Our 25th MixTape so a little celebration is in order and what better way to do so other than few shots of quality sounds.
Why the break? Long story short, life gets in the way sometimes and everyone needs a little time off once in a while. Fortunately the music keeps coming. So what did we miss? We had Eurovision, a music event that is unifying as much as it is divisive for the music audiences; also, first few festivals are behind us, with much more to come; and a number of great albums have dropped since last time we met here. The summer has arrived and it begs for a soundtrack. As usual, I’ve gathered a significant number of tracks, over 250 this time, ripe for consumption. The playlist is mostly bubbling with modern disco and house beats finished a good portion of soothing jazz, thoughtful folk, intelligent indie and buzzing rock to balance things out. All juice, no fat.
Soooo ... The World Cup in full swing. The comparison of the mixtapes to the football championship is a little bit too obvious, but since we haven’t done it yet, I think we can get away with it this last time. Although music is not a competitive form of expression in any way, some people claim that sport can be a perceived as an art form. I’m not here to discuss that. I just want to dress up the artist in their countries jerseys for a moment and let their music speak for itself. Let’s travel the world map with our headphones on.
Kicking off with a team of Polish artists lead by NOSOWSKA, who when not fronting the cult rock group, HEY, ventures solo into electronic music. The singer recently premiered “Ja Pas!”, a tongue in cheek single taken of her upcoming, yet unfinished new album. The rest of the team is a usual mix of new artists (such as WCZASY, AGUS, TULIA and EWA EKWA) and locally renowned names (RENI JUSIS, NATALAI KUKULSKA, DAWID PODSIADŁO).
France, a seasoned team in their battles on grass fields, are conducted by two seasoned players, the members of a cult duo AIR. This time separately, both JB DUNCKEL and NICOLAS GODIN deliver laidback sonic cocktails perfectly fit for the summer days. Speaking of French artists, it’s impossible not to mention Christine And The Queens, a multitalented figure who exploded 2 years ago onto the world scene with a massive international hit, “Tilted”. Chris, as she refers to herself now, is back with yet another banger, the DAM FUNK produced single, “Girlfriend”. With an album on the way and a Dublin in RDS date in November she is definitely one to watch this season.
If we’re talking football, then the English are hard to omit. With players such as NOEL GALLAGHER (brought back to acid house times of Madchester by JUSTIN ROBERTSON), ARCTIC MONKEYS, JUNGLE, THE ORB England delivers a premier game.
Wearing red and orange are the Spanish garage rock group, HINDS. The girls became a little sensation after their performance at Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona earlier this month. So did, Iran born, Danish singer, SEVDALIZA, an artist praised here on every possible occasion. The dark horse of last Mundial, Iceland, send in the folk debutants, Árstidir as well as more experienced players, KIASMOS and HÖGNI. CUT COPY, an indie dance outfit with a solid score record, are once again representing Australia. Brazil, a mammoth in football and a mammoth in music, have a strong team with DOMENICO LANCELOTTI, ELZA SOAREZ, BALAKO, THIEVERY CORPORATION to prove that once again. Canada’s self-described funklordz, CHROMEO, bring back the romance with a dash of humor on their new album “Head Over Heels”. “Bad Decision” is a proof that the duo is finally aiming for the charts., DERYA YILDRIM & GRUP SIMSEK, a rising folk group from Turkey, present their modernized version of traditional Anatolian sounds. Russia is sorely underrepresented this time, although with a very talented young lady, KEDR LIVANSKIY. Finishing up locally, with the boys and girls in green, as LE GALAXIE, VILLAGERS, Mullingar’s XO MO and Ireland’s most prolific daughter RÓISÍN MURPHY are ready to cheer up the nonqualifier this time around.
Just like football, music is a multinational affair and we’ve got few collaborations featured this month too. Lebanon’s hottest musical export MASHRAU’ LEILA team up with, RÓISÍN MURPHY. English dance duo, DISCLOSURE, employ Mali’s FATOUMATA DIAWARA for their latest single, ‘Ultimatum”. CHERRIE is a Somali born Swedish soul singer performing mostly in Swedish, who collaborated with UK’s grime superstar, STORMZY, despite the language barrier. SOUTH KOREA’s K-Pop five piece, LOOΠΔ yyxy get a little help from GRIMES on “love4ever”. There’s also few collabs happening over the Atlantic pairing artists such as UNDERWORLD and IGGY POP, U2 and BECK, MOUSE ON MARS and BEIRUT’s ZACH CONDON.
We’re more inclusive than FIFA (we’re included many American artists, too) as music plays for one united team. I always pride myself for the multinational roster of the featured artists and if an event World Cup gives me an opportunity to brag about it, then I’ll take it.