Midwinter Mixtapes #5

Last mixtape of the season, folks. Hope you enjoy <3

Spotify playlist at:

Artist = Sneaker Pimps
Song = Spin Spin Sugar
Emotion = Kairosclerosis (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) - “The moment you realise that you’re currently happy - consciously trying to savor the feeling - which prompts your intellect to identify it, pick it apart and put it in context, where it will slowly dissolve until it’s little more than an aftertaste.”

Artist = Madrugada
Song = Step Into This Room & Dance For Me
Emotion = Mamihlapinatapei (Yagan) - “The wordless, meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something, but are both reluctant to do so.”

Artist = Leonard Cohen
Song = Who By Fire
Emotion = Setsunai (Japanese) - “A feeling between bittersweet, painful and wistful. A heart-rending emotion.”

Artist = Ultimate Spinach
Song = Mind Flowers
Emotion = Lying on the floor. Spread-eagled. Staring at the ceiling. One or two tears trickling from your eyes. Living in the razor-sharp, bleeding-edge moment of reality you are in right now. Let go. Sacrifice! Of! Your! Whole! Ego! 

Artist = Bush
Song = Glycerine
Emotion = Anchorage (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) - “The desire to hold on to time as it passes, like trying to keep your grip on a rock in the middle of a river, feeling the weight of the current against your chest while your elders float on downstream, calling over the roar of the rapids, ‘Just let go… it’s okay… let go.’”

Artist = King Dude & Chelsea Wolfe
Song = Be Free
Emotion = Mizpah (Hebrew) - “The deep emotional bond shared by people, especially those separated by distance or death.”

Artist = Ramona Falls
Song = I Say Fever
Emotion = After wallowing in the dark emotional ditches for a while, the elation that rises within and makes the toes tap and the lips curl up. A rising of the spirit, an aspiration to ascend.


Midwinter Mixtapes #4

For those who are along for the ride, I present Midwinter Mixtapes #4! 

If you missed the first one, or the general idea, check here.

Spotify playlist can be found at: https://open.spotify.com/user/alphachar/playlist/2pdSe78MebDOwCkJJGro9f

Artist = Yasmine Hamdan
Song = Hal (from the “Only Lovers Left Alive” soundtrack)
Emotion = Надрыв (Russian) - An uncontrollable emotional outburst, vehement outcry of the soul, when a person releases intimate, deeply hidden feelings.

Artist = DEVO
Song = Gut Feeling
Emotion = Pitter patter pitter patter thrum thrum thrum absolute excitement snaking up the spine, widening the eyes and twitching the toes. The feeling of being about to embark on a very great adventure. Even if you listen to it on your walk to the shops, you will feel like you are about to climb Everest.

Artist = Rowland S Howard
Song = Dead Radio
Emotion = Adronitis (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) - “Frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone—spending the first few weeks chatting in their psychological entryway, with each subsequent conversation like entering a different anteroom, each a little closer to the center of the house—wishing instead that you could start there and work your way out, exchanging your deepest secrets first, before easing into casualness, until you’ve built up enough mystery over the years to ask them where they’re from, and what they do for a living.”

Artist = My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
Song = A Daisy Chain 4 Satan (Acid & Flowerz Mix)
Emotion = Desbundar (Portuguese) - “To shed one’s inhibitions in having fun.”

Artist = Gatekeeper
Song = Chains
Emotion = Nighthawk (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) - “A recurring thought that only seems to strike you late at night—an overdue task, a nagging guilt, a looming and shapeless future—that circles high overhead during the day, that pecks at the back of your mind while you try to sleep, that you can successfully ignore for weeks, only to feel its presence hovering outside the window, waiting for you to finish your coffee, passing the time by quietly building a nest.”

Artist = Yonderboi
Song = Before You Snap
Emotion = That sick dread mixed with anger that sludges in your belly literally every time you make the mistake of allowing the news of the world into your body.

Artist = Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe
Song = Cocaine Cat
Emotion = Natsukashii (Japanese) - “A nostalgic longing for the past, with happiness for the fond memory, yet sadness that it is no longer.”

Midwinter Mixtapes #3

Delayed by a day due to a hangover that taught me the true meaning of The Fear - better late than never, I present Midwinter Mixtapes #3!

Listen along on Spotify at: https://open.spotify.com/user/alphachar/playlist/3hzf5RWPpRdCTX6AIRBw6w

If you missed the first one, or the general idea, check here.

Artist = Kylesa
Song = Unspoken
Emotion = Sisu (Finnish) - “A stoic determination. A grim, gritty, white-knuckle form of courage that is typically presented in situations where success is against the odds. Resoluteness in the face of adversity, despite repeated failures.”

Artist = The Call
Song = I Still Believe (Great Design)
Emotion = When you walk the streets of your city with tears in your eyes, feeling downtrodden and low, like your contribution to the world is too small ever to be recognised. When that feeling hits, this 80s song is the antidote. Steps get more confident, head lifts, heart opens. A vaccination against cynicism.

