Farewell, Old Year (A 2017 Mixtape)

Chaplin, Modern Times

“music heals too/ i’m here to defend it”

-Björk, ‘Saint’, 2017


The end of the year is for me a time for recollection, reflection, planning and self-care.

This year I continued investing in music and books. As a present to friends I recorded a ‘mixtape’ (90 minutes, as the tapes I used to favour to record mixtapes back in the day) featuring some of the tracks and/or artists that were on heavy rotation during 2017 at home. This set was recorded in real time using two turntables, a mixer and a CD player. All the music included is music we bought in physical formats during 2017 or mid-late 2016.

I originally thought it would be a more ‘uplifty’ set but one track led to the other, which coincided with the sun setting this afternoon and the room getting darker and darker as I was recording, so it ended up being a tad gloomy, which was not at all my intention (you will think I must be fun at parties…) If you listen attentively though I hope you can detect the light coming through.

I’m not sure how long the link may be live as I only have a free mixcloud account and I am likely to have to delete content to upload new sets, but in the meanwhile you can listen to it below or by following the link. (Needless to say copyright of the tunes included belongs to the corresponding owners. Love music? Buy music.)

Happy new year to you all!

The Good Old Days: Charity Shop Music

Near Obsolescence: Charity Shop Music

“Everything comes from somewhere…”

-Paul Morley, Words and Music, 2003

Getting old is hard. It’s hard not to feel that when the stuff you love is becoming obsolescent you yourself are rushing to obsolescence. Suddenly we find our past left behind in charity shops. The stuff you bought once with much effort is suddenly there for a quid.

Recently someone left a sizeable collection of recent-ish, mint CDs in one of my (several) local charity shop. I had bought all of those CDs once in the past (not the same CDs, but the same, in a work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction kind of way), but due to several migrations they got lost along the way. As a record collector and frequent scavenger of second-hand and charity shops, I often wonder about previous owners, and the pieces of biographies they leave behind when they get rid of a collection.

This time around I took the opportunity of recovering some of these objects, that, even as compact discs, still hold on to the aura of valuable, meaningful objects, embedded with collective and individual memories. The newest of those CDs is from a decade ago, and boy, does that still feel like yesterday to me.

Anyway, I have made a ‘mixtape’ (many times in my life I used this word non-metaphorically) with some songs from some of the albums I found in the charity shop. There is nothing rare or ‘underground’ here (particularly for the UK context, pretty much the opposite) but where I come from some of these CDs were precious possessions to be treasured.

I have called this “The Good Old Days (Charity Shop Rock Sr Priego Set)”, and you can listen to it if you click here.