(Adam Curis voice) This mix will tell the story of the connections between these strange songs, and reveal the ever present unease hiding within them.
If this year’s mix of my favorites is any guide, 2016 was a good year for mainstream music. And I think that’s fair: Beyoncé’s incredible concept album signaled a shift in how high profile artists approach their audience as they move from roles as ‘top selling’ artists towards ‘most streamed’ artists whose exclusive content could make waves amongst the competition between streaming sites. So the music industry is still looking at music as ‘content,’ but at least there is an acknowledgement that art will draw people, where previously the industry looked to catchy hooks grabbing attention through repetitive play.
I’m happy with what I heard. Here are some of my favorites:
I can’t think of any better way to send of this altogether shitty year than with a soulful obituary.
Music is my release. And I needed release after yesterday’s election.
Suuns‘ 2013 album, Images Du Futur, ended with the droning and mesmerizing track, “Music Won’t Save You.” The lyrics are delivered empty and dejected, as if the comes as a disappointing realization from a place of wisdom. We want them to be false, though. We want to think that the music will save us, and so time and again, in places of joy and in pain, we return to it: those songs we love to dance to; those songs we fell in love to; and those songs that expressed our sorrow when it seemed like no one else understood.
Perfect for a slow weekend morning, staying in.
August’s mix is mishmash of sources: Soulection-type instrumental hip-hop, 99pi background favorites, and various instrumental electronica I’ve found myself listening to. There’s a bit of singing here and there, but this should probably be my most work-friendly mix to-date.
I posted about this first track by Imperial Tiger Orchestra back in January, but the truth is that I’ve been aiming to do an Ethiopian Jazz-oriented mix for many, many years now. I wanted to celebrate my favorite melodies, but didn’t want to end up recreating the Broken Flowers soundtrack, or just pilfering the Ethiopiques series. So there are some non-Ethiopian curveballs in there to round it out.
for each inch cut
the roots grow ten
can’t see them