Hi I'm Joe, the Production Manager at Kurious Arts and in the olden days (well 2014 to be exact) I used to do a bit of djing as DJ Average Joe (yes, my Mum picked the name, why do you ask?). As a DJ, I was known for picking the cheesiest music which just toed the line between fun to dance to and the reason you stopped watching Top of the Pops in the first place. Now, whilst thankfully for all those involved I’ve put my cheesy disc spinning days behind me (the noise complaints by the neighbours helped a lot), I’ve decided to come out of retirement in 2020 for one last job to provide you with some eclectic bangers to keep you going over the next couple of weeks of isolation!
Now as John Cusack famously said in High Fidelity, the art of a good mixtape is incredibly subtle and so I’ve tried to engineer each playlist so that you can listen to them in order or on shuffle (I’ll collect my Nobel Peace Prize later, thank you). I have also tried to craft a playlist for every isolation based mood (except for my own personal favourite Cornflakes and Vodka Thursdays, which I have left out for obvious reasons).
First up is Focus Fuel: An all instrumental playlist which aims to soothe your ears and power your brain; keeping you working throughout the day. Highlights include:
Nicholas Britell’s incredible work on Barry Jenkins’ Film ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ (which if you haven’t seen already, you should), some relaxing Brian Eno and a piece called ‘Post Pie’, which despite the name is beautiful, haunting and enchanting at all the same time. You can also eat pie to it if you like, I recommend cherry.
Next up is A Cup of Creativity: Feeling uninspired? These chilled-out beats have a lot to say and will give you a lot to think about. Highlights include my own personal favourite band ‘Young Fathers’ (who are also one of the best live bands you’ll ever see), the incredible, powerful genius of Little Simz and Baz Lurhmann’s ‘Everybody’s Free to wear Sunscreen’ which if you haven’t heard before, will make you grin like you just learnt that Greggs do home delivery (they don’t sadly but a boy can dream).
Also playing is ‘Time to Relax’, A perfect lazy morning/evening playlist to chill you out and warm your heart. Highlights include the classic Van Morrison and Talking Heads chilling you out with ‘Sweet Thing’ and ‘This Must Be The Place’ as well as hidden gems from new artists like Yellow Days and Emily King (the latter also has the most amazing collection of pantsuits-google it).
You may also want to tune into Working From Home: An upbeat punk/indie playlist for when you really need that boost after your fourth spreadsheet of the day. Whilst some times we need calming soothing music to get our work done, other times we just need that little kick up the arse. This is that playlist. Highlights include punk anthems by Bikini Kill, The Damned and the Buzzcocks, and No Doubt’s best ever song (note this is my opinion not fact, even though I kinda wish it was) Just A Girl.
But Joe, you say, I also want some bops to get me in the isolation party mood. Well don’t you worry, I got you. For when you need some cheer after making lentils for the fifth time this week, have a listen to Kitchen Dance Party. A soul and ska inspired playlist aimed to get you in the groove as you create kitchen magic. Highlights include the kings that are Jackie Wilson and Harry Belafonte, as well as a little bit of The Specials (just not Ghost Town, as we’ve heard that joke way too many times by now).
And finally for when you really need to turn it up, we’ve got Feel Good Living Room Anthems: Bring the party home with this playlist aimed to turn your front room into the world's greatest (N.B not legally binding) disco. Just make sure you don’t disturb the neighbours (as I’ve already said I’ve got enough complaints from my own, don’t need other people’s as well)! Highlights include of course Lizzo, Chaka Khan and Janelle Monae, because well it would be silly not to.
So there you are some tunes to get you through the next couple of weeks. I hope you enjoy and I hope you’re all staying safe. And...on a completely unrelated note I’m available for all weddings, birthdays, stag do’s, hen party’s and cheese tasting events...just saying.
P.S I hope you appreciate the terrible photos of me as a DJ a) to show you how much I looked like a mixture between Ron Weasley and the Milky Bar Kid and b) to remind everyone that you will never look cool in Spongebob Squarepants shorts no matter how much you think you do.