Playlists are comparatively simple objects. They are nothing but lists — here is the first song, here is the second. As a result they fail to excite the imagination of many people, because the expressive possibilities seem too limited. But from my background as a musician, arranger and composer, I know that the sequencing of aesthetic experiences has huge expressive possibilities. In my work on playlists I aim to help extend the expressive power of sequencing to objects on the world wide web.
This puts me in mind of Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, naturally:
A good compilation tape, like breaking up, is hard to do. You’ve got to kick it off with a corker, to hold the attention… and then you’ve got to up it a notch, or cool it a notch, and you can’t have white music and black music together, unless the white music sound like black music, and you can’t have two tracks by the same artist side by side, unless you’ve done the whole thing in pairs, and …oh, there are loads of rules. (pg. 89 –in the film version, Rob goes into more detail)
This latter passage is about the rapidly-obsolescing medium of the audio cassette, but it has some applicability in the realm of remix tools. One such, still an alpha but pregnant with possibilities, is TagLoops (watch the tutorial to experience that sweaty-palms here-it-comes technotwitch. And see their example too). In six months or so, this sort of tool will be all the rage in remix culture.