I absolutely love this mixtape. It was so exciting when Odd Future put all their mixtapes online for free back in 2011. 'Nostalgia, Ultra' is the one that’s stayed with me.
It was such a brilliant introduction to Frank Ocean, and I loved his interpolations of other tunes, not to mention tunes like 'Swim Good'. I’m obsessed with the two proper albums that Frank has released, and 'Nostalgia, Ultra' can sit right alongside them for me.
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Danger Mouse (well... Jay-Z meets The Beatles) - 'The Grey Album'
This mashup mixtape introduced me to Danger Mouse when I was a kid, and in a way to mixtapes in general, by coming in the early days of sharing music online.
Bringing together Jay-Z’s 'Black Album' with samples from The Beatles' 'White Album' is a pretty bold move but I love it.
The Weeknd - 'House Of Balloons'
This was the first in his trilogy of free mixtapes and this thing that introduced me to his music. Setting the tone for much of his career so far with stories of drugged up late nights and detached sexual encounters using icy beats and his distinctive, impressive vocals.
The cover of 'Dirty Diana' is insane. It’s a great through-line.
Run The Jewels - 'Run The Jewels'
Killer Mike and El-P. Two hugely respected but semi-underground artists join up to form a new group that goes against the music industry, did it completely their way, and have been hugely successful because of it.
It’s such a good story, and it all works because their music is wicked. I love how hard the beats are and how Killer Mike and El-P play off one another. Such a great fit.
Rag'n'Bone Man - 'Wolves'
Opening with an a capella blues tune that shows off his incredible vocal, this hip hop leaning set of tunes was an introduction to Rory’s voice and songwriting long before he became a household name. He recruited Kate Tempest, Vince Staples and Stig Of The Dump for verses across the collection of songs. His vocals at the climax of 'Hell Yeah' are fucking brilliant.
Chance The Rapper - 'Colouring Book'
Chance has this incredible way of making music that feels so positive and uplifting, even when he’s touching on heavy themes. He really pushes the limit of what a mixtape can be here with an incredible mixture of producers and guests. Kanye to Bieber to Francis and the Lights to Kaytranada - it’s jammed full and all fits together brilliantly.
Chance has this way with lyrics and flow that’s so impressive and memorable, and at the same time, he can have a song like 'Same Drugs', which is so beautiful in its simplicity, sit alongside all these other rappers. So great.
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'Other People's Heartache Pt. 4' is out now.
For tickets to the latest Bastille shows click HERE.
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