481 words on Compilations
In preparation for our little DJing gig last week, I looked through my CDs and iTunes library to find nice songs in need of public performance. While I love my vinyl and all the old-fashionedness, I equally enjoy the comfort of a CD and tend to – secretly – think that carrying all those LPs and CDs along is an ever so slight bit of pretentious crap.
It may earn you some respect in the eyes of some onlookers when you’re handling the pretty red transparent vinyl of The Postal Service’s Give Up or the cute cover of Timid Tiger’s and a Pile of Pipers, but I doubt that it does any good (in fact I still have the impression that the Give Up LP just doesn’t sound as good as its digital cousins). So in a quest for less respect, I decided to bring along some home-made compilation CDs as well. They tend to be perfect for the task – you can simply collect all the songs you might consider playing in a playlist, turn that into CDs and – after a bit of rearranging and fiddling – there you are ready to go with half a night’s music handily on a few CDs.
But of course things aren’t all that simple. At least not for people like myself who tend to make things unnecessarily complicated for themselves. That
rearranging and fiddling I mentioned above needed some extra attention. If I’m burning the CD anyway, I should try to make a CD that’s not just there for convenient song storage but that’s good to listen to as well. Thus I may have to fill in some extra tracks to get a reasonably smooth curve from the obscure to the popular back to the obscure, to hide some unknown tracks between related well known ones, to mix the new and the old, the current hype and my favourites without leaving the flow. And like that the simple exercise in playlist building turned into a slightly longer exercise in compilation disc making. Leading to an outcome that I’ve extensively enjoyed in the kitchen for the past week: