Not to worry, let’s talk about the music! This is mostly mellow electronica from artists with labels regarded as ‘independent’ (as if you couldn’t guess from the title). Guitars are not absent, but are secondary to the synths. The beats propel these tracks along and I’m feeling quite motivated listening. (Yes folks, I have even, finally, defrosted the freezer between listens. Don’t fall off your chair!) Without actually counting, I’d guess that 80% to 90% of the artists on this list were unfamiliar to me; the ones I already know fall mainly under the triphop banner, with the odd exception like Aphex Twin. (I’m probably showing my ignorance of the club scene here; there are some well-followed artists amongst the ones I don’t recognise.)
This playlist has found something of a Goldilocks zone, with music that’s not too fast or too slow, not too heavy or light, not too energetic or sleepy. Music that boosts your mood and helps you get things done. Or that you could play at a party where you want to be able to talk to your guests above the noise. Many of the tracks are danceable: Digitalism’s Utopia, Soulwax’s Close to Paradise and This Mystic Morning (Dub) by The Darkside with its Madchester-style vibes being just a few examples. Another remarkable thing about this list is that, while only a handful of artists appear more than once, it sounds very coherent. (I have my suspicions that the curator is some sort of DJ).
Warp Factor 5
There’s an audible early ’90s ‘Warp factor’ – the influence of Warp Records, that is. A certain quirkiness and originality gives their presence away. It’s hardly surprising when you consider that a number of the artists represented have been through Warp or a subsidiary label. And let’s face it, what electronic artist isn’t to some extent influenced by the iconic label’s back-catalogue?
Duration: 14h 28min, 163 songs
Rating: PG. The curator has produced a playlist that’s almost completely clear of ‘explicit’ labelled tracks. There were lyrics I didn’t catch, though, and not all artists and labels label their tracks accurately.
Perfect for: study or work, if you don’t find the tempo a little too fast. Otherwise, this playlist is a good all-rounder that you could use to motivate you or as background noise for your party.