I presume everyone has their own special place. Some might describe it as their “happy place”. It’s a space where one goes to escape their problems or boredom. It can be a mental state, a hobby, company of the beloved or comforting encounters with nature. Perhaps, it’s something resembling Superman’s fortress of solitude, minus the grandeur. For me, it’s the space between my ears with the headphones on. Between the left and the right earbud is where I exercise a lot of escapism. Some people are meteoropaths, affected by the weather, but with me it is the sounds I listen to that influence state of my mind and body. My moods and movements tend to shift with the music I listen too, depending on the song, album or artist. I’m must be kind of an emotional Zelig.
My relationship with the music consumption itself, like for the most of the music fans my age, has changed over the past two decades. It had started with stacks of cassette tapes displayed like trophies in my room and ended up with Spotify Premium subscription accessed via my smartphone. Technology has changed the way we listen to music, as well as where and when. Convenience pushed the physical format and its tangible aspects out to the side. Not everyone is convinced, though. Vinyl, and to smaller extend cassette tapes, are becoming more popular again. But it’s the digital, especially streaming, which allows for a faster, far reaching exchange of music nowadays. With over 80 million of people subscribed to Spofity, a selection like this can reach many people in not time. So, please, do pass it on.
To me, selecting and sharing these tracks with you is a way of cataloging the best of the best each month. It, also, somehow resembles the time I used to collect tapes. I gather something worth keeping and I display it just like I did with cassettes on my shelves back in the day. Fun fact: including this selection, the meter currently clocks around 3300 songs collected since the first mixtape. We’ve come a long way, baby.
Enter the October’18 mixtape containing a wide palette of moods from my favorite and recently discovered musicians, all packed in one space. There might be a significant divine between the intimate affairs of the likes of CAT POWER, RYLEY WALKER, JEFF TWEEDY and JEREMY WARMSLEY and the angrier servings from JAAA!, WWWater or DARIA ZAWIAŁOW but there is a place for all here. Many sonic miles separate the spider web of beats and vocal samples of “Asterix” by Dublin electronic duo, MOUNT ALASKA and the radio friendly single by RICHARD ASHCROFT but this is my domain. All are welcome. THOM YORKE’s spooky “Has Ended”, taken from his soundtrack of the upcoming remake of Italian horror movie “Suspiria”, hovers with all its gloom over my head. Followed by DEERHOOF’s eerie cover of “Midnight, Stars and You” from Kubrick’s The Shining and noir offering from DAVID AUGUST makes this Halloween more suited to my taste. As you can see, not exactly all happy and comfortable sounds here, but doesn’t it take every crayon in the box to paint an interesting picture? The energetic new singles from FRIENDLY FIRES and HOLY GHOST!, as well as some uplifting funk pop by THE REBELS OF TIJUANA and disco by THE PHENOMENAL HABDCLAP BAND among other tune came to help me to shake off the uneasy feeling. LYBOMYR MELNYK’s continuous piano on “Son of Parasol” & NAT BIRCHALL’s traditional jazz of “Tunji” bring in some class and elegance with them. The lightweight, carefree of “Devotion” by BREAKBOT, “Tints” from ANDERSON .PAAK and KENDRICK LAMAR and naïve and childlike charm of “Geisha” by L‘IMPERATRICE and DOMINIQUE DUMONT’s “Sans Cesse, Mon Ami” light up the place. JESSIE WARE, ROBYN, FUNKASANKI, RÓISIN MURPHY are here to present the female vision of the club experience. Laidback tunes such as “Casio” by JUNGLE, “Knapsack” by GEOTIC, “Madly” by HIGH HØØPS and “Untrue” by MEETING BY CHANCE almost make me want to wander into the nearest cocktail bar. YOKO ONO’s cacophonic, yet very poignant, “I Love All of Me” manifesto closes this month’s selection.
I’ve scattered the Polish entries throughout the whole playlist, as there’s no need to separate them from the rest of the artists. They bring in as much talent, quality and interesting ideas as others. Lookout for names like BOVSKA, JAAA!, XXANAXX, TROJ, AGUS, BLASK, BLAUKA, P.UNITY, MELA KOTELUK and DARIA ZAWIALOW on the list. Listen, and enjoy, without prejudice.