Letter #24

Good morning / afternoon / evening everyone,

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week. I’ve had a pretty hectic week at work, which I think is probably reflected in this week’s letter. More on that below…

Big thanks to everyone who forwarded the email last week, we had a huge number of new people joining us, which helps me put together a better letter each week. If you know anyone who might like it, I would appreciate it if you’d forward it ❤️ .

Without further ado, HERE IT IS!

–  🎼 –

The TL:DR section…

Some of the music this week comes from; Nils Frahm, Busta Rhymes, Kelly Lee Ownes, Bjork, Moses Boyd, D’Angelo, New Order, Primal Scream, and The Horrors.

Interesting things things for you to click this week; go shopping at the wonderful Choose.Love shop here; watch Evolution of Hip Hop on Netflix, read this lovely interview with 22a label boss Tenderlonious, and listen to this excellent Late Night Tales contribution from Nils Frahm.

If you have music to share (and please do share!), drop it in here in our Love Will Save the Day record pool – much appreciated. 


– ✏️ –

Before I start rambling on, I would urge you to check out wonderful charity Choose Love, which has opened a shop on Broadwick Street in London (or if you’re not in London, click here). The premise is simple; you buy something in the shop, leave empty handed, and your shopping is given to a refugee ❤️. Thanks to long time listener Mark Pinsent for flagging on Twitter.  

As I mentioned above, this week at work has been pretty manic, and I think it’s definitely reflected in this week’s list. There are some very quiet, thoughtful songs (Sylvain Chauveau). There are some shouty, get-stuff-done-fast songs (Biggie). There’s quite a bit in between too. 

This week opens with Nils Frahm. I’m sure many of you already know Frahm, but I’ve had a weird obsession with his music for a few years now (since blinding-buying Spaces, which is brilliant). He’s a classical artist, with electronic sensibilities. He builds his own instruments. He cites Chet Baker (and his mistakes) as a huge influence. He’s my kind of artist. So this week, after listening to his album Solo last weekend, I thought I’d start things off differently. I would definitely recommend going through his whole back-catalogue – I pretty much automatically buy anything he produces now, I like him that much. This interview is good.

The lines between genres are often easy to spot, jazz to hip-hop, blues to rock and roll etc. The line between classical and electronica is sometimes harder to spot (unless you’re into musique concrete, industrial, EBM etc), but artists like Nils Frahm, Jon Hopkins, and Jeff Mills are doing a great job of showing the connection.

Earlier this week I was talking to one of the upcoming guest editors, and we were talking about how to choose what goes into the lists. Outside of having a thread through all the tracks, and sticking to the Mancuso ‘bardos’, I think there are three things that I try to put into each playlist:

  1. Include music that you might not have heard before because I think it’s good music
  2. Include old things you definitely know in new contexts to present them differently
  3. Try not to fall into the trap of being intentionally obscure to show off / being elitist / falling down rabbit holes that are too weird.. (I’m still working on this one)

I tend to do a lot of the recontextualising old songs through samples and instruments, and after having this chat I remembered a weird combination that I used to play out at parties to throw people, the Psycho soundtrack, and Busta Rhymes. So that’s in this week 😃 . 

There’s also a hip-hop influence this week as I’ve started watching the Evolution of Hip Hop on Netflix (here). Yes, I know I’m about twenty years behind everyone else, but I’m not a massive watcher of TV! It also reminded me that I need to re-read the Def Jam story again.

There are TWO of my all time favourite tracks on the list this week. Two that I’ve played together (one after the other) since I first owned turntables (and two of the first records I ever owned). They were my practice records. They are absolute belters. Dooms Night, and Blue Monday. Hopefully their inclusion will make you smile and dance like a lunatic. I certainly will do 😃 .

In other news this week, Resident Advisor has announced that it’s no longer going to be running an tiered lists – so no top tens, DJ or Live polls, nothing. This is brilliant news for so many reasons, the key one being that lists like those are completely subjective and (most of the time) only end up misrepresenting cultures. More here

Stamp the Wax had a brilliant Diggers Directory feature with Detroit techno stalwart, BMG, which is definitely worth a read (and reminded me of the D.H.S. track on this week’s list), read here.

Last but not least, Vinyl Factory interviewed 22a label head / Ruby Rushton player / solo artist / general don Tenderlonious – worth a read for his background and less-than-traditional route into music – here.

As always, if you’ve read to here, thanks for indulging me ♥️.

– 📄 –
  1. Nils Frahm – Improvisation for Coughs and a Cell Phone
  2. Sylvain Chauveau – L’oree Du Bois
  3. Sergei Rachmaninoff – 13 Preludes, Op.32: No.6 in F Minor
  4. Bernard Herrmann – Prelude
  5. Busta Rhymes – Gimme Some More
  6. The Notorious B.I.G. – Kick in the Door
  7. Clap! Clap! – Elephant Serenade
  8. Kelly Lee Owens – More Than a Woman
  9. Shabazz Palaces – Shine a Light
  10. Bjork – I Miss You (remix LP)
  11. Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y.
  12. Karriem Riggins – Suite Poetry
  13. Tenorio Jr. – Nebulosa
  14. Moondog – Bird’s Lament
  15. Ill Considered – Unwritten Rules
  16. Moses Boyd – Drum Dance
  17. Melt Yourself Down – Fix My Life
  18. Penya – Why So Angry
  19. Oko Ebombo – Black Bowie
  20. Joe Dukie & DJ Fitchie – Midnight Marauders
  21. D’Angelo – Spanish Joint
  22. Blue Lab Beats – Pineapple
  23. Jordan Rakei – Wallflower (Dan Kye edit)
  24. Rechenzentrum – Art 2 Dance
  25. D.H.S. – House of God
  26. Azzido Da Bass – Dooms Night (Timo Maas remix)
  27. New Order – Blue Monday
  28. Primal Scream – Come Together
  29. Stereolab – Come Andy Play in the Milky Night
  30. The Horrors – Endless Blue

See you on the dance floor.
Love Will Save the Day

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