Podcast tile for Tinder date horror show Swipe Left Swipe Left and album cover for Ryuichi Sakamoto's 'Async - Remodels'

Looking for a podcast about Tinder dates that will make you laugh out loud? Look no further! And Ryuichi Sakamoto’s new album was greeted with great appreciation whenever it popped up on the office playlist this week.

Swipe Left Swipe Left retells horror Tinder dates

Swipe Left Swipe Left is a narrative podcast which collects the stories of survivors of tragic Tinder dates. It’s less about the Tinder and more about human relations in that blind date environment.

And oh my, it is funny!

It’s hosted by London based producer Claire Crofton and her partner Gavin Wong, who started this adventure with a podcast pilot a year ago. That must have gone well, so they went away and spent a year collecting 15 more stories to build their podcast series. Swipe Left Swipe Left launched in January with a graphic designer, a composer and a website where you can post your own Tinder story for potential inclusion in a future podcast.

The podcast makers have created a treat for your ears, starting with the stories, which are amazing. Told in first person, there’s rare interruption from the podcast hosts and they use music and sound effects to fill out the picture. The music helps build the emotions in the story and never overstays its welcome. The sound effects only arrive when they’re invited and never break down the fourth wall.

There’s two elements to a date, let’s call them the dater and the datee. And of course, a lot of the date involves conversation, so whoever is telling the story (dater) has to say what the other person (datee) said. Swipe Left Swipe Left use some subtle audio effects on the voice to indicate the datee’s voice which makes it clear who is talking and keeps the story moving along.

The series begins with Harry’s story, which was the pilot a year ago, because it’s just so good. Harry is a friend of Claire and Gavin and tells a cracking story. At the many points where most of us would have run screaming, Harry persists and sees the date through many extraordinary experiences.

Strangely, this podcast doesn’t appear to be sponsored by Tinder. Maybe they don’t think Swipe Left Swipe Left has the reach they want – even though they should be sponsoring podcasts that provide value for their customers. But perhaps they don’t see dating horror stories as added value for their customers.

The motto of Swipe Left Swipe Left is ‘an embarrassment shared is an embarrassment halved’. As I listened to Harry’s story, I could feel the embarrassment rising in my own cheeks, so perhaps that’s half of Harry’s embarrassment reaching me. But then if we all have that experience, aren’t we doubling, tripling, quadrupling the embarrassment?!

Either way, I love it. Be sure to swipe right on Swipe Left Swipe Left.

Have a listen to the first episode.

Ryuichi Sakamoto ‘Async – Remodels’ album

We’ve developed an effective democratic system to determine the music for our office playlist – one of us puts on the music, the other goes ‘that sounds nice’ – that’s how we know we have a winner!

And that’s happened every single time we’ve put on Ryuichi Sakamoto’s new album.

I’ve loved the sound of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s music since I was a child when he composed the soundtrack (and acted in) Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence in 1983. He’s one of those musicians who influence the sound of the music – it’s not just a keyboard or piano sound, it becomes a Sakamoto sound.

Unfortunately, that sound can become a bit samey and it’s not easy to tell one album apart from another. That’s what I thought was happening when I first played Async – it sounds the same – before I realised that this is a remodelling of last year’s album. Hence the name, dummy!

The original album was composed after Sakamoto had treatment for throat cancer and is described by Pitchfork as “having the penetrating urgency of one facing their own mortality.” On Remodels, the remixers – most of whom have grown up with his work – are more restrained with a reverence for the great composer.

‘Andata’ is the first song to be reworked by Oneohtrix. That’s the song that is met with approval each time I press play. As soon as it ends, it begins again with the Electric Youth version. While different, these two remixes work well together and extend a beautiful song that we could happily listen to all day.

The same thing happens with ‘Solari’ which is first remodelled by Fennesz, whose collaboration with Sakamoto in 2007 ‘Cendre’ was spartan and dissonant. This remix has a similar feel which contrasts with the late Johann Johannsson’s ethereal version right after. With understated church organ it creates a dreamy mood which lets the imagination soar.

Cornelius provides one of the most captivating remixes with Zure, with the interruption of several short breaths, something the Japanese musician has often done in his own work. We assume the breaths are Sakamoto’s, and there’s many ambient sounds that remind us of a hospital, which adds to the intensity.

Like last week’s minimalist work from John B. Mclemore, ‘Async – Remodels’ is perfect for the office playlist, particularly if you are writing or deep in thought. And it’s bound to be greeted with appreciative comments like ‘that sounds nice’.

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