Mixtapes

The Isolation Mixtapes : S

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This morning i’m setting off for five days in the Swiss Alps, where i’ll be checking out this year’s postponed Forum Wallis festival. Words to follow next week upon my return. Meanwhile, this week’s Isolation Mixtape explores some of the most interesting and marvellous music from the last decade by composers, groups and artists beginning with the letter S. Once again, there are two tracks for each of the years 2010 to 2019, featured in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : R

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Number 18 in my weekly serious of Isolation Mixtapes explores some of the best music from the last decade by artists, composers and groups beginning with the letter R. As always, there are two tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, featured in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : Q

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For the latest Isolation Mixtape i’ve had to take a slightly different approach from usual. We’ve reached the letter Q in my alphabetical celebration of some of the best music from the last decade and, quite frankly, though i scoured my music collection like never before, trying to put together a mix featuring artists, groups and composers beginning with (or even, for that matter, including) the letter Q for each of the years 2010 to 2019 turned out to be too problematic. i experimented having the name of the track start with the letter Q instead; problem solved. i’m guessing similar issues might arise when tackling the letters X and Z…

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : P

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This week’s Isolation Mixtape focuses on artists, groups and composers beginning with the letter P. As usual the mix celebrates some of the best and most striking music from the last decade, with two tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, featured in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : O

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Week number 15 of my Isolation Mixtapes celebrates music and sound art by composers, groups and artists beginning with the letter O. Once again there are two tracks for each of the years 2010 to 2019, featured in chronological order. The final track in particular may (or, more likely, may not) provide some useful if tongue-in-cheek advice for those struggling to cope with the ongoing pandemic situation.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : N

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With this week’s Isolation Mixtape, we enter the second half of the alphabet, focusing on artists, composers and groups beginning with the letter N. As ever, there are two of the most interesting tracks from each of the years 2010-2019, featured in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : M

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It’s week 13 in my series of Isolation Mixtapes, which means we’re now halfway through the alphabet. When i began this series it seemed possible that the prospect of 26 mixtapes, unfolding weekly over the course of six months, might well be in keeping with the length of time of lockdown. As things stand now the lockdown, and its associated isolation, is slowly becoming less of a reality in the UK – and even more so across Europe – though ‘normality’ (however we end up (re)defining that) remains somewhere in the future, particularly for music and the arts. So my plan is to continue through the latter half of the alphabet in the hope that, by the time we reach Z, all of our lives might be a lot more genuinely normalised, and that enforced isolation is becoming a memory.

To that end, here’s this week’s mixtape, devoted to composers, groups and artists beginning with the letter M. The first half has an inadvertent focus on song, while the second half becomes more abstract and atmospheric. As always there are two tracks for each of the years 2010 to 2019, presented in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : L

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The twelfth in my weekly series of Isolation Mixtapes focuses on composers, artists and groups beginning with the letter L. Once again, there are two of the most interesting tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, featured in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : K

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In this week’s Isolation Mixtape, exploring the best music from the last decade, all of the music is by groups, composers and artists beginning with the letter K. As always, two of the most splendiferous tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, presented in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : J

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This week’s Isolation Mixtape explores music by artists, composers and groups starting with the letter J. Once again there are two of the most interesting tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, featured in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : I

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Week number nine in my ongoing series of Isolation Mixtapes is focused on artists, groups and composers beginning with the letter I. Two of the best tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, explored in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : H

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This week’s Isolation Mixtape exploring some of the best music from the last decade focuses on composers, artists and groups beginning with the letter H. Two tracks from of the year’s 2010 to 2019, once again explored in chronological order. All the previous mixtapes can be found on the Mixtapes page.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : G

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And the beat lockdown goes on, so here’s a new Isolation Mixtape, exploring some of the very best sounds from the years 2010–19, focusing on artists, composers and groups beginning with the letter G. As always, none of the tracks have been featured in any previous 5:4 mixtapes, and once again i’ve worked through them in chronological order. All of the previous mixtapes (Isolation and otherwise) can be found here.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : F

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Another week, another isolation mixtape, this time focusing on groups, composers and artists beginning with the letter F. Twenty tracks, two of the best from each of the years 2010 to 2019, as usual exploring them in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : E

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For the new Isolation Mixtape i’ve ramped up the intensity somewhat, so be prepared to pump up the volume to the max for this one. This week i’m focusing on artists, composers and groups beginning with the letter E, once again selecting two fantabulous tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, going through them in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : D

