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Daniel Koh: Buro 24/7 Singapore Playlist #172

Switching gears

Text: Daniel Koh


Creative consultant Daniel Koh shares his eclectic after-work playlist

"No music no life, know music know life" rings true for me, both professionally and personally. I was lucky my parents had a discerning ear for music. Music was always playing in the household, ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd, ELO to Cantopop. Having an interesting cover sleeve helped, and I remember looking fondly at them while the record played. Music and design do somehow have a mutual relationship. This juxtaposition piqued my interest to embark on a career as a designer.

Cobbling together this track selection is mind-boggling as I tend to switch gears, jumping from one genre to the next. In essence, it's an eclectic selection that maps out a brief journey of what I've been listening to over the years. I'd also like to cheekily dub this as the "office-hours" mix, setting the mood for some after-office hours grooving. Play this at approximately 5:30pm and you'll know what I mean.

I've always had a soft spot for soundtracks, so the playlist kickstarts with a touch of vintage elegance, courtesy of the late John Barry. The Knack combines the danceable but predominant swing style of the late 60's, coupled with a wall-of-sound aesthetic similar to another favourite, Phil Spector. A Stream With Bright Fish taken from The Pearl LP from Brian Eno, Harold Budd and Daniel Lanois is an intricate electronic recording, and would not have been categorised as ambient when it was released. No Quarter from Led Zeppelin sees the band tinkering with electronics and soundscapes. If you're quick to put them down as a rowdy bunch, this track will change your mind.

Fug and Bing & Ruth alongside Nils Frahm, and to some extent Nicholas Jaar, represent some of the more diverse instrumentalist groups of the past two decades. LOOP and Pavement sum up part of my rock collection and yes, Pet Shop Boys definitely deserves one here with My October Symphony and I rank Behaviour as one of the best pop records of all time. If you listen carefully, the drum samples are an exact match with The Stone Rose's Fools Gold.  To hit the sweet spot and get those toes moving or butt off your chair, I would recommend Dauwd and Anstam. There seems to be an excessive list of genres or subgenres going on, so I'll just leave them right here for you to decide.

Daniel Koh is currently a creative consultant for a luxury lifestyle group. You can view his work at UNIT and hear his bedroom mixes on Mixcloud and Spotify.

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