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The Nerve Mixtape With El Ten Eleven
The loop-happy instrumentalists gift us their boots-knockin' playlist.
by Kristian Dunn
You might know El Ten Eleven from their tunes' appearances in Gary Hustwit's design documentaries, like Helvetica or Urbanized, but their brand of catchy, loop-heavy instrumental rock has plenty to offer beyond soundtracking movies about fonts. Their fifth album, Transitions, was released last November, and the band is currently on tour. We caught up with the band's mastermind, Kristian Dunn, for his personal soundtrack for lovin'.
1. "Playground Love," Air
This is a really great one to get things going between you and your partner. It's really emotionally moving, but sexy and hip-moving as well. There's also a bearable, non-anachronistic sax solo, which is rare these days (the '80s just killed that poor instrument's credibility). And those spine-tingling strings — yum!
2. "More Than This," Roxy Music
Avalon is as close to a perfect record as I've ever heard. Really, you can just use this entire album as your soundtrack to love-making. (Now I don't need to write any more!) There's a great BBC documentary about Roxy Music on YouTube that you should track down. One of the comments Bryan Ferry still receives most often from fans is that their children were conceived to this album. 'Nuff said.
3. "Thinkin Bout You," Frank Ocean
Now the tempos are moving up. Things are getting nastier...
4. "Teach Me How To Dougie," Cali Swag District
This is so simple, and so good; we blast it in the van on tour. But it might be a little too raw for some of you to include in your tryst. If so, skip to...
5. "Shining Star," Earth, Wind and Fire
We're heating up even more now. Verdine White has got to be one of the most underrated bass players in history — his feel is so sick! Actually, every musician in this band is just beyond talented. You've heard their songs so many times, but if you really focus in and listen to what each of them is doing, it's kind of mind-blowing.
6. "Untitled #3," Girlfriends
Girlfriends is really one guy, Jerry Joiner. He's an absolute genius. (We were so impressed with him, we signed him to our label.) He plays all the instruments on this track and it's impossible to keep from moving while listening to it. It's the perfect accompaniment for... well, you know.
7. "Put Your Hands Up For Detroit," Fedde Le Grand
Electro has gone off the radar, and seems to have been replaced by EDM, dubstep, what have you. But this nugget will always sound good. The intensity of whatever you are doing in life will be ratcheted up if this is playing in the background.
8. "ObZen," Meshuggah
This definitely won't be the right direction for a lot of you. But if you're into kinky stuff, this should work. These guys are just insane — how the hell do you write a song like this? Also, it's cool the Cookie Monster has found a lead vocal gig now that he doesn't work at Sesame Street anymore.
9. "Golden Train," Penguin Prison
If Meshuggah was too much for you, try this. PP is just one guy: Chris Glover. We discovered him playing at Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin. He's a crazy good singer who sounds like Justin Timberlake. (If JT was performing in 1983).
10. "Marche Slave," Tchaikovsky
I get really obsessed with classical composers. For awhile it was Paganini, but lately I've been nerding out on Tchaikovsky. For a really... "different" sexual experience, try putting this on. If you can time your orgasm with the crazy ending about eight minutes in, you'll feel like Alexander the Great after conquering some foreign land. Bonus points if you put your arms up in the air and yell, "Victory!"
11. "Claire De Lune," Debussy
For your post-coital embrace, this can't be beat. It's so beautiful it gives me chills every time. I played this at my wedding, so I'm biased, but I played it at my wedding because it's so moving!
12. "Perth,"Bon Iver
I was expecting to be bored when I saw Justin Vernon's full band at Coachella. I was so wrong. They blew me away. Like Earth, Wind and Fire, every person in the band was top notch. This song is another one for after the deed is done and you and your partner are lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling in post-coital bliss.