POTW (2019/17): Indie Greats Twirl

Indie Greats Twirl by New Element Music is this week’s Playlist of the Week. It’s a few days later than normal… Easter was a bit crazy for me, and then I took a few days off to knit a present for a friend. Something I haven’t done in a very long time! When I say I took the time off, that’s a very loose description, as I’ve been following an online conference at the same time about business skills for indie musicians. There really haven’t been enough hours this week.

Anyway, back to the playlist. It’s a pleasant collection of independent music, with an upbeat, poppy, daytime sensibility. It’s really easy listening, without being easy-listening music, if you get my drift – it’s not demanding to listen to, but isn’t loungey, as it’s light and energetic.

I covered one of New Element Music’s playlists a couple of weeks back, so if you’d like to know more about the playlist curator, Manu Salamanca, have a look at my post on Electronic Kaleidoscope Lounge. I will just underline that Manu has a talent for putting together a great collection of songs that work together.

Duration: 41 songs / 2h 31min at the time of writing.

Rating: PG – one or two songs are flagged explicit – set the filter (via the Spotify app on a mobile device) if this will bother you or you want to play this in front of your kids!

POTW (2019/15): Electronic Kaleidoscope Lounge

This week’s Playlist of the Week is one I’ve been meaning to cover for ages, but somehow didn’t get round to. (I had to triple-check I hadn’t already written about it and still can’t quite believe I hadn’t already made it a POTW, it’s that good.)

The playlist in question is Electronic Kaleidoscope Lounge, from New Element Music, aka Manu Salamanca, an independent musician originally from France, who has also trained in Cuba. Manu works as a professional drummer and percussionist, but since 2017 he has been releasing classically influenced electronica under the name of New Element Music and gathering a steadily growing audience for this project. You can hear a couple of his tracks, The Crossing and Duo Apart in this list.

If I had to use one word to describe this playlist, it would be ‘cool’: it’s full of quirky, jazzy electronica with a club vibe. It’s reasonably uptempo, and the tracks tend to be rhythmically strong, but the playlist could still be used as a background to working or in a waiting room, because of its chilled-out loungy flavour. The ‘kaleidoscope’ in the title seems to be a reference to how the playlist gathers together music with influences from anywhere and everywhere in the world. It’s also almost exclusively comprised of tracks from independent musicians.

There’s really not a great deal more to say about this list, apart from pointing out Manu Salamanca’s great taste in the track selection, how well it flows and how current it sounds. This one really is a must-listen, so I’ll shut up now and let you get on with it!

NB: One or two tracks in this list are labelled ‘explicit’. To avoid these, you can set your Spotify account preferences via a mobile device. (You can’t set this on the desktop app, but contrary to the published advice from Spotify, my experience is that the setting applies to your account when you use other devices after it’s set on the mobile app).