George Ward
George Ward

Freelance journalist based in Bristol. Can be found at the Grain Barge, Rough Trade or in his tiny basement bedroom writing for CLUNK.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Bose and NME have collaborated to create an exciting new mixtape to accompany their showcase at SXSW. Inspired by the legendary C86 compilation, ‘C23’ contains unreleased tracks from a wide variety of artists and genres.

These artists include Jockstrap, King Princess, 070 Shake, Genesis Owusu and many others. As well as orchestral versions, alternate versions and remixes, there are also several original tracks here too.

As with most compilations, it is a fairly mixed bag and it is sometimes hard to tell who the intended audience is meant to be. However, there are plenty of highlights that stand out amongst a slightly too long tracklist.

The first of these is the fantastic new King Princess song ‘The Bend’. The track is a smooth, sexy and really catchy pop tune and its chorus is emotional and heartfelt. Equally emotional is Daniel Ponder’s ‘Spiraling’, which explores betrayal and imbalance within relationships.

Most of the compilation is much more chilled. half•alive close out the compilation with the groovy ‘Beige’, whose name seems to underplay how colourful and jazzy the track is. Genesis Owusu continues to prove his ridiculous versatility with the laid back ‘Hole Heart’. His flows are characteristically silky and the chorus vocals are infectious. Genesis’s voice sounds fantastic over this live instrumentation and it feels like a real treat to find him here. He really is one of the most interesting artists around.

As well as these originals, there are a couple of reworked tracks too. JVKE’s massively viral ‘golden hour’ gets a very dramatic re-do with an orchestra backing his vocals. If you somehow haven’t heard this song by now, this is a good time to and, if you have, it’s interesting enough to listen again.

Experimental duo Jockstrap remix ‘Concrete Over Water’ in one of the strangest moments on the compilation. This version completely changes the feel of the original, pairing Georgia Ellery’s pitched up vocals with stripped back piano chords. These chords are eery, beautiful at times, and oddly unpredictable. For any Jockstrap fans, I would really recommend it.

Overall, there are definitely some great tracks on show here. While there are also definitely some more forgettable points, there is something refreshing about listening to a compilation like this, where the range of artists mean you can never quite tell what will appear next.

Listen to ‘Bose X NME: C23’ here: