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owl icon O.W.L. Ltd. Mixed feelings
The following mixtapes, playlists and reviews are covered by the H O V S rules for usage:
1. Listen & make cool things. 2. Share with your friends. 3. Let me know if you like them.

“The making of a great compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do and takes ages longer than it might seem. You gotta kick off with a killer, to grab attention. Then you got to take it up a notch, but you don’t wanna blow your wad, so then you got to cool it off a notch. There are a lot of rules.”
- Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

It's better not to take advice from someone like Rob Gordon. But for mixtapes, we'll make an exception. The mixtape has a long and winded history, and it has fulfilled many functions over the decades. It could be a love (or a break up) letter, a political statement, or simply a concentrated effort to make a good party a great party. It can also simply be an expression of how you feel at a given time.

In eiter case, the mixtape is in this sense a pure for of curation. When done badly, it takes a work of art out of its context, making it estrange its listeners. But when done right, it takes something that the artist might not have consciously embedded into his work, and it places it together with other works that share that characteristic, to create something new that makes you realize that it fits, that makes you think
"this sounds so good."

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As 2019 comes to a close, here are my 10 favourite songs of the year
Not all of their records hit home in the same way, but these songs, individually, made a big mark
Sorted for listenability, no particular order. Except as always, 1 which, in my humble opinion, led the pack this year.

Artist Song
James Blake I’ll Come Too
Leprous Distant Bells
Flying Lotus & Denzel Curry Black Balloons Reprise
Hot Chip Hungry Child
Vorna Virvatulet
Borknagar Up North
Yugen Blakrok Land of Gray
James Blake Don’t Miss It
Alcest Le Miroir