In the latest installment of my monthly playlist series, I’ve found great happiness from beginning to end. I’m not sure why, but it feels like this one has more breadth than the past few have. Maybe it’s just the uptick in the volume of new releases on the cusp of summer, maybe I’ve just been in a better mood. Who knows.
Why did I choose a knives theme for my playlist names? I’d say it was arbitrary, but that might be too strong of a term. I try to use something that has a number of variations to choose from, but then I wind up in this inner debate about whether I should try to tie the playlist content to the name in some way. But you know what? That’s entirely too much work and the fun of completing a themed playlist would probably not offset the fact that it would reduce the number of playlists per year to one or two. If I don’t keep this easy, then it will stop. At some point I’d like to revive Frankles Free Fridays, but I just don’t have the time to dedicate to that cause.
Why do you have a twenty-six-year-old track in a playlist of otherwise new releases? In April, I went on a trip to Europe with my boo, and it wasn’t until the last hour of the Reykjavik to London-Heathrow leg that I found Icelandair’s incredible music library. I (again with this) arbitrarily selected Aphex Twin’s Ambient Works Vol 1 while I searched the rest of the catalog and ‘Xtal’ played us into London where the plane flies directly over top of Parliament before a steep bank east and it was a really perfect soundtrack for that sequence. I kept going back to that song and marveling at how well it’s held up.
What’s your favorite track on the playlist? I don’t know why I asked myself this question because I don’t like picking favorites. There’s a kind of instant grass is greener syndrome with picking favorites where I find something new or overlooked in the things I didn’t pick as my favorite. I suffer greatly from decisional paralysis. Can you tell? ‘Radiate’ by Yotto is a standout track for sure. It’s mesmerizing and I almost feel drunk at about the midway point it really gets going. In that same vein is the dark and moody ‘Mustard Flower’ by Titeknots. ‘Colors of Autumn’ is one of the two best tracks of DJ Koze’s Knock Knock, which goes well with the hyper-cool of Sam Spiegel’s ’20 Below’ featuring a solid pairing of vocals from Anderson .Paak and Doja Cat. Finally, I really like the sinister and possibly drunk Jarvis Cocker character in ‘Miami.’ I don’t know what his beef is, but I like it.
Any surprises? Well, you can see the playlist, so not really, but I don’t think I would have anticipated having two Diplo tracks on it. I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of his Silk City project with Mark Ronson sounds like. I kinda hope he borrows Sia from LSD for a track on that, too. I also didn’t see a new Disclosure track coming. They’ve been pretty quiet since their touring-as-a-live-act retirement announcement and this came out of nowhere. I guess the same goes for Gorillaz as well. They’ve had 4-5 year gaps between releases before, so I suppose I was just bracing myself for that.
Are those cranes? Why yes, they are. Two blocks east of where I live, a three+ year long highway reconstruction effort is underway and at one point there were about ten cranes in very close proximity as they were placing pylons for a bridge and wall supports. In photo editing, my default is to heavily change a photo, to drastically alter photos with the various sliders and filters. It’s taken a lot of restraint to edit photos only slightly and in ways that enhance my photos without dominating them. From time to time, I like to let that default out and have its way with a few photos. The otherwise boring cranes shot is one such photo.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this self interview and that you enjoy the playlist as well.