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Here’s the fourth in my weekly serious of Isolation Mixtapes, which will hopefully provide a distraction from the lockdown along with a large dose of celebration of great music from the last decade. As usual, i’ve allowed myself two tracks from each of the years 2010 to 2019, working through them in chronological order, and all artists this time start with the letter D.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : C

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As the lockdown continues here in the UK, i hope all of you are keeping safe and well. This week in my ongoing series of Isolation Mixtapes exploring some of the best music from the last 10 years, i’m focusing on composers and artists starting with the letter C. The mix features two tracks from each year, once again in chronological order.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : B

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Here’s the second in my new ongoing series of weekly mixtapes to aid with getting through this unsettling period of lockdown and isolation. This time, a tour through some of the very best things from 2010–2019 by artists beginning with the letter B; two tracks from each of those years, once again featured in chronological order.

The tracklisting in full is below, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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The Isolation Mixtapes : A

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Due to the ongoing battle against COVID-19, many of us throughout the world are currently experiencing various states of lockdown and isolation. That’s not a situation that looks like it’s going to change significantly for the foreseeable future, so today i’m beginning a new weekly series of mixtapes on 5:4The Isolation Mixtapes. i very much hope that these regular doses of fabulous, fascinating music will go some way to relieve the monotony and make our time isolated from friends and loved ones a little more bearable. Just as importantly, they’ll provide plenty of ideas for music worth buying – and thereby help to support the industry a bit.

The Isolation Mixtapes will be a separate strand from my usual quarterly mixtapes (which i’ll be pausing during this period), and while they won’t have a specific theme, i have given myself some simple rules in order to be able to compile them relatively quickly. i’m making these mixtapes an opportunity to look back over the last decade, so everything will have been released during the years 2010 to 2019. In tandem with this, i’ll be working my way through the alphabet, one letter at a time, so this first mixtape in the series features composers, artists and groups that all begin with the letter A. Two tracks from each year are allowed, making for a total of 20 in each mixtape, and the tracks should be no longer than 7 minutes’ duration. None of the tracks will have been included in any of my previous mixtapes, and in general, i’m going to be favouring music by artists whom i haven’t featured before. So those are the rules, and i hope they’ll make for an interesting, eclectic whistle-stop tour through some of the very best things i’ve listened to during the last ten years.

Here’s the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music – and now, more than ever, if you like what you hear, do please buy the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud. Read more

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Mixtape #58 : Virus

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Sometimes deciding a theme for a mixtape can be a time-consuming business – but not this time. If anything, not making viruses the theme for the new 5:4 mixtape would just feel like being wilfully contrary. So – a couple of weeks earlier than scheduled – here it is, a tour through some of my favourites that feel more than a little pertinent to the remarkable times we’re currently experiencing. Not surprisingly with a topic such as this, a lot of the music is serious in tone, though the way this is articulated varies widely. Many explore a quiet, often unsettlingly (in)tense simmering (Nine Inch NailsJohn Oswald, Bass CommunionVykintas Baltakas, The Noisettes, Angelo Badalamenti & David Lynch), occasionally featuring hot surges (Brian McOmber, Cat Temper, Ramin Djawadi, SaffronKeira, Toru Takemitsu, Necro Deathmort, Andrew Liles, Daphne Oram, Paul Haslinger). Some go beyond these limitations into ferocious incandescence (Man Without Country, Pan Sonic, Si Begg, Reza Solatipour), the complete opposite, eerie calm (Coleclough & Murmer, Ulrich Schnauss, Justin Hurwitz), or pounding, edgy regularity (Joseph Trapanese, Aria Prayogi & Fajar Yuskemal, Picture Palace Music). The rest channel their sentiments into fierce, forthright vocals (Björk, Chelsea Wolfe, Crystal Castles, Moderat, Lydia Lunch, Cabaret Voltaire, Hecq with Nongenetic). A short jingle from Raymond Scott is a closing tongue-in-cheek moment that i hope is forgivable in these trying circumstances.

Two hours of pandemically-related tracks and tropes that are, in a multitude of ways and in the absolute best sense, highly infectious and hard to shake off. Below is the tracklisting in full, together with approximate timings and links to obtain the music. As usual, the mixtape can be downloaded or streamed via MixCloud.

These are difficult times we’re living through at the moment. i sincerely hope you’re all keeping as safe, fit and healthy as you can, and that you’re taking advantage of any imposed isolation or downtime to explore lots of new music. Best wishes to all of you, wherever you are. Read more

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