Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hypothetical mixtape: November 2015

A micro-playlist this time around. Just enough caught my ear to fit comfortably onto one side of a C-90. (Ask your parents.)

"Aeronaut", by Miaux. Around 1979 or 1980 you would not have been surprised to find something like this released as a seven-inch single. Today it seems so anachronistic as to be a masterstroke. Four minutes of the most gorgeous piano melody you could ever expect to hear. Reference points? Well, Colleen, obviously enough, but also [here he goes again -- ed] "From Gardens Where We Feel Secure", by Virginia Astley, with a dose of Cluster & Eno and maybe even the first Durutti Column album. The video is also pretty cool.

"Strade Vuote", by Daniela Casa. Some tastefully understated shredding (yes, there is such a thing) atop (I think) bottom-end Fender Rhodes. And bongos. This might be just me, but I can no longer hear bongos without thinking of Rhod Gilbert's legendary "ball bongos" from the last season of Buzzcocks.

"Dope VHS Master", by Desmond Cheese. They had me at the name of the track and artist. Lucky me, then, that the track is so chill it's practically an ice bucket. (Bonus: Australian content.) (Double bonus: album cover of the month.)

"Magnets (ft Lorde) (Jon Hopkins Remix)", by Disclosure. I never drank the Disclosure kool-aid. But I can respect Jon Hopkins, who, after many long years in the, uh, business, seems finally to have found his own sound, and it's a sound that was, clearly, worth searching for. Allow yourself to be absorbed. (Consumer advisory: there's not a whole lot of Lorde left in this remix.)

"Hearts Entwine", by Brenda Ray. I don't even have the words. (Perhaps this will help.) Just listen.

"Worship You", by Colleen Green. Methodology: turn everything up as far into the red as it will go without setting off a nuclear chain reaction, then play a gorgeous pop song. Somehow, the gorgeous pop song manages to shine through. I'm sure there's a moral there. (See also, obviously enough, "Psychocandy".)

"Marie-douceur, Marie-colère", by Marie Laforêt. French singer/actress tackles Jagger/Richards number. Nails it.

"4 Walls", by f(x). Because we all need some K-Pop in our lives.

"Calm Down", by Katy B x Four Tet x Floating Points. This is here largely because Floating Points has been my big discovery of 2016. Also, well, Four Tet, obviously. Soundcloud comment pretty much nails it: "This song got dancing. So good!"

"Paris", by Thundercat. An absolutely stunning miniature, rendered necessarily devastating by the tragic events that led to its making. Obviously enough, a piece of music is not going to remake anybody's lives, but just maybe it could be the slimmest of silver linings?