Sunday 14 February 2021

Colors of Love - Another Valentine's Mixtape

After being on the back burner for nearly a year, I present to you another valentine's mixtape. I say a year because immediately after I finished last years I had a handful f leftover tracks that I really wanted to have put in but missed their shot. Guess what this year's mix is made up of? I don't want you to feel like this is 'the leftovers' or anything, each of these tunes stands on their own! Stay tuned for a bit of commentary by me after the player and tracklist!

Monk - L
Mitsunori Ikeda - Fallen Angel
Phil - Crazy & Ready
Chromeo - Bonafied Lovin'
R·O·N - Adult Bath
Tsutchie - Deeper Than Words
Clammbon By Nujabes - Imaginary Folklore
Röyksopp - In Space

I may have been a bit over-ambitious again this time, it feels to me a bit clunkier in parts than my last attempt at this kind of thing but I guess that's the price I pay for trying to put Eurobeat into Chromeo - the selection is unique at the very least! I tried this time to get a nice even balance of upbeat and downbeat this time - there's four tracks of each so it's balanced in a sense! We open with the beautifully hazy L from Monk. I was first introduced to this one from the soundtrack to OlliOlli2, which is full of other tracks with this style of hazy, compressed indie electronic, I love it but it's easy to have too much of it too. From there it's the one track that really pained me to miss out of last year's tape - Mitsunori Ikeda's Fallen Angel, yet another cut from the Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt soundtrack - which is also full of absolute stonking tunes. Fallen Angel is far too funky to just be an ending theme, and Aimee B just straight up kills it on the vocal front as well.

I spent a fair bit of time deciding what to put next... I knew I wanted some Eurobeat in there (after all a good 80% of Eurobeat lyrics are either about love or are innuendos) but the question was finding one that was mostly accessible. Which is tough when you're as into the genre as I am, it's kind of warped my perception of cheese a bit! But there are plenty of tracks out there that wear the disco influence on their sleeve, and Crazy & Ready is one of them, much closer to the House side of the spectrum of Eurobeat. That's not to say it's not still got that earnest cheese that I love - some of the lyrics are choice and the synth melodies should carry a warning label for how sugary sweet they are!

From there it's the surprising first appearance of Chromeo. And really what is there to say about them? They've been at it for well over a decade at this point and they are still doing what they do exceptionally well. I did almost put a track from their 'Quarantine Casanova' EP here, but I couldn't find one to mix well (and in hindsight it probably would have been in poor taste too). Instead I went for the tried ad tested fallback Bonafied Lovin' from Fancy Footwork. It's the album of theirs I'm most attached to but if you like the sound they have here, you could pretty much pick up their entire discography and not be disappointed. We're around the halfway point now and we begin our slide into downtempo, and what better way to signify that change than with Adult Bath. Perhaps not strictly electronic but I just had to include it for it's sound alone, and as I said just before it nicely sets us up for the more hip-hop final half.

Another track that I missed off of last years, Tsutchie with Deeper Than Words. I found Tsutchie during my dive into the world of Japanese hip hop a little while back and quickly became one of my favourite names in that space. There's no shortage of Tsutchie tunes that could go here - often super slick and smooth, it was no question of whether Tsutchie would make the mix but which one would I choose. Keeping it in that sphere for the time being, a super lush produced track from Nujabes. There are two versions of this one, Folklore and the one that I went with, Imaginary Folklore. It's one of Nujabes' more popular songs and it's not hard ot hear why, it's easily one of the best examples of his distinctly lo-fi production methodology and is just a gorgeous listen.

Finally, we round out with Röyksopp's In Space. I've been revisiting their debut Melody A.M. as of late - it turns 20 years old this year and it does sound very early 00's in it's overall style but it's aged very gracefully. and one that I still very highly recommend if you are at all into Electronic music, doubly if you like downtempo stuff as much as I. My heart told me to pick Sparks yet again as it's one of my favourite songs of all time, but I switched it up and went with a full instrumental piece instead. In Space perhaps shows off that turn of the 2000's sound more than most tracks from the album (a friend lovingly calls Melody A.M. 'Advertising Music - The Album') but it's still a lovely listen and I think closes this little selection out nicely.

Right, the commentary was a little longer than I expected but that'll about do it for us. I hope you like some of my selections here, and I'll be back soon enough with more. And as always: Stay safe and enjoy the music.


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