Curated by humans.
Designed to be played in order, not shuffled.
2020 simply gets better and better, doesn’t it? With every passing month – or week – we seem to come closer together, to feel better, and to smile about all the things we share in common…in hatred of the other. What a wonderful world. If this is too depressing an opener, hopefully our latest release, AS 13, can cheer you up a little, because we genuinely do believe it’s not all bad. Switch off the news and you might love your neighbour. As Public Enemy were wont to say, don’t believe the [media] hype.
One of the first pieces of good news to come out of the coronavirus pandemic was Dr. Dre’s announcement that his back catalogue was no longer exclusive to Apple Music, and thus we are able to share our love for The Chronic with playlist opener, Lyrical Gangbang. This is swiftly followed by yet-another-Gorillaz-track in Aries (featuring Joy Division/New Order’s Peter Hook), although it must be noted at this point that Albarn’s cartoon characters are veering towards “lazy vehicle for commercial exploitation” over “laudable vehicle for creative release.” OG Hero David Bowie also finally gets another place in an Audio Snobbery A-side for the first time since 4UDIO SNOBBERY, with his 2002 cover of Pixies’ Cactus (Cuzomano is thrilled).
The big theme of this playlist, however, seems to be Death itself, as AS 13 is littered with nods to great artists we’ve lost. Mac Miller’s All I Want Is You acknowledges the late rapper’s precocious talent at just 16 years old; Hit or Miss and The Girl Can’t Help It remind us of Bo Diddley and Little Richard’s influence on Rock n’ Roll (hence our inclusion of The Rolling Stones’ Miss You); and Kraftwerk’s under-recognised, hypnotic Vitamin is our in memoriam to the late, great Florian Schneider (for more on Kraftwerk’s absolutely massive impact on Music, see Threads).
It’s not all death, death, death, though. Jay-Z’s I Made It provides some much-needed uplift and De Lux’s Dancing Is Dangerous In Los Angeles will indeed have you tapping your foot (if not dancing) within a few short seconds.
In recognition of Fiona Apple’s widely-lauded album, we’ve also included the cheery Drumset to serve as an introduction for those listeners who might not yet have got around to listening to Fetch The Bolt Cutters. Nine Inch Nails’ Letting Go While Holding On from Ghosts V later provides some soothing calm as we begin to close out our latest release, but not before leaving you with an absolute banger in the form of LCD Soundsystem’s how do you sleep?
God knows what the second half of this year will yield – at this rate, nothing will be a surprise – however, we Snobs can guarantee that, whatever the weather, we will keep providing you with 60 tracks every month in a vain effort to keep you sane. Don’t give up (yet): there’s just 198 more sleeps until 2021.