After last month’s celebratory overdose, I’ve decided to shake things up and get back to the basics. Therefore, this time rather than present yet another intimidating collection of tracks, I’ve decided to focus on the best of the best in this month’s music. Compared to the staggering 260 tracks included in the last mixtape, a round number of 100 cherry-picked tracks seems rather minimalistic, if not ascetic. Still, it’s a pretty hefty chunk of good music. Compact and neatly packed like your vacation luggage, ready to be taken with anywhere you plan to go to. I will try to stick to this format in the coming months, but no promises. When it comes to music, I tend to get carried away sometimes and good music comes in large numbers these days.
Kicking things off with RHYE’s intimate cover of Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” followed NILS FRAHM’s new piano piece, “Amber” does capture the of spirit of minimalism about perfectly. Although, most of the tracks selected this time are naturally leaning towards the chilled, lazy summer vibes. Lo-fi pop, acoustic folk, wound down indie and cool neo soul and hip-hop rule the airwaves over this mixtape. Even the usually noisy GANG GANG DANCE present their tender side on the quirky ballad, “Lotus”. On the other side of the spectrum we have the grandiose of KAMASI WASHINGTON’s vision of jazz and raw hard rock from GRETA VAN FLEET. You know, for good measure.
There are quite few summer sizzlers here to accompany you on these sunny days. CHILDISH GAMBINO (aka Donald Glover aka young Lando Carlissian), who already scored one of the best tracks and videos of 2018 with “This Is America”, have just dropped a surprise “Summer Pack” which includes slow burning “Feels Like Summer”. Tracks such as “Little Things” by r’n’b-hip-hop duo, GARÇONS, “Real Thing” from BONDAX with ANDREYA TRIANA, SERAMIC’s “Strange Magic”, CHANNEL TRES’ “Jet Black” or TANUKICHAN’s indie cracker, “Natural” to name few will suit you well like a pair of designer sunglasses this season. Further down the list, the track by Moscow trio POMPEYA, entitled “Hot Summer + July” couldn’t be more transparent about where it belongs. Crowned by two massive hits, a very current sounding banger “Like Sugar” by legendary disco diva, CHAKA KHAN and yet another funky number from CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS, this selection is all about good times.
In the polish section, included at the end of the playlist, we seem to have a friendly stand off between new versions of old classics (songs by KAYAH, NOSOWSKA & ZAMILSKA, ALBO INACZEJ & JUSTYNA SWIEC, GABA KULKA, MARIKA) and new, original songs (LESKI, LIBOWSKI, OXFORD DRAMA, PATRICK THE PAN). A curious addiction to the mix is a novelty, pastiche pop track by MEE AND THE BAND, which encourages the listeners to “Eat Pierogi”. Personally, I do not require any extra encouragement to consume this particular Polish specialty. And lastly, we’re finishing up with a little intrusion on the polish turf by the American singer, CAROLINE POLACHEK. On “Marzipan” by UK based, enigmatic producer FELICITA, the ex-CHARLIFT lady delivers a spooky interpretation of a traditional lullaby, sang entirely in Polish. What an odd idea that actually sounds oddly good.
So here it is, the crème de la crème of July’s music. Quality over quantity from now on!
Stay hydrated (with good music).