Category Archives: Playlists

Spotify Playlist: Afront’s Hauntronica 2011

Summoned from the depths of The Spotify Catalog using special powers, mixed into a sonical Potion of Awesome by my bare hands then cast as the finest Electro-Witch House, Haunted Pop, Dark Dubstep and Goth-Electronica – Here’s my bewitching (and slightly creepy) playlist of Hauntronica!

Featuring The Weird Sisters of:

  • Fever Ray, The Knife, Austra, Emika, Gazelle Twin, The Horn The Hunt,
  • Zola Jesus, Labyrinth Ear, White Ring, Modern Witch, This Mortal Coil and more!

The astounding cover art for this playlist is “Corrupted Gift” by Edinburgh artist Adam “Kimded” Howie. Check out his other works at and be prepared to be amazed!



Playlist dedicated to Trish Keenan (RIP).

My Music: The First 15,607 Days

My first record player looked a bit like this

We both heard the same beat in the beginning, but where did you go from there? Perhaps you discovered one or two favorite styles then settled back to explore similar bands. Some of my friends have stayed  hovering around one genre since the day I met them, never venturing out to try something different or perhaps checking out a track or two but then scurrying back to the familiarity of the soundtrack of their youth.

I’m a bit like that too of course. I started early with the genre called synthpop and have come full circle again all these years later. But along the way I’ve listened to and enjoyed a good selection of musical styles; a decent range I hope, so that I’m able to say “eclectic” and mean it and be able to find some common ground with other music fans, no matter what they’re in to.

So here’s my personal timeline of tastewith Spotify links! – showing the main genres I’ve been into through the years and the main bands that kick-started the interest.


Baby Steps (mid to late 1970s)

ABBA: My first pop crush


Primary Numbers (early 1980s)

HUMAN LEAGUE: My favorite band


Higher Schooling (mid 1980s)

JOY DIVISION: I started with New Order then worked backwards


Student Sensations (mid to late 1980s)


Wheels of Industry (early 1990s)


Lessons From An Older Lover (early to mid 1990s)


The Euro Beat (mid to late 1990s)

DIVINE COMEDY: I met Neil Hannon in a supermarket in Dublin


The Current State (early 2000s)

THE KNIFE: A return to Sweden...


Note that in this list of My Music, the groups that got me hooked on a particular style are not necessarily the best or most known in their genre, but they’re the ones that opened up the musical box for me and remain closest to my heart.

From DJ to VJ: Spotify and YouTube

Tubufy and SpotMyVideo are two new webapps that create YouTube-powered music video channels from your Spotify playlists. Whereas sites like can convert a YouTube playlist into a Spotify one, Tubufy and SpotMyVideo do the reverse: feed them a Spotify link to generate your own custom music video playlist on YouTube.



SpotMyVideo is ideal if you only have a few songs to check out. Go to the site then paste in the Spotify HTTP links for some tracks (up to a maximum of twelve). Be sure to enter track URLs only, as SpotMyVideo doesn’t support album or playlist links. Once you’ve pasted in some tracks, click the Get Videos button to display a video page. The video plays full-screen with some transport controls overlayed at the bottom on the page (start, stop, next track etc.) There’s also an option to view alternative videos if the one displayed isn’t what you expected. You can then share the playlist you made on Facebook and Twitter, or make a new playlist.




Tubufy lets you paste in not just single tracks but also entire Spotify playlists and albums. Enter a Spotify URI (not the HTTP kind) then click the button to generate a YouTube playlist. Tubufy will automatically select the most relevant music video for each of the tracks, then present them as a playlist. The Tubufy page lists the songs down the left-hand which you can jump to directly or use the transport buttons to skip to the next/previous track. There’s also an option to shuffle the songs. The large-screen video player has the standard YouTube controls as well as a toggle to show thumbnails for alternative videos. As with SpotMyVideo, you can also share the playlist on Facebook and Twitter.


