POTW (2019/9): Get Happy!

Get Happy from the playlister Hits4U is our 9th Playlist of the Week this year. I’ve selected this one because it is full of uptempo tunes, it is intended to be cheerful, and that’s exactly what we all need at this time of the year when Spring is trying to arrive but Winter’s not quite disappeared yet.

It’s a rather eclectic selection of tunes, this one, with a few tracks that are nothing short of quirky (for example Juan Maria Solare’s fun Es Geht Noch, is juxtaposed with Andy Garrett’s metal jaunt Afterthought).

The playlist is, unusually, almost entirely comprised of independent musicians’ work; indeed some of the artists may be familiar to you as they have appeared in other playlists that I’ve featured.

I’m not convinced it manages to stay cheerful the entire time, as some of the tracks stray into more melancholy territory, such as Jackie Marie’s haunting Won’t Settle for Less but those are in the minority and it’s a fun listen. Particular highlights for me were Simon Irvine and Jayber C’s collaboration Accord, Munro’s Let It Go and Moonbeam by Robert Maitland.

POTW (2019/8): Classic Electronic Music

This week’s selection for Playlist of the Week is ‘Classic Electronic Music’ by Spotify user ‘lodolf’. It focusses in on the more melodic and cinematic side of electronica, which has roots in classical and orchestral music. In fact, some of the pieces included are actually classical orchestral music being played on synths, e.g. Synclassica’s renditions of Mozart, Beethoven, Vivaldi and so on. Another notable piece is Arvo Pärt’s moving minimal work, Spiegel im Spiegel.

There is a lot to like here. This is a well thought out playlist of instrumental music, with selected pieces of electronica from the 1970s onwards. There were a few surprises – I didn’t expect to hear ABBA’s Arrival or, for that matter, any Bowie. (Benny Andersson of ABBA also snook in again with his cinematic Skallgång.)

That insistence on shying away from the obvious is one of the playlist’s major assets – it includes a generous smattering of emerging artists, examples being Easily Embarrassed, Bassic, Animobo, Firechild, Didymos, and the list goes on. This led me to discover at least a handful of artists who weren’t even near my radar, let alone on it.

If I’m going to be really picky, this playlist focusses a bit too heavily on certain artists, albeit with some heavy hitters fitting that category, such as Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis and Tangerine Dream. That has not taken away from this playlist being a thoroughly enjoyable listen, however, as the ‘over-represented’ artists are all fantastic.

POTW (2019/7): Anima 27 by RE Junesworth

This week’s Playlist Of The Week is RE Junesworth’s lovely Anima 27: Surreal / Cosmic / Lo Fi / Synth / Psychedelic / Atmospheric / Ambient which they describe as, “a selection of electronic music with industrial influences, downtempo and lo fi, and some ambient tracks for calm breaks”. With it being instrumental, it’s the kind of playlist you can put on and leave playing in the background, allowing you to dig into work that requires some fairly deep concentration. And at over 8 hours long, you’re not going to need to worry about what to play next in the middle of a tricky task. Tracks range from those from better-known artists like Alan Gogoll, Lemongrass, Seneca B and Shpongle, to some hidden gems from some underground acts.

Although they would sit well in this playlist, it doesn’t include any Flungundi tracks at the time of writing. Flugundi is the home of RE Junesworth’s own artistic endeavours, which are well worth checking out.

And, if you enjoy this playlist and would like to explore further, there are actually a whole load of other Anima playlists from the same curator, with emphasis on different genres each time, but staying within the realms of chillout music.

POTW (2019/6): Electronica by Independent Female Artists

This week’s POTW is another compiled by Line Munch-Petersen (ENILSounds). In this playlist, she features tunes by female electronic artists who are unsigned or with independent record labels.

The music ranges from ambient through to electro-country with various shades of electronica, pop and rock in between. Some of the tracks have a darker feel to them, like Brexistentialism and The Elders Secret and some have clubby vibes, e.g. Corazon de Lluvia and There’s a Place for You. There are a lot of tracks on this playlist from artists I’d never heard before, so it’s a really good one for new music discovery, too. And if I’m not mistaken there’s a European flavour pervading the list, Brexistentialism included.

Rating: PG – it has a song or two flagged ‘explicit’, but is mostly ‘clean’.