The Mixtape Vol. 39

The Vans brand man, Emptyskull, spins us some tunes

“There are two important things to do in life, collect tattoos and build your record collection.” Borrowing this line from Pray For Me: The Jason Jessee Film, and applying it to his life, it’s safe to say that Warren Talbot has the important things in life covered.

Between getting inked up and collecting things (you can see the extent of his hoarding in our My Den feature, Wotalotigot), the Vans marketing manager has also been pretty hands on in coming up with the soundtrack to his life.

“Just to be clear, I’m not a DJ,” says War, quick to take the pressure off of him in case you’re disappointed with his mix. “I’ve never claimed to be one. I just enjoy selecting and playing music I want to hear.”

Um, okay, but that’s pretty much what a DJ does, War? And he really shouldn’t worry about his credentials because between digging for rare soul and funk vinyl at Hospice shops in Durban to carrying crates for the likes of the Skene brothers and Terrence Pearce, and not forgetting the love mixes he’s been making for girls since his junior school tapedeck days, War’s put in the hours carefully curating and playing the music that moves him. 

Then, as the marketing manager for Vans, War’s brought a bunch of acts to the country and has worked with a handful of local bands, too. His highlights include:

“Bringing out Allah-Las, as they were the best guys and some great bonds were formed. The Black Lips were amazing as well. And I’d definitely say that getting to watch Medicine Boy perform over the last year was such an honour.”

The new year brings with it new acts, none of which War may share with us, yet, as well as new parties and new opportunities to see if he'll ever be able to DJ a set sober. Well we’ll just have to see.


1. Tracy Bryant – Too Tired

2. Black Lips – Boys In The Wood

3. Holy Wave – Do You Feel It?

4. The Flaming Lips – The W.A.N.D.

5. The Black Angels – Always Maybe

6. Psychic Ills – Mind Daze

7. Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place

8. The Holydrug Couple – Counting Sailboats

9. Tame Impala – Let It Happen

10. The Presets – Girl And The Sea

11. Corners – Sometimes

12. Dream Police – Hypnotized

13. Mystic Braves – Bright Blue Day Haze

14. White Fence – Mr. Adams

15. Allah-Las – No Werewolf