City of Sound is about cities, design, architecture, music, media, politics and more. Written by Dan Hill since 2001.

My Spotify Top Songs 2020 for your listening pleasure. I’d love to know more about the specific algorithms here – there are some surprising choices and sequencing. But it’s often pleasing (Low into Strauss, Cat People into Little Fluffy Clouds…) Here’s a good piece on Spotify ML generally. I frequently suggest to colleagues in Swedish innovation policy/industrial policy/government contexts that Spotify is the best example of everyday AI/ML around – often to little interest, it should be noted. I also note that Cat People is in my auto-generated 2020 playlist twice (Bowie recorded multiple versions). That’s the kind of thorny music metadata problem I pointed to back in 2005, and which is still incredibly tricky to resolve via automation.

For a more hand-turned playlist from 2020, here’s another nod to my Music for Slowdown set, produced to accompany you reading the Slowdown Papers.


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