Isolation Station Mix #1 - Danny Dodds
Updated: May 22
By Danny Dodds
As the UK is locked indoors with all upcoming gigs postponed, we at Livewire still want to keep the music playing and thought we'd share some of the team's isolation playlists that are keeping us sane, starting with the online shaman, Danny.
Over the past few weeks I've been listening to all sorts to keep my mind from turning into paste but generally it can be put into two main camps, smooth electronic nonsense and sample-heavy hip-hop. So wack on my mix, turn off shuffle, put on Spotify's crossfade feature so all the tracks blend into each other and grab a pack of rice cakes.
We start with the opening tracks from one of my favourite projects of the past month, Knxwledge's 1988 and if 'don't be afraid' was good enough to open the album, it's good enough for this playlist. From here we go through some of my favourite electronic big hitters before settling into some UK Rap with Four Tet's phenomenal remix of Headie One and Dave's '18HUNNA' and the underrated Sam Wise. After this I wanted to delve deeper into UK talent with Jamie XX and The Chemical Brothers, both artists that have consistently informed my music taste growing up along with Stereolab, a group that, much like The Chemical Brothers, was introduced to me by my mum, the person that I have been locked inside with for the past 2 weeks.
Of course I couldn't resist throwing in some of my favourite band of all time, Radiohead, and I chose to add my two favourite songs of theirs 'Reckoner' and 'Bloom', (the former of which flows very nicely coming from 'Diagonals'). After a lil more electronic action, I decided to show off a bit more sample-based producers with Against All Logic and The Avalanches before going a bit more psychedelic starting with 'All Night' by Jai Paul. The next track is undoubtedly the song I've listened to most over the isolation period, 'Did My Best' by The Voidz. Now my undying love for The Voidz is no secret, and this new song by them is so inexplicably calming and soothing to me. The cloudy beat mixed with the muddy and filtered vocals make me feel like a child in the lap of Julian Casablancas and I wish I was isolating with Beardo's mullet. As we go deeper down the psychedelic tunnel, I wanted a little bit of buttery jazz in the form of The Free Nationals and Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2, two of the smoothest boys around.
It's important to lose yourself at least a little bit in isolation and the transition from 'Somnoi' into 'Valmiki' will do just that as I have accidentally crafted the perfect transition. If you put Spotify's crossfade on 12 seconds you will be taken to other lands, trust me, I will be taking DJ bookings soon. We go then onto one of my favourite discoveries of the past year thanks to Callum 'Big Pear' McWilliams with Tropical Fuck Storm. Now from this point I thought it was getting a bit too harsh and wild so I wanted to bring it back to the relaxing sounds of sample-based music with some Madlib hits. Starting with his collaboration with MED and Blu, moving into his Quasimoto work and finishing on one of the best hip-hop albums of all time, Madvillainy, I think I managed to paint a decent portrait of Madlib's genius in the mixture of relaxation and hard hitting raps.
Going deeper down the hip-hop-hole I wanted to showcase some of my favourite new acts to come out the underground scene with tracks from Nostrum Grocers, Wilma Vritra and Ed Balloon, mostly picking tracks that highlight their production genius. I think there's no point ending a mix with excitement or it will just feel like it gets cut off short so I wanted to round it off in a very relaxing curve of what I've been to relax recently. Ross From Friends has been in my ears at every turn of my life for the past few years and Barry Can't Swim has become a recent favourite of mine but they both showcase a similar, soothing sound. And finally, as I am a film student I'm drawn to a lot of film soundtracks and the two that have been playing around the house in this isolation period have been from Onethrix Point Never and their soundtrack for the Safdie Brother's 'Good Time' and the eternal love of my life Jonny Greenwood and his phenomenal score for Lynne Ramsay's 'You Were Never Really Here'. Both soundtracks are very different but share the same, psychedelic and other-wordly qualities and make for a fitting end for my isolation mix.
The music I've been listening to in isolation is mostly pretty relaxing with some bangers thrown in there at the start of the playlist and in the middle. I've found that a lil boogie is good for the soul but for the most part, I've enjoyed the solitude of listening to music in my bed or my kitchen and just being soothed by some silky, silky rhythms.