It is with great pleasure that we announce the release of 4UDIO SNOBBERY. Although our fourth playlist, it is our most important yet. 4UDIO represents our first release cognisant of you, our dear readers. Prior playlists, Audio Snobberies I-III, represent the O.G. snobbery that begat this blog; the original collaborative playlists Cuzomano, Easy C, John, El Mascarado and Otacon spent time listening to whilst busy with life.
4UDIO represents our first effort at self-curation – a determination to turn our eclectic, ephemeral, and sometimes mis-judged choices into a compendium of songs that embody, in our opinion, music you should have in your life, and artists you should spend time diving into, learning about, understanding and appreciating.
Each of us has a few words to say behind our choices, and future releases will employ this same format, as we feel it important to explain the logic and sentiment behind our curation to you, that you yourself may form an opinion on music and begin similarly to study and appreciate your own taste, and share it with others.
The release of this playlist involved significant debate. Factions have been formed and – at times – the atmosphere became quite aggressive. We Snobs learned deep truths about each other. John, prone to hedonism, was particularly destroyed and is only now learning to speak again. Audio Snobbery may never be the same. That is the arduous love with which we craft these playlists for you, our dear listeners.
Lastly, accompanying this release is our first B-Sides, shouting out to the tracks that didn’t make it, the ones that got away, and those where a majority vote on whether or not to include the track could not be reached (and hence our now fractious friendships).
It was a long and arduous discussion centred around two anger-filled, cuss-laden meetings in which we snobs agreed the final playlist. There are certainly some songs that made the cut which yours truly feels quite unwelcome, however such is the nature of a majority vote (albeit with some politics involved), and thus was it necessary to create a B-Sides playlist (our first). Nonetheless, a personal highlight that made it in and stands out is the hauntingly intimate recording of 17 Days by Prince (our review of the full album is here). I would also like to give a shout out to Blue Rose by Amen Dunes, whose supreme album, Freedom, is a strong contender for my personal album of the year, and to Audio Snobbery hero, David Bowie, with the beautiful, overlooked Loving the Alien. The final two artists I’d like to doff my hat to are Quincy Jones, whose track Keep Reachin’ featuring Chaka Khan made it into 4UDIO with a little help from the superb Netflix documentary on this titan of music’s life story, and Spiritualized, whose most celebrated album, Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, is worth another, extensive listen to remind you what really constitutes good music. Happy listening.
I won’t lie to you, dear reader, serious civil unrest now strikes at the heart of Audio Snobbery. What seemed like a blossoming relationship amongst close friends has turned into a bitter divorce with ugly fighting over child custody. 4UDIO SNOBBERY has given rise to an anger reminiscent of the cyclist confronting Boris Johnson outside his home after the result of the UK referendum. At least we are representative of the sentiment of our times. In any case, it’s the music that should really do the talking here and a noteworthy track for me is Supertramp’s Cannonball. I also agree with Cuzomano, albeit with gritted teeth, that Amen Dunes’ Freedom is one of the albums of the year, so Blue Rose makes for important listening. Another shoutout needs to go to Crazy P and their pulsating Something More – having had the pleasure of seeing them live in the past I can only imagine how good this track must sound when performed before you. To conclude the musical journey that is 4UDIO SNOBBERY, I point you to Pulp’s Babies. Enjoy the ride.
I believe my fellow Snobs have already stressed enough how intense this curating session was, not only due to its significance (after all, the “first” playlist is being officially launched), but also because, well, all of us have different tastes, opinions and points of view. 4UDIO SNOBBERY provided the first real test we had to endure since, being the snobs that we are, this curating session could very quickly turn into a series of monologues and lectures, with each of us trying to educate one another. Although all this is true (and we did experience some turbulence in Audio Snobbery HQ while conducting this exercise), it gave me great comfort seeing that, when it came down to it, personal egos were put aside while democracy and the majority rule were put into effect – and it turns out that there was a much bigger consensus in the overall final selection than I had anticipated. Most choices were agreed by all of us immediately (both for good and for bad), although some fierce battles had to be fought – shout out to Express Yourself, who had to battle through Cuzomano’s bad vibes before making it to the final selection (the song’s name, Express Yourself, is literally the definition of music, dude!).
In any case, the music truly is the hero on 4UDIO SNOBBERY. Limiting 3 months of our musical lives into a single 50-odd track playlist is not an easy task, but I believe the end result is a fascinating selection of what was going on in each of our snobby heads throughout the last quarter of 2018. Personal highlights include the Brazilian vibe imprinted by Tim Maia and Marcos Valle, Spiritualized’s textbook musical definition of “space rock” genre via I Think I Am in Love, and basically anything with Anderson .Paak (and there are a few Easter eggs in the playlist). I would also like to congratulate Joe Goddard’s Home, which was actually the last track to make it to the final selection, after a fierce debate between us snobs. Dear reader, it is worth giving this a listen – like many Goddard songs, it starts off with a weird (to say the least) combination of vocals and synthesisers, but the chorus is truly worth the wait, leaving you with a funky and groovy vibe perfect for going home for the holiday season.
Curation is (meant to be) a beautiful thing. Narrowing down 3 months worth of aggressive listening to roughly 50 songs should produce an excellent source of audio orgasms, especially when derived from the collective listening of 5 particularly snobbish music lovers. 4UDIO SNOBBERY is indeed an excellent source of eargasms, but believe me the process was (at times) far from beautiful. Friendships have been fractured and mental, emotional and physical wellbeing sacrificed for your listening pleasure.
As is usually the case, the closing months of the year bring about a sense of nostalgia for yours truly, so my contributions have tended to some older, funky and upbeat tracks. My personal favorite: Chaka Khan’s Some Love should provide some warmth this holiday season as that bass and piano (and of course vocals) fill your hearts with cheer.
Jokes aside, we hope you enjoy this release as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Catch you on the flip side!
[Editors’ note: we must note with some dismay that Otacon continues to play an enigmatic role within the snobs, albeit with geographical boundaries a necessary consideration. Otacon has played no part as of yet in playlist curation. We other Snobs lament this, but such has been our way of life to-date.]
The last few months with the Snobs has slowly but surely rekindled my love of exploring music and sharing in the experience with others. Despite my lack of input so far, it was nice to see some nostalgic names from my teenage years (see Echo and the Bunnymen, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys and Real Estate) coming from my fellow Snobs. Now that I am back stateside I am very excited for 2019 and have already started uncovering some gems for the next iteration of our playlist.
Lastly, we wish you a happy 2019 and leave you with this belter.