Clark Dinnison, founder of Noon Pacific, emails a hand-curated mixtape to subscribers each Monday, for free, made up of music he’s read about on leading blogs, or heard about from friends, family, or wherever. It runs on the 8tracks platform, and it sounds good.
As such, we figured we’d check in to see what advice he has for other people who want to try their hand at making and sharing a mix, whether on 8tracks or elsewhere. His response appears below, slightly edited.
1. Quality over Quantity
One main reason I built Noon Pacific was because of the enormous amount of bad music sites out there. I’m not a fan of blogs that write paragraphs or even pages critiquing every song; liking or disliking a song is subjective to a listener’s mood, location, and lots of other things, so I’d rather get straight to the point and just play the song.
If I like it, then sweet — if not, then click next. No BS.
Too many bloggers are worried about search engine optimization (SEO) in order to get their sites discovered, but a lot of times they sacrifice the user experience due to both the indigestible amounts of content they put out and also the lack of quality songs. Just because a lot of blogs are spreading a song doesn’t mean it’s good. That’s where Noon Pacific tries to come in and filter out the noise, leaving only the gems, or Lucky Charm marshmallows, or… you get the point.
2. Ups and Downs
Noon Pacific mixes are released every Monday, so I definitely try to keep the mood generally upbeat to start the week off right. The first song is always the kicker, and I spend a lot of time thinking about which song is going to start the listener’s day off the best. The trickiest part is making sure there aren’t too many slow or fast songs in a row. I usually listen to every song multiple times, taking into consideration how it starts and ends so that all the songs link up smoothly while keeping a consistent wave of emotions.
3. Notoriety vs. Obscurity
I try to pull the songs from a wide variety of sources to capture as many genres and trends as possible. The coolest part about music, for me, is that it’s always changing. Some weeks I’ll dig deep into an indie R&B, while other weeks I’ll explore more unknown stuff which blogs like Aquarium Drunkard do a really good job of discovering.
I use SoundCloud a lot to find bands, and love finding emerging artists who are making amazing music, but still don’t quite have a solid following. I try not to limit Noon Pacific to any one genre so I’m always open for new stuff and I enjoy receiving submissions on a daily basis from bands all over the world, popular or not.
I find myself adding more and more remixes to the weekly mixes. Some people aren’t too keen on remixes, but sampling is essentially what all music is at its core, so I really dig the stuff when an old favorite gets a new bassline added in or some funky song takes on an entirely new tone.
5. Factor In the Season
I’m originally from the Pacific Northwest (Spokane, Washington), and I grew up with very distinct seasons. My brothers and I would always create mixes for each season and I guess that stuck with me when I moved to California [where seasons are largely theoretical]. I think everyone, no matter where they live, can appreciate different types of music throughout the year. Songs and memories go hand in hand for me, and I try to evoke certain dreams when I put together a new mix.
I try to be original with my playlists, and it’s [great] to have such a large following for something I’m passionate about. Thanks to all my supporters.
Note: Evolver.fm is on a reduced publishing schedule due due to family logistics on the part of the editor.