Music Discovery: February 2016

Music Supervisor, Blake Kirpes, has over 12 years of music industry experience, including Live Radio Host, DJ and Audio Engineer; having worked in studio with bands such as Death Cab For Cutie and The Shins. This month he gives you a look at some up and comers from his home town of Seattle.

Even after living in Seattle for over 10 years and having the chance to see, come to know, and work with many great bands and musicians, it’s amazing to see how this city continually raises the bar. These days Seattle is home to some of the most high caliber artists, who are putting out some of the most unique and best music across most every genre. This month’s five feature songs are all new releases from some of today’s best Seattle artists, each of which has a new album out (Night Beats and Pilar Point) or have upcoming full-length releases slated for the near future (Tacocat, Caridknox and Cave Singers).

The full Music Discovery playlist for this month features a ton of new releases from artist such as Sia, Chairlift, Savages, St. Luica, Wet, Ra Ra Riot, Woods, Daughter, Santigold. Bleached…and many more.

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Blog_MainBanner_Featured Artists

Featured Artist: Nicola Cruz

EMEA Music Coordinator, Tim Shaw, is a music producer and remixer as one half of Coyote. He also runs the Is It Balearic..?, Magic Wand, and Uber record labels. He has been a DJ for over 25 years and has a deep knowledge of dance music. Through the labels and DJing gigs he has taken his love of Balearic music all over the world.

Artist: Nicola Cruz

Twitter: ZZK Records

Track: Colibria

Nicola Cruz is a French producer and percussionist of Ecuadorian heritage. This track, Collibia (the name of the instrument played throughout the track) is a beautiful evocative slice of mellow acoustic electronica. There are touches of the Afro Cosmic sound and also the traditional folk sounds of South America. Deeply satisfying all round Nicola says “Colibria was born when I was living at the foothills of an active volcano where daily we watched it bleed, this track signifies an inward search and the journey of being reborn.” I think this sums it up perfectly. The track is taken from his stunning new album “Prender El Alma.”

Other tracks from Nicola Cruz

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Algorithmic Playlists vs. Human Curation: The Pros and Cons of Each

Music Supervisor, Emily Mitchell, comes from an independent label background and has a passion for emerging music and musicians, especially in the dance/electronic field. Finding that new sound and being able to showcase it to other people is one of the most exciting things for her. For more of her picks, follow Emily on Twitter @emijl.


One of the hot topics in the music industry right now is the debate regarding whether algorithms, or technology in general, can replace human curation. The question is: which type of playlist is better? And specifically for brands that spend so much time and effort on their identities, what’s the best way to ensure a consistent brand sound?

How Algorithmic Playlists Are Generated

Popular consumer streaming services, such as Spotify and Apple Music, tout both types of playlists: human curated, as well as algorithmic. In order to generate algorithmic playlists, these tools track a user’s listening history, and leverage the track’s metadata to develop a list of similar artists and tracks for future play.

The problem with solely using algorithms for commercially-licensed music programs is that they’re extremely limited. While the output is influenced by listening behavior,

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