Sunday, 27 April 2014

I'm trying to say... I made you this mixtape.

Is there a more intricate language in this land than the secret speech inherent within the track listing of that first mixtape? If there is, I don't know what it could be. So many possible pitfalls line the way. How can you make clear your interest without coming across as a sap? How does one successfully traverse the tightrope between romantic poetry and sappy, scary adoration? Of course, the mere fact of making a mixtape in the first place makes it completely obvious that sappiness is the order of the day, but you've usually been made too stupid with the excess of oxytocin to spot that rather obvious flaw amongst the delicate plotting.

Plus, of course, when one is a DJ (as one is, don't you know, darling), there is the additional pressure (entirely self imposed, I'm sure, it's hugely unlikely that anyone else gives a fig) that as well as carrying that subtle-as-a-skunk message of I QUITE FANCY YOU, YOU KNOW, the mix tape must also be artfully compiled and contain the right ratio of new, cool, edgy stuff to balance out the obligatory Lady in Reds and Careless Whispers that suddenly seem to mean so much more than ever they did before. No, it's not like any other love. This is one is different, because it's us.

(Please don't worry, I haven't entirely lost my mind. Lady in Red is not on this mixtape.)

(I have put on a totally awesome drum n bass remix of Careless Whisper, though.)

Throw in the additional complication that the current apple of your eye is ALSO a DJ (and a much more accomplished DJ than you are, goddamn it), and the whole thing becomes something you have to write an entire blog about to get right, apparently.

I like to think my mixtape skills have improved in subtlety somewhat since I was a sallow, sullen teenager. I still wake cringing in the night when I remember the cassette I made for a boy I relentlessly pursued, despite his repeated efforts at giving me the swerve, for which the track listing was entirely selected and ordered so that the song titles created an acronym expressing my devotion. I don't think I quite went so far as to do those first letters in big lipstick red strokes while the rest of each title was type written, but it probably wasn't far off. I wonder if he ever noticed? I do hope not.

Then there are the questions of etiquette. Can you put a song on a new mixtape that you have used before? That's probably a bit lazy, isn't it, like having the same nickname for every beau? So definitely not, no. Laziness might be ok for others, but it will never do for me! But what if it's a really, really good song and no other song will work in that particular spot? Do you take out THREE songs so that the preceding and following songs aren't just oh so obviously crying out for the one you had to remove? Or do you just cheat and repeat? Doesn't that mean the whole relationship is based on a lie, right from the outset??? This is the sort of thing that could end up divorce papers, you know!

Which aspects of yourself do you reveal, and which do you hide? I like to think that I'm amongst the bolder in this world in terms of not caring if other people are going to judge me for liking music they might consider inferior (YES I love Sugababes, YES I have every album Madonna has ever made, YES I think Will Smith spits iller lyrics than Tyler the Creator... WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO ABOUT IT???), but this first mixtape is a much more vulnerable situation than a slightly tanked up DJ gig to a mass of people who probably don't know what's good for them anyway. What if I take a risk with that Girls Aloud album track and love disappears from my fingertips as a result? I've gone off people for less in the past; I know how it works.

An entire evening of crafting, and I think I'm there. I'm listening to the result right now, and certainly I think I'm terribly clever, even if no-one else does. One thing is for certain. This is very serious business. I know you understand, blog fans.

I'll let you know how it goes down.

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