My captain’s log entry over on the making of Jam Odyssey over on the This Is My Jam blog:
Over the new year and throughout January we’ve had tons of people create their 2013 Jam Odysseys. We received many nice emails too; our favourites included “Fuck! I’m Awesome”, “Thank you so much I love you”, and “such a lovely way to get a flavour of your year”.
So, we thought you might like a peek behind the scenes. Here’s how a labour-of-love project like this goes down at the Jam Factory:
I’ve never done a round up of music from the year before (I know!) This is mainly because I crate dig and listen to a ton of old music too, so restricting myself to just one year doesn’t feel completely representative of my taste. This December, though, I challenged myself to compile a list of new (as in newly released) sounds that helped define the shape of the year for me. (Also, I was basically on deadline all December, so oh hai procrastination).
If I could, this playlist would include almost every track off Beyoncé’s self-titled album, which was the most exciting and unexpected thing to happen for me musically this year. I’ve had it on repeat since it came out; there are so many good tracks, but I think my favourite is ***Flawless, with Ghost/Haunted as an extremely close second. Since December was so mental, so I didn’t get to sit down and watch all the videos until the Xmas break – which I got to do with my sister Sophie – one of the best moments of spending the holidays together. I love hearing her dancer’s perspective on these things.
Other highlights from the year that strongly influenced this playlist were seeing Killer Mike, Solange and Jessie Ware perform at Primavera in Barcelona; going to a small and amazing Homeboy Sandman gig in Berlin during the summer, then later getting to have a lovely conversation with him in New York; seeing the Roger Limb (the pianist from the house jazz band at my favourite pub, the Wenlock Arms) perform with his BBC Radiophonic Worskhop mates at Rough Trade East; and right before the year finished, seeing Oddisee and his incredible band, Good Company, live in London.
Thanks to all the artists who made 2013 more beautiful with their music, and the people in my life who introduced me to it.
I’ve carefully collected and refined my tools over the years, making sure not to carry more than I absolutely have to. What do you carry around?
Another look behind the scenes at the Jam Factory. How we deal with low-quality YouTube thumbnails…
As part of our recent work around making your music look awesome, we’ve also updated how YouTube jam images look.
The challenge with making your music look great is that most of the time we’re starting with very low-quality source imagery. Similar to how apps like Instagram originally were hailed for turning crappy mobile phone pics into something with style, we’ve been trying to solve for this with music.