soundtracking with Robert Szkolnicki: The Mix Tape

April 11, 2014

Now, the making of a good compilation tape is a very subtle art. Many do’s and don’ts. First of all you’re using someone else’s poetry to express how you feel. This is a delicate thing.”

Rob (John Cusack) from High Fidelity

Even though mixtapes do not physically exist anymore, the internet is doing its best to keep this form of expression alive. Or rather. It’s trying.

Sites like The Line of Best Fit, Portals Music, and The Maroon Cafe post many mixes. The results are however not always satisfying as the playlists are more of a music feature rather than an “expression of how you feel”. Even the new term “curated playlist” seems to have been invented to have mixtapes taken more seriously.

The current mixtapes that I enjoy are by other musicians. Not only is it music that they like but perhaps music that inspires them.
Here are three recent good ones.

Julianna Barwick on Fact Magazine …

Titled See You, it’s a lilting collection of soupy new age, rolling Americana, Arthur Russell, and the odd canonical classic too – it’s certainly been a while since we heard Dylan in a FACT mix.

And keep browsing the mixes on Fact and you’ll also find something by Damon Albarn

Titled Waves in Suyian and made in collaboration with Remi Kabaka and Suzi Winstanley, it spans US­-Cambodian psych-­rockers Dengue Fever to West Indian soul group The Guinness Casanovas, with Mulatu Astatke, Erykah Badu and Holly Golightly in between, plus a pair of unreleased tracks from Albarn himself.

Carmen Villain via Self­-Titled has a nice mix of tracks called Winter Ease.


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