by Zakriya Mohammed — (University College London)
"this is an auditory experience that could transport you through many favelas better than any plane could right now"
In contemporary times, personal playlists have become ways of neatly categorising your music, from organising by genre or mood. By doing this we have unknowingly creatively sectioned ourselves off, creating playlists that essentially regurgitate the same type of music over and over again, and while this seems harmless, we are musically doing ourselves a disservice. TR-2020 (Gold Edition) is an absolutely jumpy yet jazzy summer playlist curated by Sound Designer DATA-X.
Released via TR-909 Radio, it completely shakes up what we conventionally know as a similar sounding ‘playlist’ and invites us to listen to a bunch of hot tracks for the hot weather that have similar influences from around the world ranging from Brazil, Miami and Korea. The playlist is 17 tracks long and provides over an hour of a musical journey. No same-sounding mix of tracks here, just an invitation into different styles to really prove how good music can range from such a wide palette of genres and influences. It's got DATA-X's signature attention to quickly evolving, bubbly basslines.
Radical One’s ‘Beba’ track from the playlist makes use of traditional drum styles originating from Muslim settlers in South America, displaying a mesmerizing vocal mix that warps into an almost modern R&B/Salsa number. It's as good as it sounds. Férina crooner 5IVE is also cleverly featured in a smoother pocket of the mix with his collaboration with Prep Bijan entitled "Do You Gotta Man?" bringing an ultra-unique but much needed vibration to the mix.
Rilla Force’s ‘50’ from the playlist also takes inspiration like Radical One but uses the legendary 50 Cent track ‘Candy Shop’ and lively percussion to showcase the hit song in a way you have probably never experienced before. For those seasoned marathon listeners out there Roshan’s ‘What the Baile?!’ 29 minute track will appeal to your senses, as this is an auditory experience that could transport you through many favelas better than any plane could right now.
If you thought only a Brazilian influence was within these 18 tracks you would be wrong, as a flavour of Korean production is also present. The Korean producer BRLLNT features on the playlist with a remix of ‘Fergalicious’ which turns the 2006 pop hit into a electronic club banger suited for any DJ set up today. To top it all off, we also get a slice of Miami bass music which nicely makes an appearance in Jael’s track on the playlist, which is heavily inspired by the maverick of Miami Bass, the one and only Uncle Luke.
The TR-2020 (Gold Edition) playlist immerses us in many different styles of music from all around the world, whilst making us reimagine some classic hits to some surprising, yet complimentary influences. It has something for everyone, with a variety of dancehall, afro, bass & baille funk drum kits at its disposal, expect it to be a playlist on repeat this summer. In the world of repetitive playlists and mixes it seems that this one really has put the experimental ‘play’ element back into themed compilations. and hopefully inspires you to think a bit more creatively and out of the box when curating your own personal mixes.