When I was younger, discovering new music in the suburbs wasn’t the simplest of feats. I didn’t learn about Amoeba Music, down Height Street, until I was well into my twenties. Hell, the closest Rasputin Records was over 20 miles away. So like many kids in the 90’s, I relied on good ol’ FM radio and cassette recorders to discover and share music with my friends. As anyone who has any experience with cassette recording will tell you, there is nothing more frustrating than leaving too much dead space at the end of one side of a cassette tape, or worse, having your song get cut off because you ran out of space.

With the early 2000’s and the advent of the MP3 music did sharing and discovering music become less of a chore. You could hop on Napster (or KazAA), download one track every 5 – 10 minutes (remember 56.6 connections?), and once you had  an hours worth of music you could burn them to a CD and give it to your friend. Best part about burning music is that the CDs sounded better, and were easier to to skip and replay tracks.

As MP3’s rapidly expanded in popularity, so did MP3 players, and the market eventually gave way for the iPod to explode onto the scene. And it was somewhere between the mainstream popularity of the iPod and MP3’s did playlists start becoming a lost art where the mediums to share musical discoveries with friends began to dwindle. At some point music sharing on a track-by-track basis became the norm. You would message your friend on AIM, or ICQ, and say “Hey, check this track out.” and that was it – well, until recently.

At the end of 2014, an era officially ended – Apple discontinued the original iPod. While iTunes and MP3s are still very popular, most music is listened to on cell phones in a digital streaming format, and one of the greatest platforms for digital music came in the shape and form of Spotify.

Given my reluctant attitude towards changing my habits, to say I was a little skeptical about Spotify when I was first introduced to it was a bit of an understatement; I hated every 1 and 0 that it was built upon. Yet as reluctant as I was, the more I played with it the more I began to see that this was the best thing to happen to music since the MP3.

After two years and 35,000+ songs played, my relationship with Spotify is a little more than casual. If you’ve ever driven with me, or know anyone who has, you are probably well aware that the car doesn’t leave until Spotify is running.

Which brings me to why you’ve read this far: I’m bringing the playlists back.

Introducing the Monthly Mashup, a playlist that contains discoveries I’ve made in the calendar month – powered by Spotify. Most of the tracks you will find will be straight out of the new releases, but often times I will go on a music discovery down old discographies and find something worth hanging on to. Each Mashup is released at the end of the month, so March may be up on the 31st, or early April, and so on. You can Follow each playlist, and give the tracks a listen through to see if there is anything you want to keep for your own playlists.

Furthermore, I have over a dozen playlists based on a theme that are available for you to Follow as well. Over time I will release more playlists, so keep an eye out for featured playlists in upcoming Monthly Mashup posts.

Without any more delay, here is the first Monthly Mashup for January:


Tell me what you think in the comments below, or send me a Tweet (@MNIMehdi)!

See you next month!