On the edge of mainstream and underground, combining billboard production characteristics with a nasty edge. That is how I like my contemporary music. Throw in a synth and a touch of melancholy and I’m in. This playlist is a collection of relatively recent releases/remixes that fit that description and have a sort of an hypnotic tone. Convenient player and full track listing if you continue reading.
One of my favorite albums of all time is The best of Blue Note, a compilation of Jazz tracks released on Blue Note imprint. Blue Note Records is a legendary label that released some of the most famous tracks by the biggest names in Jazz. The label is named after the notes that aren’t part of the traditional range but are common in this genre. I have owned this album for over 15 years and still frequently listen to it. Perfect for quiet Saturday nights, accompanied by home cooking and a glass of red wine. To have it available anytime anywhere, I decided to turn it into a playlist. Might as well share, right? Full track listing and embedded player available if you continue reading. Available here and here on compact disc.
Virtually every time we are in Thailand together, Khwantippa and I spend a night at a Tawan Daeng club with her friends. Always heaps of fun, it made me curious about the style of music that is played there, which is Luk Thung. Extremely popular throughout Thai society, why is this considered as country music and what is its history? Turns out it is a very interesting story. Let me tell you all about it.
poster for Monrak Luk Thung, famous for its country music soundtrack
With a lot of positive feedback, the Deep Despair playlist was begging for a follow up. With a similar recipe of deep house and pop/urban lyrics, this one comes drenched in a slightly more upbeat and sunny sauce. Yes, it needs to be mixed, and it will. Enjoy! Full track listing if you continue reading.
Mash-ups are made by combining two separate songs, thereby creating a completely new track. They typically combine the vocals of one song with the instrumental version of another, but other approaches exist and more than two songs can be involved. Views on the history of mash-up vary. Personally, I consider the megamixes of the 70s and 80s (Stars on 45, Mirage, Patrick Cowley, etc) as a precursor, with the practice being implicitly present in mixing culture for decades and brought to the surface by 2manyDJs around the turn of the century. The phenomenon has resulted in very popular tracks, some hugely popular as bootleg records, some re-released (or re-recorded) officially, a dedicated MTV show and mainstream artists even collaborating and doing live bootlegs. This playlist contains my favorite ones, including one by yours truly. Pretty sure that you’ll be surprised to find out that some are in fact mash-ups, as they are more popular than the originals. Full track listing if you continue reading.
My favorite era for R&B and Hip-hop spans from the late nineties till halfway the next decade. R&B came out of the age of Slow Jam and evolved into a relaxed and layered sound that propelled it into the mainstream, gradually shedding its African-American bias. The spotlight was on producers like Timbaland, The Neptunes and Missy Elliott and directors like Hype Williams. Music videos were colorful, showcased plenty of swag and required either a convertible car or a helicopter. Seriously, do pay attention how many of the videos in the following playlist feature a Bell Huey chopper 🙂 Anyway, I know you enjoyed volume 1 so here is the next one in my series of R&B playlists. Enjoy. Full track listing if you continue reading. A more contemporary selection is available as well. For different genres have a peek here.
Musically speaking, the Eighties don’t have the best reputation. There was Hair Metal, George Michael in different blazers, the electronic drum and MTV pushing music videos. One often forgets that it was also the decade of the New Romantics, New Wave and early electronica. Here is a selection of timeless 80s classics, all performed live. You’ve guessed it, I do like analog synths. Full track listing if you continue reading.
The current grim and dark Belgian weather is reflected in my latest compilation: Deep Despair. Deep house to Electro Pop with a melancholic undercurrent. Swapping a tropical climate for winter and leaving my princess behind in the process might have been a contributing factor, but let’s not dwell on that. For your consideration and perfect for gym and workout purposes. Full track listing if you continue reading.
Next to the popular genres of Luuk Thung and Mor Lam, Thailand also has a very large pop music scene. Even though primarily consisting of melancholic acoustic songs, it is more diverse than it initially appears. This playlist illustrates that point, along with the fact that Thai music videos are very well-produced. Full tracklisting if you continue reading.
A spontaneous playlist of what I like to call Urban Contemporary music, a.k.a. latter-day soul, R&B and hip-hop with an interesting twist. Who needs payed streaming services, right? Enjoy! More Playlists in a wide variety of genres in the top menu, under Music. Full track listing if you continue reading.