Artist = Brian Jonestown Massacre
Song = Memory Camp
Emotion = Toska (Russian) - “No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody or something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.”

Artist = Coil
Song = Careful What You Wish For
Emotion = Exulansis (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) - “The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it - whether through envy or pity or simple foreignness - which allows it to drift away from the rest of your life story, until the memory itself feels out of place, almost mythical, wandering restlessly in the fog, no longer even looking for a place to land.”

Artist = Alice In Chains
Song = Down In A Hole (Unplugged)
Emotion = Torchslusspanik (German) - “Torschlusspanik is the fear that one does not have enough time to accomplish all one’s life goals. Like waking up one morning with the feeling that if you do not act soon, you might miss out the opportunity to ever feel content.”

Artist = Local H
Song = Wolf Like Me
Emotion = Lutalica (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) - “The part of your identity that doesn’t fit into categories. We all want to belong to something. But part of you is still rattling around inside these categories and labels that could never do you justice.”

Artist = John Frusciante
Song = Going Inside
Emotion = A combination of elation and withdrawal from the world. A feeling just for you alone. The hermit-like will to be a better person, to turn inwards and take a good look around in there, to become a more “you” person than you’ve been. The desire to understand yourself and in so doing, understand more of everyone else. 


Midwinter Mixtapes #2

Continuing with the emotional rollercoaster, I present Midwinter Mixtapes #2!

Listen along on Spotify at: https://open.spotify.com/user/alphachar/playlist/0mVWPqtVRhgv0hLTeFgDwh

Artist = King Dude
Song = I Wanna Die At 69
Emotion = The certainty that there is some parallel universe or timeline in which things are vastly different than you are experiencing right now. And that there, you may be a very different - potentially much, much worse - person than you currently are.

Artist = Peter Schilling
Song = Major Tom (Vollig Losgelost)
Emotion = Ostalgie (German) - “Nostalgia for aspects of life in East Germany.”

Artist = Sisters of Mercy
Song = More
Emotion = Sgrìob (Scottish Gaelic) - “The itchiness that comes over your upper lip before a kiss from a favourite, or before taking a sip of whiskey.”

Artist = Songs Ohia
Song = Farewell Transmission
Emotion = Solemn contemplation of the eventual heat death of the universe.

Artist = Mars Red Sky
Song = Strong Reflection
Emotion = Saudade (Portuguese) - “A deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return.”

Artist = White Ring
Song = IxC999
Emotion = Nodus Tollens (Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows) - “The realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore—that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre—which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.”

Artist = The Veils
Song = Jesus For The Jugular
Emotion = The incandescent and deeply personal rage that rises as you listen to somebody ignorant expound cluelessly on a topic with which you are very familiar. And they just… won’t shut up.


Midwinter Mixtapes #1

Here’s a little thing I’m doing for fun in December 2017.

Every Sunday, I’ll craft a tiny 7-song mixtape for the week ahead. Each song will be tied to an emotion. The songs will be from all genres, the emotions from all spectra.

Follow along if you like, comment if you like, send me recommendations for songs or emotions you think I’ll like, if you like. 

Midwinter Mixtapes #1: 


Spotify Playlist Link:




Artist = Tomahawk

Song = God Hates A Coward

Emotion = When you know you have to get off the damn couch and do something. Scream if you need to. But you still need to put your warpaint on and achieve something - anything - before noon. Go on, scream.



Artist = Puscifer

Song = Queen B

Emotion = Mbuki-mvuki (Swahili) - “To dance wildly; to shed clothes in order to dance."



Artist = The Builders & The Butchers

Song = Bottom Of The Lake

Emotion = Things aren’t so bad, are they? I mean, think of the alternative. I could be dead. Dead - murdered, no less, by a loanshark - and buried underwater with concrete blocks holding me down. Hmmm. Bet that water is nice and cool though. Hmmmmm.



Artist = The Cramps

Song = Human Fly

Feeling = Altschmerz (Dictonary of Obscure Sorrows) - “Weariness with the same old issues that you’ve always had — the same boring flaws and anxieties you’ve been gnawing on for years, which leaves them soggy and tasteless and inert, with nothing interesting left to think about, nothing left to do but spit them out and wander off to the backyard, ready to dig up some fresher pain you might have buried long ago."



Artist = Diiv

Song = Doused

Emotion = When you listen to a summer song on a cold winter’s day and can just about, aaaaaaaalmost, feel the warmth of the sun deep inside. Allow me to misuse the words of Albert Camus: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.



Artist = Hol Baumann

Song = Radio Bombay

Emotion = Queasy cyberpunk reverse-nostalgia. We know the future will destroy us. But we also know that there will be some dilapidated beauty in the entropy of humankind. Feel it bloom within you from 2:49 onwards...



Artist = Carpathian Forest

Song = A Forest

Emotion = Yuputka (Ulwa) - "A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin."