Poolside.fm

It’s pretty rare these sorts of websites exist anymore, but here we are in 2019 and poolside.fm has me completely captivated. In my opinion, the same advice given to athletes, goes for websites, apps and startups too:

Do one thing, really well.

Poolside.fm does one thing very well indeed. Emulating a very specific aesthetic. Observe:

Player detail. I just love this. Reminds me of System 8.

It just so happens to play the most wonderfully curated playlists this side of the internet. Come for the aesthetic, stay for the jams. Right? Poolside is a labor of love from Marty Bell (@marty). Marty also admins a VIP entrepreneurs chat room called Jacuzzi Club.

Poolside consists of the classic trappings of a decent music site: a delicious summery mix of jams, dancey tunes, indie tracks, seasonal goodies, lo-fi mixes and rarities that your neighboring college radio station envies — I could easily spend days here myself. It has a fantastic nostalgia too (Majestic Casual anyone?). It’s a good place. In an age where algorithmically generated playlists tend to breed boring, repetitive (and all too frequently predictable) Spotify playlists and Twitter trends, Poolside fills the void with serendipitous sounds that I seemingly never grow tired of.

I feel like this exactly what the music community needs right now. According to The Verge:

That’s intentional. Poolside.FM has about 32,000 followers on Instagram, and Bell says that the site has 4,000 monthly listeners. He wants to grow that number this year and continue building up the community. Part of that is welcoming new listeners, but he also wants to encourage other artists and musicians to submit their tracks. It’s a collaborative process.

Spectacular. Very encouraging.

Midsommar Special with Bobby Krlic on NTS

So, if you haven’t seen Midsommar yet, please go. It’s fantastic. If you haven’t seen it, there’s no spoilers here 🌻

Anyways, online radio site, NTS has some really special shows. This one is no exception. Bobby Krlic, aka The Haxan Cloak, who scored Ari Aster’s Midsommar, was invited to swing by the NTS studio and share some of his inspiration for the films score:

Bobby Krlic aka The Haxan Cloak, creator of new horror film Midsommar’s score, takes the airwaves for an hour, playing inspirations, and cuts from the soundtrack.

It’s an amazing tracklist:

  1. Christopher Komeda
    Rosemary’s Party
  2. Jonny Greenwood
    Oil
  3. Bartók, Reiner, Chicago Symphony
    Music For Strings, Percussion And Celesta
  4. Bernard Herrmann
    Theme From Taxi Driver
  5. Olivier Messiaen
    Oraison
  6. Bernard Herrmann, Joel McNeely, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    The City
  7. Phillip Glass
    It Was Always You, Helen
  8. Bobby Krlic
    Attestupan
  9. Yma Sumac
    Ataypura (High Andes)
  10. Henry Mancini
    Lujon
  11. Jerry Goldsmith
    Main Title
  12. Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
    She Reminds Me Of You
  13. Clint Mansell
    Ghosts Of Things To Come
  14. Join Carpenter
    The Haunted House
  15. Trent Reznor feat. Peter Christopherson
    Videodrones : Questions
  16. Nelson Riddle
    Easter Isle
  17. Eric Chenaux
    Skullsplitter
  18. Bonnie Beecher
    Come Wander With Me

F1 Tracks

From Formula 1:

Available to fans across SpotifyApple and Deezer, F1 Tracks will be updated on a weekly basis, uniting global superstars with the sounds of F1. Filtered according to four key categories – Pace, Mechanical, Spirit and Fan – this unique set of principles will produce a bespoke and dynamic playlist, which embodies F1 and is distinctive from other weekly streamed playlists.

And that’s not all. Alongside the core F1 Tracks playlist a number of selected artists will also curate bespoke playlists, beginning with rising star Mabel. Look out for further collaborations with Hot Chip and Two Door Cinema Club among others.

I’ve only recently gotten into F1 Racing. I don’t know any of the racers but I must say, it’s a thrilling sport to watch. There’s a lot of heart and courage in high-performance racing. The Rolex British Grand Prix Weekend begins in two days and the circuit looks a bit fiendish. I’m sure it will be an adrenaline filled challenge.

The F1 Tracks Playlist are available on SpotifyDeezer and Apple.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re only into Formula 1 because of the recent rebrand aren’t you? Uh, sure. You could say that. I’m partial to admit that. I mean it is a pretty legendary rebrand from Wieden + Kennedy. I couldn’t resist. It certainly piqued my interest a few years ago, and the new direction is still going strong. I’m not an ardent fan mind you, but I will say this — Formula 1 understands their audience. Moreover, they understand the carnal connection between cars and music. A bond that can surely never be broken. If you’re ever in doubt, checkout the bombshell track from DJ Medhi and Thomas Bangalter. The video alone is work of art, and shines a spotlight on a unique subset of car culture.

