19 Nov 2010

Playlists – My Guide

Making a great playlist is an art, it really is. Now I may not have perfected it, but I would like to get your thoughts on the matter. While sharing mine, of course, whenever lists, playlists or the organisation of music is involved, my mind turns directly to one of my favourite films ever, High Fidelity.

Dick is confused. So is Rob.
There is a wonderful scene in the film adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel where Dick interrupts John Cusack’s character, Rob, while he’s reorganising his record collection. His aprartment’s floor is completely covered in records and Rob couldn’t look more dejected if he tried. The chaos on the floor confuses Dick’s simple mind and he asks Rob how he is sorting his albums, Rob explains the process in the scene, explaining that it’s autobiographical. Have a look, I think it rocks. Basically, the fact that it’s autobiographical makes no difference to me, but I liked the idea of doing it your own way. 

This is kind of my approach to making a playlist. I don’t always group similar kinds of music, I like grouping music by philosophy. So bands that are more focussed on the soundscapes they create as opposed to the lyrics that they write. Some are musicians more interested in being musicians instead of writers, that sort of thing.

Creating a playlist that consists of a single genre is reasonably easy, for example, taking all of Jack White or Josh Homme’s projects and slamming them in a playlist, they’ll naturally work, because of the bands’ main creative forces.

Combining genres is a lot more difficult, but it’s definitely not impossible, but the playlists that I find work the best are influence related. Find your favourite bands’ influences, drop them all in a playlist together and I can almost guarantee you musical magic.

So how do you make your playlists, do you group albums or songs? Do you mix genres or play it safe? Let me know, as a music geek, I need to know these things people.


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