[The Future] – ‘Old Souls Part VIII – London’ (2019)



Stream the mix while you read; download at the bottom of this post.

‘Old Souls’ Part VIII follows up on Part III‘s single-city focus, this time celebrating another center–or should we say, centre–of the music world: London.  Leading the way in the brilliance of the renaissance of hip-hop, jazz, R&B, soul melding with electronics, singer-songwriter and pan-national Afrodiasporic traditions that’s taken place over the latter years of the 2010s, London is poised to create the sounds of the future.  Even as the conservative ignorance, fear and xenophobia that are powering the last gasps of would-be totalitarians has brought recent tragedy to the UK, the younger people, and especially the people of color, know that the future is not one of cultural bunker-hiding and gate-locking nor of top-down economic globalism, but rather, is one of international communion and exchange, and of transnational fight to end the hegemony of old, white dominion.   Some of this music directly addresses the fight–but none of it is obligated to do so.  In times of inhumane fearmongering and oppression, it is a bold and meaningful act simply to express ones humanity: the pains, the joys, the confusion, and the hopes of being human.

All of the music in ‘Part VIII‘ was made by artists either living in or coming from London, made during 2019.  That would suggest a relatively narrow focus, but that’s far from the case.  While I feel this mix is one of Musicophilia’s finest in terms of coherence and flow as a whole, it’s a testament to the breadth and depth of London’s musical scenes that the mix covers so much ground.  A significant part of that is because most of the musicians here are drawing on direct connections to the broader world, through family, time abroad, collaborators, birth, or migration: Nigeria, Paris, Guyana, the U.S.A., Ghana, Jamaica, Uganda, Sierra Leon, Berlin, Barbados, Ethiopia, and beyond.  The connections of the UK to many of those places is fraught at best; and yet from a history of theft, oppression and violence, immigrants and descendants of immigrants are today forging a new and better London, by and for those on whom empire landed in the past. Ultimately, what is most striking to me about this music is its sheer beauty: through heartbreak, loss, celebration, defiance, contemplation, and hope, all are shaped into breathtakingly beautiful music, that will stay with you long after the mix ends.  We begin this new decade in dark times, that may only get darker for a while.  I hope beautiful music like this will sustain you as it sustains me.  Don’t let the light in your heart grow dim.

Download/stream the mix below the tracklist. As with all the volumes in the ‘Old Souls,’ series, this music is made by working artists–all of this music is from 2019, and the decade is ending on an absolute high-note–who all deserve your financial support. So please, please, buy the music and merch, go to shows, and propagate the art to everyone who needs to hear it. I’ve included links to pages where you can buy the music in the tracklist below. Thank you for listening, and please pass it on.  Credit (via Creative Commons 2.0) and immense thanks for use of the brilliant cover photo “Shadwell” to Nico Hogg, whose photographs of London are deeply evocative.

01 [00:00] Amahla – “Consider This” (‘Consider This’ 2019)
02 [01:35] Sault – “Waterfalls” (‘7’ 2019)
03 [05:25] Little Simz – “Pressure” (‘Grey Area’ 2019)
04 [08:50] Neue Grafik Ensemble – “Dedicated to Marie Paule” (‘Foulden Road’ 2019)
05 [13:10] Bryony Jarman-Pinto – “Emerge” (‘Cage & Aviary’ 2019)
06 [16:35] Blood Orange – “Berlin” (‘Angel’s Pulse’ 2019)
07 [18:30] Melo-Zed – “Savanah” (‘Zachary’ 2019)
08 [20:30] Tawiah – “Good” (‘Starts Again’ 2019)
09 [24:30] Loraine James – “Vowel Consonant” (‘For You and I’ 2019)
10 [30:20] King Midas Sound – “Zeros” (‘Solitude’ 2019)
11 [33:30] Tony Njoku – “Glorious” (‘Your Psyche’s Rainbow Panorama’ 2019)
12 [37:00] The Comet Is Coming – “Blood of the Past” (‘Trust in the Lifeforce…’ 2019)
13 [44:35] Hejira – “Thread of Gold” (‘Thread of Gold’ 2019)
14 [50:00] Kokoroko – “Uman” (‘Kokoroko’ EP 2019)
15 [55:10] Kano – “Got My Brandy, Got My Beats” (‘Hoodies All Summer’ 2019)
16 [58:55] FKA Twigs – “Cellophane” (‘Magdalene’ 2019)
17 [62:20] Klein – “Claim It” (‘Lifetime’ 2019)
18 [68:40] Nerija – “Blume” (‘Blume’ 2019)
19 [71:25] Michael Kiwanuka – “Light” (‘Kiwanuka’ 2019)
20 [77:00] Amahla – “These Times I’ll Wait” (‘Consider This’ 2019)

[Total Time: 78:34]

Download ‘Old Souls Part VIII – London’ Here (187 MB)

Stream here:

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One thought on “[The Future] – ‘Old Souls Part VIII – London’ (2019)

  1. Planning to listen to this whilst walking around what will be, weather-wise, a grey and dismal east London tomorrow. All the artists are new to me, so very excited. Thanks for sharing and for the creativity you put into what is my favourite music blog. Have a very happy 2020!

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