A mix by Rob Whitlock is an event. Rob has furnished
discerning music listeners with sporadic mixes over the years and his eclectic
taste – this mix (the title is mine) incorporates both eighties synth pop and
early house – is very much The Secret List’s cup of tea. This is Rob’s first
mix in three years and it is a gem. Rob has a wide range of influences which is
apparent in the mix. He is also co-owner of the architect’s Syte Architects,
and the level of detail he employs in architecture rings true in the mix – this
is the final version of many months of editing and re-editing. Enjoy!

A few words from Rob:

I have
watched the Secret List guide take shape over recent years from early
conversations with Sanj over a few pints of Guinness, when the germ of the
initial idea was just taking shape, through to the position today where the
series is established as a specialist publication. It represents a huge amount
of dedication and effort to get to this point. The life of a writer and
self-publisher is not an easy one. These small publications are the product of
a huge amount of love and commitment.

 What I like about the approach of the Secret List is
that it relates Sanj’s journeys around the world’s record shops to the context
of the cities that those shops are situated in. Part record shop guide, part
travelogue. The books have managed to steer clear of focusing narrowly on the
cult of ‘digging’ and the simple mythologizing of the act of spending hours
hunting for records. What has always been much more interesting in my eyes is
the role of record shops as places of sharing of musical knowledge, and the
impact they have had on wider culture. I think this has been particularly
important in the UK.

In many cases the act of ‘digging’ for records has
become a type of musicology as the most serious collectors have journeyed
further and further to discover music and increasingly to turn to reissuing
previously undiscovered music. Beyond making this music available to a much
wider audience this can change perceptions of musical history. Discovering what
William Onyeabor was recording in Nigeria at the same time as Kraftwerk were
recording in Europe gives a new perspective on the development of music. Beyond
this unearthing such undiscovered music can inspire and influence today’s
artists and impact on the music made today. This whole process is born out of
record shop culture.

In terms of my record collection, I am not a
completist, mainly because I am into too many different types of music. Around
eighty percent of my collection could broadly be described as ‘black music’,
soul, jazz, reggae, Brazilian. The remainder basically covers my love of pop
music, which was the first sort of music I listened to growing up in the late
1970s/ early 1980s. This was a time when pop music was often experimental and
still feeling the effects of the post-punk fallout. I am also a big fan of
ambient and electronic music, which was itself a key influence during that
period.

So my Secret List mix is predominantly drawn from this
smaller side of my record collection. A mix of ambient jazz textures, modern
classical, armchair techno, computer game soundtracks, a couple of house and
rave classics and a smattering of 80s pop from various locations around the
globe.

Tracklist:

Jon Hopkins – Modern Driveway (piano version) – [Luke
Abbot Music Soundcloud]

Soft Machine – Second Bundle – [EMI Harvest)

Vangelis – La Petite Fille De La Mer – [Polydor)

China Crisis – Jean Walks in Fresh Fields – 
[Virgin]

Japan – The Experience of Swimming – [Virgin]

Gescom – Cicada [Skam]

Disasterpeace – Adventure – Fez [II]

Starship Commander Wooooo Wooooo – Master Ship [Left
Ear Records]

Black Dog – Witches OV – [Soma]

Xela – Drawing Pictures of Girls – [City Centre
Offices]

Cocteau Twins – Know Who You Are At Every Age –
[Fontana]

The Rolling Stones – Heaven – [EMI]

Lena Platonos – Aimatines Skies Apo Apostasi – 
[Dark Entries]

Robert Wyatt – The Age of Self – [Rough Trade]

Miharu Koshi – L’Amour Toujours – [Pick up Records]

Jah Wobble – Blow Out – [Lago Records]

Psychic TV – Interzone – Temple Records]

Sadistic Mika Band – Funkee Mahjong – [EMI Harvest]

Mr. Monday – Daybreak – [Underground Level Recordings]

Jamie Principle – Waiting on my Angel – [Trax]

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