Weekly Roundup! (07/25/16 - 07/31/16)

This week's roundup is going to be a little different. As you guys know, over the last three days I posted a complete breakdown of all the artists performing in the upcoming Outside Lands music festival (August 5-7). They are broken up by day, and organized by starting set times. You can check them out here: Friday // Saturday // Sunday. This task all but consumed my listening, as you may imagine, so in terms of what ELSE I listened to, I don't really have anything to give you, nothing substantial at least. However, I didn't want to leave you empty handed, and there was one other thing I've worked on the last few weeks that was initially just for me, but maybe you'll enjoy it too.

Sometimes I mess around with playlists by limiting the scope of what songs I can use. I like to do this to see if I can still maintain fluidity under these guidelines. I enjoy it because often times I'm forced to use songs I'd forgotten about, or better yet, songs I wouldn't normally put in a mix. In short, it makes me dig a little deeper, and when the mix comes together, it's that much more satisfying.  

The theme this time was 'Digits.' I wanted to make a series of 10 track playlists using numbers in sequence, 1-10 in this case. Some numbers had up to eight or nine tracks I would've loved to use, while others barely had any usable options. This complicated things, especially if the playlist already had a feel, but also gave the mixes a unique sound, as the sharp change in tone seemed to add to the appeal. It's also entirely possible they all sound horrible and I'm losing my mind. At the very least, I like it, and that's all that matters.  

There are four playlists altogether, all of which are pretty eclectic in their build and represent different moods. They are designated as Side A, Side B, Side C, and Hip-Hop; which I'm sure you can deduct, is dedicated to hip-hop. I thought about infusing the hip-hop tracks into the other mixes, which I've done in the past, but here it disrupted the flow too much. However, there were too many great tracks within the genre to deny them altogether, hence, it gets its own. Once again, I've spoken too much, scroll on down and see what you like.  

I'll finish with throwing something else to look into, I'm sorry, I just couldn't leave you without an album to listen to, I just couldn't! So here... 

Sinoia Caves - Beyond The Black Rainbow (OST)

Due to my recent completion/ current obsession with the new Netflix original show, Stranger Things (I know I'm not alone), I was on the lookout for anything and everything that could extend my high. One of the best things about the show was it's soundtrack, which was brought to us by the Austin based group S U R V I V E (whose latest single I talked about HERE). That orchestra of wonderfully moody synths, the overwhelming feeling as they build the mood and consume you, drawing you in to their 80's nostalgia dream ride. They aren't the first to do it, they aren't even the first to do it really really well, but they are the most recent to do it. And because they have yet to release a soundtrack, I had to go hunting. 

I went through all my 80's flavored synth acts, Troller, Kavinsky, SSLEEPERHOLD; I visited past film scores, basically anything Cliff Martinez has worked on (most recently, the excellent The Neon Demon), and compilation soundtracks to films like The Guest. Then I stumbled upon the original score for the film Beyond The Black Rainbow, a 2010 flick that I vaguely remember being released by hadn't seen. After listening through Sinoia Caves score once, I immediately screened the film. It's weird, it's striking, it's mind bending. Though the story fell a little flat for me, that wasn't what I was enjoying about the film in the first place.

Once again, it was the soundtrack that stood atop everything. Dark, mysterious, atmospheric; cold, yet full of life. With only seven songs (coming in at just under 40 minutes), it was equal parts not enough and just what I was looking for. Certain songs play through with ambient, spacey tones, while other are driven by flourishing synths and brooding beats. It's excellent, and it's what I've been listening to this week.