Anyways, Formula 1 has begun to curate a weekly playlist of blood-pumping tracks to keep your heart racing after the Grand Prix is over. Enjoy the beats!

Ninm It’s OK, a Portable Bluetooth Cassette Tape Player

From Chaim Gartenberg at The Verge:

Cassette tapes are having a minor comeback: sales were (somehow) up almost 19 percentyear over year in 2018, and where there’s a market, there’s a Kickstarter project looking to cash in. Case in point: the Ninm It’s OK. It’s sort of what a portable cassette player like an original Walkman would be if Sony continued to develop tape-based tech in 2019.

So while the It’s OK does the usual tape things, like playing cassettes or letting you record to tapes, it also bills itself as the world’s first Bluetooth 5.0 portable cassette player (a claim of such niche specificity that it seems to be true). It allows you to listen to your favorite jams with wireless headphones or even link it to a Bluetooth speaker, should you wish.

Call me crazy, but I think this is stellar. What a perfect time to revive cassette tapes too, right on the heels of the 40th anniversary of the Sony Walkman. Sign me up. Allow me to summarize my reasoning:

  1. I miss the TalkBoy.
  2. Now, all I can actually listen to cassettes again! Even the newly tapes from my friends bands.

You can back the project on Kickstarter, and pre-order it here. Here’s a pretty great diagram of the bells and whistles on the It’s OK device:

Images from Ninm.

Norton Commander (All We Need)

Men I Trust is an incredible indie band from Montreal. Lovely jams, I gotta say. Very chill, very shoegazey. If you’re fans of Mac Demarco, or Snail Mail — Men I Trust is pretty adjacent.

Gorillavsbear writes:

Men I Trust continue to get us psyched for their forthcoming LP Oncle Jazz with this dreamily warped and woozy new one, “Norton Commander (All We Need)“. Watch the video, starring Emma and the group’s friend Lawrence Dickerson as they cruise around southern California in a dope old LeBaron convertible, below:

Gomma – Sacrosanto

I don’t speak Italian, but damn. This album has some sick riffs, fantastic composition, wonderful vocals and all the classical trappings of amazing emo jams. I get literal chills listening to this.

This is no At the Drive-in or Hawthorne Heights for me, but I just love that’s there’s a whole Italian emo culture that preservers. Enjoy.

Outer Peace

I can easily say that Toro y Moi, also known as Chaz Bundick (aka Chaz Bear) is my favorite living musician today.

His deep, resonating songs turn my heart velvety. Toro regularly empties my brainspace into a dark smoky dancehall illuminated by a lone computer like neon equalizers dancing at a party. Chaz just has that effect on me.

I grew up alongside his first EPs and releases. If you can believe, I once upon a time saw Toro y Moi, Washed Out and Warpaint perform underneath a makeshift, sunbathed tent in the back of an Urban Outfitters in Austin, Texas at a SXSW secret show in 2010. Those were extraordinary times. Much, much simpler times back then. You probably won’t find me in any of these photos, but you can probably spot Chaz somewhere. Sidenote: those photos are an absolute time-capsule. I shamelessly downloaded them to keep forever. Anyways here’s a photo of Chaz that I can only assume was from the 2010 SXSW:

At some point we all grew up. Toro’s Anything in Return, was my coming of age album, and it’s comforting to put it on during hard times. A reminder, a penchant to stay the course — fight back the demons so to speak. That album (among many others) really got me through some hard times in my life. One of my really good pals, (and extraordinary artist if I may add) Zac is equally a die-hard, and self-proclaimed Chaz super-fan like myself. Toro may have even been the fertilizer (apart from art school) that grew our friendship.

Outer Peace, is no great departure from Chaz’s discography. It’s really nothing out of the ordinary. It’s absolutely everything I would expect from Toro y Moi. It’s warmer and a little bit more bumpier, than his last album under the Toro moniker. I’ll give him that. Give this track a listen and tell me that’s got a positive vibe. Boo Boo is like a rainy day album. Something to blast on the AirPods during a solemn walk or on a the way home after a long week at the office.

To me, Outer Peace is a nod to his weirder soundscape side-projects, and signals that he’s on the search for something again. Laws of the Universe, feels like it could be an earlier track from the days of Underneath the Pine. But really, it has these tropical, maybe even Latin undertones, so it stands apart from the rest of the record a bit. I love it. Like Freelance has these bouncey, modulated, pitch-stretched samples that just feels exploratory like this 80’s italian electronic song I just love to reference, Vamos a La Playa.

Toro might dig a smoother and looser tempo nowadays, and that brings it to a mellower record for sure. I’m not even mad about that. But man, I don’t think I’ve ever been disappointed by Chaz Bear. Looking forward to more jams. His records just get better and better ✌️