I think the biggest challenge with mixtapes is how they take you through such different emotions so quickly and the listener is helplessly exposed to being swirled from one into the next before they understand what is happening. Well, this one is no different, but we’re starting out light and groovy with my new platonic love and the man who produces what to me until this year was rather a musical illustration of ADHD. It’s starting to make sense now! He doesn’t only use 2634 different folk instruments and complex vocal harmonies but also collaborates with tons of great artists on his casual quadruple album project he’s producing at his mom’s.
We then turn to Blick Bassy, a Singer-Songwriter that is one of the great things Spotify Discover has brought into my life for reasons I don’t understand. He sings in Bassa, one of the 52965 languages of Cameroon.
Melody Gardot introduces the jazzy and ochestry part of the mixtape with her cotton pad voice, later followed by Ella Fitzgerald (the strings in this song always give me an urge to dramatically melt into the floor) and Esperanza Spalding, who aside from being a great composer and Jazz vocalist is also a double bass ace.
But to keep it chronological, after Mme Gardot we hear Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, who would have been very happy had the loop station already been invented in 1966.
A special treat follows!! Rhodes Galaxy is a track by an international collaboration between two great artists, one of which blesses us with playlists every year in this group. Mina if you read this I love you! Answer my text!!
We now proceed to Laura Veirs, a singer-songwriter based in the US who has two small kids and just got divorced and still managed to release an album this year. She tours as an independent musician 3 months a year (if there’s no pandemic) and drags her babies or other family members along if possible. I conclude she’s a superhuman.
The track from Os Tincoas that follows was recorded in the 70s and is part of a self titled album I highly recommend checking if you’re as endeared as I am by this track.
If the next one strikes you as a song with exceptionally good sound, it’s because it’s been produced by Bruno Major who somehow manages the art of directly singing into your ear through a recording.
A song by Dalida follows this track in an adaption by French Algerian trumpetist Ibrahim Maalouf, who doesn’t only make spicy trumpet arrangements but also plays with an amount of emotion unprecedented in my personal trumpet listening experience.
We are then diving into dirty mainstream pop music from a duo from Morocco that are actually married but still pretend to not be a band by featuring each other on every track they release.
The almost final recording is several years old and made in a church in the center of Leiden. I was living in a squat adjacent to the church for a while and would go inside at night to sing in this giant building, and I would thoroughly enjoy filling it with sounds and listening to their endless hall.
And finally, we are closing with a track that made me indulge in summer feelings when opening all my windows at the first warm breeze this year. I hope it leaves you feeling delighted and optimistic and curious to discover always.
This year has been challenging in many ways, and I found that weirdly motivating. A friendly reminder that economic systems, relationship constellations, governments or any future plans are constructed and can collapse in times of crisis. I think this can be a deliberating thought because it illustrates the ephemerality of our lives we are used to ignoring. I perceived it as a push to not hold back on the projects I was waiting for a better moment for, or maybe was just too scared to work on. I hope I can share this enthusiasm for whatever attempt you want to make, whatever love you feel, whatever conventions you want to break, whatever treasures you want to share, whatever change you want to make, be unafraid and don’t wait – hand it all out.
Jacob Collier – Close to You
Becca Stevens and Jacob Collier – As (2:45)
Daniel Caesar and Jacob Collier – Time alone with you (3:04)
Ariza and Lisa Oduor-Noah – Runaway (6:57)
Blick Bassy- Aké (10:30)
Melody Gardot – Dont’t talk (13:37)
Brian Wilson – Don’t talk (put your head on my shoulder) (17:06)
Rhodes Galaxy – 5000 Miles (17:48)
Laura Veirs – I was a fool (22:25)
Os Tincoas – Cordeiro de nana (25:03)
Eloise – Subside (27:52)
Ibrahim Maalouf ft. Monica Belucci & -M- Paroles(30:45)
Jaylann ft. Beathoven – Chi Wqat (34:45)
Esperanza Spalding – Lest We Forget (38:45)
Gabór Szabó – Galatea’s Guitar (43:45)
Me!!! – Careful where you stand (Coldplay) (45:25)
Ella Fitzgerald – Oh, Lady be good(46:45)
The California Honeydrops – All Day, All Night (50:30)