Hello and, a much delayed, Happy New Year, everyone. It might sound like an old, worn cliché but getting back into the regular routines after the holidays was a bit of a challenge. It has to be done, though, at some point. Therefore, welcome to the first mixtape of 2018. Well not entirely “of” 2018. As the previous, December mix was composed of exclusively Christmas, The Holidays and winter themed songs, we have a little bit of “leftovers” from 2017 included here. Don’t worry, though. They are as hot and fresh as everything new and certainly not out of date.
For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been lazily munching on these leftovers to mentally prepare myself for what the new year has in store for me. On top of that December is usually a slow season when it comes to new music releases and perfect time to look back and review the year. Everyone, from music journalists, bloggers, celebrities to friends on Facebook, shares their “best of the year” lists around that time. (NoSA also had its take on this subject and you can check out the results at www.nosnobsallowed.wordpress.com). It takes a lot of time to process each and every one of them and finally close the topic, and the year. Which in all fairness can never truly be done. That’s why instead of focusing on the future, I was still stuck in the past. On the final note, past year belonged to YAEJI, MERY SPOLSKY, WAR ON DRUGS and CIGARETTES AFTER SEX. They were the winners in my books.
Moving onto the Polish section, at the beginning of the playlist, you can find links to two very impressive albums released around the end of 2017 and which deserve a special mention here. The first one, “Noc W Wielkim Mieście” by Jazz Band Młynarski/Masecki, is an incredible tribute to the prewar era jazz, recorded using only live instruments without any interference of modern production techniques. The album contains very authentic sounding renditions of jazz compositions by European and American composers of that time. The second one, “Zimpel/Ziołek” by WACŁAW ZIMPEL, an avangarde clarinetist from Poznań, and JAKUB ZIOŁEK aka STARA RZEKA, mixes folk and electronics with truly magical outcomes. The album was chosen among as the best of 2017 by many international magazines and websites including UNCUT , The Queitus and ARTNews Magazine.
We cannot be looking back forever. Wiping the slate clean and beginning things anew is overdue at this stage so let’s dive straight into 2018. The upcoming year is already looking exciting as the album and festival announcements are pouring in. A handful of big names have already promised new albums in 2018. DAVID BYRNE collected quite impressive roster of guests for his first truly solo release in over a decade, entitled “American Utopia”. BRIAN ENO, SAMPHA, ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER and JAM CITY are contributing to the LP, one way or another. Let’s be honest, you don’t say “no” to Mr. Talking Head. MGMT, JACK WHITE, TRACEY THORN, MOBY, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, MY BLOODY VALENTINE and KYLIE MINOGUE also have albums in the pipeline. It’s not only about the veterans, as the first timers are also ready to amuse us with their visions. SUPERORGANISM, FARIDA, STARCHILD & THE NEW ROMANTIC, TROYE SIVAN and THE ORIELLES are definitely the ones to watch in 2018.
January’s selection contains the tunes you might have missed during the December shopping blizzards as well as fresh releases. This mixture will surely help you ease yourself into the new year, which I hope will be an amazing one for everyone. Let the music be the antidote for those dry and wet, grey and blue January days.