Monday, April 07, 2008

A Muxtape for a Snowy Day / blown-a-wish

On Sunday I woke to find one my favourite sites in the whole world: a carpet of snow outside my window. During my childhood in Australia, I was lucky that I grew up in a small country town, Orange in New South Wales, that received regular snowfall each winter (due to a higher elevation than most surrounding cities) More often than not it would mean that school would be cancelled for at least a day, meaning ample time to get frostbite in pursuit of making snowmen, snow angels and the perfect snowball. Bliss.

So I decided to make the most of the white landscape and head to the local cemetery to take pictures of snow-crusted seraphs, before checking out the snowmen in Clissold park. I made sure that the music accompanying my walk would be perfect too. Nothing overwrought or frantic, just something gentle that would suffice for a stroll around snow covered Stoke Newington. This is what I came up with.

Indeed, this is the second online mixtape I've made in the last week, after stumbling across one of the most refreshing sites I've come across in a long time. Muxtape lets you create your very own mixtape for others to listen too. Simply register, upload your selection of 12 tracks, order and tag them, click save, and voilĂ're Rob Gordon. Or a smitten teenager.

NB: I'm not the first or the second, but certainly act like both all the time. And yes, I still make mixtapes. Fact.

Anyway, head over to Muxtape and listen to a random selection of user mixtapes. I've found that by clicking play on one tape and letting it run in the background while writing/browsing/cooking that I've discovered more new artists than using It's also made me realise that although the method of delivery may have changed over the last five years, mixtapes will continue to be made.

* After the sojourn in the snow, I spent an afternoon re-discovering artists I'd bookmarked on MySpace back while looking for acts for the first (and last) Something Secret club night at the Pleasure Unit. One such artist that caught my ear was blown-a-wish. The solo project from the bass player from London band Silent Alliance, Alex Brettel's work as blown-a-wish is reminiscent of Cocteau Twins and My Bloody Valentine. Her dreamy vignettes stay with you long after you've listened to them, with a degree of fragility that draws you in from the opening notes. If these are demos, I'm looking forward to hearing the finished product.

blown-a-wish - My Heart Into

blown-a-wish - Pale Hope

blown-a-wish - You/Her