Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco

99U Music Mix I: Inspiration Is For Amateurs

Following on our successful mix collaboration with Ghostly International, we’re launching a new music series here at 99U. This late-summer concoction wraps electronica, techno, synth pop, and dash of sultry boogie-woogie into a dreamy, magic carpet ride. We nicked the title from a favorite Chuck Close quote, “Inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Inspiration Is For Amateurs Mix


1. Guido – “Anidea”

The title track from Guido’s enchanting 2010 release, Anidea, is a romantic, orchestral offshoot of dubstep that works its way into your heart like a splinter.

2. Matthew Dear – “Deserter (Four Tet Remix)”

Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebdan) strips down this haunting cut from Dear’s 2008 record, Asa Breed, and grows it into a microcosm of twinkling Petri-dish electronica.

3. Gold Panda – “Back Home”

A lovely, pulsing bit of techno-pop from Panda’s 2009 Miyamae EP. Picture yourself driving in a convertible with the top down, late-night.

4. Four Tet – “Angel Echoes”

Kieran Hebdan weaves a potent vocal sample into a glitchy, gorgeous melodic for the opener on his 2010 album, There Is Love In You.

5. My My – “Clean Break”

If David Byrne decided to reinvent himself as a German electronic artist, his debut track might sound like this quirky deep house cut from the 2006 release, Songs for the Gentle.

6. Pantha Du Prince – “The Splendour”

The splendors of Pantha Du Prince’s 2010 release, Black Noise, are subtle. Skittering pinball sounds; tinkling, clanking samples; and minimal beats swirl into a dreamy groove on this track.

7. Gui Boratto – “Azurra”

A simple (but delicious) synth-pop confection with a techno build from São Paulo producer Gui Boratto’s 2009 record, Take My Breath Away.

8. JJ – Intermezzo

We’re still dazed and in love with the 2009 release, JJ No. 2, from this Swedish outfit. Somehow they make dream pop that sounds tongue-in-cheek yet seductively sincere.

9. The Miracles Club – “Chango (White Rainbox Mix)”

Chango is the psychedelic centerpiece of the Light of Love EP from the new house music project of Portland OR’s Honey Owens.

10. Emeralds – “Now You See Me”

“Mournfully ecstatic” sounds like an odd description, but that’s all we’ve got for this transportive, synthy folk song from Emeralds’ glimmering 2010 release, Does It Look Like I’m Here?

11. Glasser – “Apply (Chairlift Remix)”

LA’s Cameron Mesirow chants and yelps over spacious synths and industrious, Philip Glassian burbles on Chairlift’s mesmerizing remix from Glasser’s second EP, Apply.

12. Shapes and Sizes – “Too Late For Dancing”

This cut from Shapes and Sizes’s recent release, Candles To Your Eyes, lassoes you in with a seductive groove and some seriously come-hither vocals. The perfect slow burn to wind down the party.

–> Download the mix from iTunes

What Are You Listening To?

Got any suggestions for our next mix? Hit us with ideas in the comments.

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Jocelyn K. Glei

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A writer and the founding editor of 99U, Jocelyn K. Glei is obsessed with understanding how work gives our lives meaning. She has authored three books about work, creativity, and business, including the Amazon bestsellers Manage Your Day-to-Day and Make Your Mark. Follow her @jkglei.
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