Both SpotMyVideo and Tubufy provide an easy way to create your own custom music video channel, thanks to Spotify’s ease-of-use and YouTube’s huge archive. You don’t need a YouTube account either, making the process even simpler. SpotMyVideo works better as a full-screen video player but cannot handle ready-made Spotify playlists like Tubufy. I also like how Tubufy lets you bookmark a page of playlists so you can easily return to it later.

If you can put up with the variable audio quality and varying volume levels from YouTube, these two apps are a great way to add some visuals to your music and share your Spotify playlists with friends who can’t (or won’t) access Spotify.

truShuffle: An As-You-Listen Spotify Playlist Maker

Spotify’s Related Artists tab may act as a basic music recommendation service, but it’s left to the 3rd-party webapps to provide a more personal experience. Sites like Spotibot, Spotiseek and even ShareMyPlaylists all offer a way to generate a playlist for you, either based on an artist name or by checking what you’ve been listening to via A cool new service – truShuffle – has just launched that raises the recommendation game. truShuffle is different as it auto-fills a live playlist of recommended music while you listen.

Mashing up Spotify with and AllMusic, truShuffle has several unique features you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll need a account to use it, as well as a truShuffle login to get started.

Once you’ve registered, make sure you’ve enabled scrobbling from Spotify (Edit > Preferences) then login to truShuffle. You’ll see a custom page that keeps track of the music you listen to and songs added to your personal playlist. Click the Spotify logo to open the playlist in Spotify, then click Subscribe to keep track of it. When you first do this you’ll see that there’s nothing in the playlist.

Now for the clever part. Listen to some music in Spotify. As you play the tunes, truShuffle automatically starts adding suggested tracks to your personal playlist. The truShuffle webpage updates to show you what’s being added, including an indication of why it was added. The Now Playing section also provides lots of interesting info on the current song, including biography, genre, mood, and links to other similar bands.

If you want to fine-tune what gets added to the playlist, use the Settings sliders to adjust a similarity percentage for either artist and track.

truShuffle creator Hugo Lindström tells me that the service is still in beta, but it seems to work perfectly already and has a rare attention to detail. There’s an informative set of help pages and the overall design and graphical polish is to be commended. I asked Hugo what future plans he has for truShuffle:

For the future I plan to integrate moods so that you can set it to Experimental Dub or Energetic, for example. This way you can do things like have truShuffle DJ at parties. This frees you up from spending time behind the PC and lets you enjoy the actual party instead!

You do need to keep truShuffle open in a browser tab for it to work its magic, but Hugo has plans for an automated service to get around this too (and Mac users, see the comments below for a great tip from @danielstoker). All-in-all, truShuffle is a slick and innovative service that’s perfect for any Spotify user looking for something new to listen to.

App Review: ShareMyPlaylists on Android is the top Spotify playlist-sharing site. With close to 45 thousand playlists, no other playlist sharing site comes close in terms of catalog or features. SMP has just launched a free mobile app on two new platforms: the iPhone version has been out for a while now, but this week saw their arrival on both iPad and Android. TechCrunch have covered the iPad version, so here’s a look at ShareMyPlaylists on Android.

ShareMyPlaylists starts up quickly then refreshes a list of the latest playlists. The top featured playlists are shown in a slick cover-flow arrangement: swipe through the covers to cycle through the featured selection:

Tap on a playlist to display a page with some details, including a coverart thumbnail, description (if the user added one) and complete track-listing:

You can then cick the Play button to open the playlist directly in Spotify.

The app also has three other ways to access playlists using the tabs at the bottom of the screen:

  • Latest – A scrollable list of all the latest playlists.
  • Genres – Select from any of the thirty or so genres to view a scrollable list of playlists.
  • Search – Select Artist, Track, or Playlist then enter a search term.

The SMP app is fairly basic compared with the regular fully-loaded SMP website: you can’t use it to add new playlists for example, and there’s no login feature for regular SMP user’s who want to quickly view all their own playlists. But for a free app it does the business and is a great way to discover new music while on the go.

