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Photograph by Seb Marling

Regulars / Friday Mixtape

Friday Mixtape: beats to put a spring your step from Test Pressing

This week’s Friday Mixtape is curated by Paul Byrne. In light of the already turbulent year we are having, he has picked ten songs that look towards better times and the season ahead – a playlist to put a spring in your step.

Paul appears like a guy who actually realises the ideas that most of us just chat about in the pub. As the founder of music platform Test Pressing he oversees a regular stream of content on their site alongside his Test Pressing Show on NTS Radio. As if that wasn’t enough, Paul releases his own music under the pseudonym Apiento, and is a director at the ever-inspiring design studio, Village Green.

We spoke to Paul to hear more about Test Pressing and the mixtape he has put together for your weekend ahead.

Can you introduce Test Pressing, why you started it and the key things people should know about what you put out?

Test Pressing started as an mp3 blog. One of those blogs where you would post a track that you liked with a few lines why, hoping that people out there were picking it up. From there we graduated to mixes, interviews, reviews, merchandise, a record label and more. Most importantly it has become a network of people around the world that both myself and [Test Pressing Japan correspondent] Dr Rob are happy to call friends.

What was the theme for your mixtape?

The world is in a funny place right now, though saying that, it feels like 2017 could be a really positive year for creative minds. Anyway, with Spring just around the corner I’ve tried to pick music to lift the spirits. It’s in the air you know…

Why have you picked the songs in your mixtape, what do they remind you of or make you feel?

I wanted a positive tone to the songs. I guess the genre we are into, Balearic beat, does have a pretty positive element to it so these are trying to broadly represent that.

When or where should this mixtape be listened to?

It’s one for all seasons. Mornings, afternoons in the country or a dance with someone you like.

Is there a particular song or album you listened to as a teenager?

We had a disco for under 18’s called The Civic in Orpington where I am from. It was at that time when some records would make everyone line up and the whole place did the dance. Jingo was one of those. Loads of Orpington kids in lines going to the left and back to the right clapping and kicking in unison. So Jingo by Candido. That and Rock The Boat.

What song or album is consistently playing in your studio?

I am part of the Village Green design studio and currently we seem to listen back to a lot of NTS’ shows. It’s not actually me that puts these on but I am kind of biased as I do a show on the station. The thing is whatever show you click on to listen, its someone with a passion for what they do. Other than that it’s May I Have This Dance by Azymuth. Killer robotic jazz funk.

If a feature film about Test Pressing was to be made, what song would be on the trailer?

Stop Bajon by Tulio De Piscopo. The Balearic national anthem.

Mixtape:

1. Ryuichi Sakamoto – Paradise Lost
2. Alton Ellis – Black Man’s World
3. Art of Noise – Robinson Crusoe
4. NYCC – Leave a Light in My Window
5. Yusef Lateef – Love Theme From Spartacus
6. Four Tet – Morning Side
7. Sasha – A Key to Heaven From a Heavenly Trance
8. Donny Hathaway – Valdez in the Country
9. Eric Serra – Learning Time
10. Sleepy’s Theme – 4.30AM