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Car Tunes and Cartoons: Sam Prekop’s Mix Is Eclectic And Great

Sam Prekop is easily one of my favorite songwriters. Form his work with Chicago’s seminal post-rock band, Shrimp Boat, to his 2000’s indie rock band The Sea And Cake, to his diverse solo work, Prekop has always felt like a natural at whatever genre he manipulates to suit his voice and style. Though I am magnetically drawn to his singing voice and like his work with The Sea And Cake best, his recent work in electronic drone and ambient music (his new album The Republic is a compelling solo listen–it sort of sounds like UFO waiting room music right after you’ve been abducted) is yet another phase in his career that adds new hues to the portrait of his artistic inclinations. In short, he is not confined by a single idiom of sound.

That is why I jumped at the opportunity to have Prekop curate a mix for us–seeing what the songwriter listens to was a voyeuristic opportunity I didn’t want to pass up. Unsurprisingly, the mix is all over the place, including the intelligent dance music of Aphex Twin, the uniquely disquieting pop of Broadcast, and a brief composition from Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray. As Prekop notes in his summary below, the mix is meant to be understood within a greater context than just each of its individual tracks. The overarching emotions and the connective tissue among these seemingly disparate sounds is worth investigating, and mapping out your own mental connections is half the fun.

And the same goes for the artwork he chose to accompany the mix, which features a mural on an otherwise unimposing door in Chicago. Read Prekop’s thoughts below the image.

Sam Prekop's Photo

Sam Prekop on his mix and illustration for

“This mix represents some of my favorites today, this minute. All would be on here tomorrow as well; some I haven’t heard in years, others I thought I knew but now sound so different and still beautiful. What I want to hear changes all of the time, and what fits the bill seems utterly random. I blame and thank “shuffle” for this. What we have here on paper at least looks to be all over the place, but for me each piece has gained a new presence amongst this odd fellow context. My selection, chasing the sublime, they all get there.

This mashed up mural processes an awkward beauty, greater than the sum of it’s parts, that for me resonates with this music. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of eyes on a door.”

N.B. Spotify didn’t have two tracks that Prekop selected, but you can check out Samsimar’s “Indand Pariaman” and “Harmony 18” from Annelie Gahl and Klaus Lang’s album of John Cage harmonies. Check out either below.

Featured image via The Chicago Reader

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