If you use Spotify on your smartphone, SMP for Android is an essential download. It’s the most polished and professional looking Spotify-related app on the Android market, and another great addition to the mobile Spotify community.


  • Slick cover-flow for featured playlists
  • Access all of SMP’s vast catalog playlists
  • It’s free!


  • No option to Move to SD
  • No login or user search
  • Can’t add comments to playlists

Download the Android app!


His Majesty’s Starship Derbyshire: A Science-Fiction Story with Spotify Soundtrack

Towards the end of 1980, His Majesty’s Starship Derbyshire, the pride of the British Space Agency fleet, blasted off into Outer Space on a mission of imperial urgency. The Derbyshire was crewed by six of Britain’s finest astronauts, hastily trained to prepare for a task of extraordinary circumstance. Jodrell Bank had detected an alien spacecraft briefly entering the inner solar system before retreating to an orbit around 90377 Sedna, the distant red dwarf planet that theoretically belongs to humanity. This attack on British soverign space could not be tolerated by the ruling Earth empire of the day, and so the Derbyshire mission was devised.

The HMS Derbyshire launched covertly on the 23rd November, 1980. All seemed well until it passed Saturn, when all radio communication was lost. Its crew were never heard from again. This is their story.

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Pansentient Synthpop 2010

Featuring over four hours of this year’s best synthpop and electropop singles, 2010: The Year We Made Synthpop is a carefully crafted and sequenced playlist that includes over 60 artists to give you a taste of what’s been happening this year in this ever-evolving, always exciting electronic music scene.

With new singles from the synthpop old-guard (Human League, OMD, Devo, John Foxx, Erasure) through to electro tunes from the established new generation (Hot Chip, Goldfrapp, LCD Soundsystem, Robyn) and a whole host of great tracks from the very latest up-and-coming bands on the scene (Mirrors, Chew Lips, Parralox, Flux, The Golden Filter to name a few). There’s even some synthpop from Christina Aguilera – proof indeed that 2010 was the year synthpop returned to the mainstream.

2010: The Year We Made Synthpop is hosted via (who have very kindly made this their Playlist of the Week!)

Placeshifting Your Music to Android Smartphones

Although Spotify has over 10 million songs, there are sometimes bands I’d like to listen who aren’t on there yet: The Beatles, Rammstein, Arcade Fire, Oasis and some of these bands too. Spotify also lacks audiobooks and audio-drama (such as the excellent Big Finish Doctor Who range), so there are occasions when you’re forced to listen to those things your grandparents talk about: MP3 files. Since I listen to music on my smartphone during the day, I had a go at some streaming music options available to Android users. Read on for a look at mSpot Music, Dropbox, and Audiogalaxy: three ways to listen to music-on-the-move without the drag of manually copying MP3 files to your SD card.

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A Delicious Way to Manage Spotify Playlists

Managing Spotify playlists has always been tricky whenever you have more than a few dozen playlists to keep track of: you soon end up with a big long list of albums and playlists that’s difficult to search through. As a workaround, I  used the Firefox Bookmark Manager to store my “overspill” of playlists (where a playlist is usually an album or custom list of songs). I had folders named as genre tags and kept it all synced and backed-up using Xmarks. Then Spotify released a client update with a Folders option for grouping playlists together. This improved the situation tremendously, but many of the original difficulties remain: for example, I now listen to Spotify mostly on my Android smartphone where the Folders feature is yet to be implemented. But now I think I’ve found the ultimate Spotify playlist manager: it’s Delicious!

Afront’s New Krautrock (Spotify Playlist)

Krautrock (the German progressive rock genre that hit Britain in the early 1970s) has seen a huge resurgence of late, as noted in last year’s BBC documentary “Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany.” If you like Can, Faust, Popol Vuh, Kraftwerk or Neu! then here’s a playlist to bring you up to date: Afront’s New Krautrock features the new generation of Krautrock-influenced bands, modern songs with that motorik beat and experimental rock-ambient sound.

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