On Playlists, Compilations, and Mixtapes: A Catered Experience from Enbilulugugal

On January 1st, 2014, Izedis, front man and lead conspirator of both Enbilulugugal and Dipsomaniac Records, published a 24-hour compilation/playlist meant to consume your new year and plunge you into a blackened, noisy hell within which there is no hope for resolution. Now, I’m no stranger to playlists, employing quite a few myself and aiding in the development for several here at the blog, but as I was plumbing the infernal depths of this day-long deluge of darkness (Izedis recently republished it on Facebook), I found myself contemplating the odd, seemingly counter-cultural (to metal, at least) idea of a curated playlist. To metalheads who consider themselves seasoned music connoisseurs, is there any value to allowing someone else to choose your jams for you? Therein lies my quandary.

Here’s my hypothesis: the role and value of playlists changes as you delve deeper into a particular genre of music. During the initial stages of genre exploration, the playlist plays a crucial role. Perhaps it is a mixed CD that sparks your interest. A few of the tracks on the compilation, especially Metallica and In Flames catch your attention, so you take to the internet to find more. You fire up Pandora and let its algorithms build a playlist for you. After a few months of rocking out in your cubicle, you start to desire heavier material, so you check out some metal blogs and look at published playlists, allowing the critics to guide you deeper into extremity as you dipp your toes into death metal and the non-sacrilegious black metal.

After some time of letting others suggest music, you finally get a sense of what you really like and don’t like within metal. You begin to see accumulated playlists as mere selections of tracks you may browse to find something of interest. While before you used playlists to actively tell you what to listen to, now you merely seek the new and novel; in many ways, you begin to dread being forced to listen to an entire playlist of someone else’s choosing. If you’re anything like I was in undergrad, you take any chance you can get to highjack the auxiliary cable at a party to cancel out the fun music and ruin everyone’s good time with your own expertly crafted, 3-hour long playlist of blastbeats and guttural growls. For the jaded metalhead, nothing trumps your own taste.

However, stumbling upon this compilation/playlist led me to reconsider some of my preconceived notions about music curation. Clearly there’s still a market for it. When Beats music was still around, its main draw was the curated playlist, a fan-oriented service that offered carefully chosen suggestions from musicians themselves rather than a soulless algorithm with potentially silly categories branching tenuous connections. In thinking through the appeal of this Dipsomaniac compilation, I came to a realization that I was actually excited to hear what horrors lurked in its depths. Why was this playlist different than the gutless promotional CDs mailed out with copies of Metal Hammer? The key difference, I believe, is in the expertise of the creator.

If you consider yourself an expert, one possessed of an epicurean taste in metal, you likely only really accept the suggestions of other would-be experts. Even if their tastes vary, you can trust that you will find something of value. In many ways, allowing an expert to guide you can take away some of the stress of belaboring over new material and putting in the effort to maintain your own interests. Many of us here feel burnt out on metal from time to time. Allowing an expert to guide you through an untapped sector of extremity seems a perfect way to rekindle passionate listening and to discover something new that comes with an almost guaranteed stamp of approval. In many ways, then, the issue lies not with the playlist format itself but with the source, and if expertise can be assured, many of us would happily return to where we started: allowing a knowledgeable guide to point out what we’re missing.

You may be thinking to yourself that is is all much ado about nothing. To me, however, the Dipsomaniac compilation was a good reminder of the raw joy that effortless listening can afford. Writing about music as a hobby and participating in an active music community can disenchant us and turn what should be a happy escape into a painful chore. If you feel that way, perhaps an expert playlist is just what you need to rekindle that flame.

Looking for a place to start? The Dipsomaniac playlist/compilation itself is pretty fantastic. Though I only recognized a handful of bands at the outset, after some period of poking around in the bloated gut of this rotting whale of a compilation, I found myself enamored by some predators lurking amid the viscera. From the furious, underhanded death metal of Eternal Oblivion to the apocalyptically riffy black metal of Fathomhell to the scum-sucking brutal death metal of Skeld to the paranoia-inducing noise of The Russian Exorcism, this compilation, assembled in 2013 with a number of songs constructed specifically for it (including a handful by our very own Christian Molenaar), covers a nausea-inducing panorama of extremity with every possible permutation of heavy music that your fetishist hearts could desire. There’s something here for everyone, and you rest assured that an experience of drifting through it will be at least an interesting one.

Need a change of pace, my friends? Start with the list above and let me know what treasures you find. Put on your headphones, close your eyes, and tune yourself out.

You should give Enbilulugugal a like at Facebook. You can download the full playlist as well.

Written by:

Published on: June 2, 2016

Filled Under: Music as a System, Nerd Shit, Washington Think Tank

Views: 676

Tags: , , , , ,

  • Elegant Gazing Globe

    this some weird shit

  • Joaquin Stick

    After a quick skim of the band names, I doubt there is anything particularly interesting for me there. But I agree that listening to someone else’s playlist is not a thing I usually want to do. When I am too ambivalent to pick something, I will listen to my weekly spotify discovery playlist, which is usually 1/30 on new stuff I actually enjoy, but sometime the mystery of “what’s coming next?” is kinda fun.

  • The appeal of playlists, including our very own Toilet of Hell Radio Show, is that the variety kind keeps me hooked. For instance, I doubt I would actively click on any of these songs if presented individually. But, together, I stick around longer. The variety is kinda the same with podcasts. I like the variety.

    Playing these now, Dvbs.


    • i thought the appeal of the radio show was my naturally charming demeanor 🙁

      • TrickleDownOvTacoKvltRiff

        lets not forget the antics…

      • Dubs

        I mostly listen in hope that you’ll make Randall look foolish.

      • I really enjoyed this weeks episode btw

        You seemed very comfortable. I enjoyed the lolz

  • Add the new Okus album to the list as well. Just released today and it destroys! Second time playing it today.


  • Pentagram Sam

    Cool article man! I was actually wondering if you had taken a mini break too. Def agree when it comes to getting into new genres that a playlist put together by someone who is well versed in the field is a great introduction.

    Baaaaack around 2000, got into Labyrinth and Kamelot from a friend’s playlist. He had gotten into old school Power Metal on his own and knew bands I didn’t .He had a few bands on the list but Labyrinth and Kamelot stuck out. Moonlight, New Horizons, and Night Of Dreams from Return To Heaven Denied blew me away. Then songs like Birth Of a Hero from the Vanderbilt era of Kamelot as well as Until Kingdom Come from 4th Legacy got me into Kamelot. Also, several songs from the movie Labyrinth snuck on there too an tod we were like, what the fuck? I guess these guys like weird ass interludes

    Soilwork and Dark Tranquillity came from the same dude and his playlists. This time it was a melo death list and boom, there you go. The Wonders At Your Feet was the first DT song I heard and I’ve been a stark raving fan since.

    Recently it was a synthwave playlist from another homie that got me to dive deep into that realm with groups like Dynatron, the mighty P-bator, Mega Drive, and other dudes.

    Be careful with thine playlists, for the power to transform one’s listening is not to be taken lightly. hahahah

    Damn, cool article man, haven’t thought about these guys in a while but because of them, they made me a lifelong fan of several great bands.

    • Dubs

      I had to drive all over this freakin state for a few days.

  • Don’t you mean Enpeepoopoogal DUR HUR HA HA

  • Convalescent Crematory by Abuser >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    • Damien – Batard >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> WOW

      • Dubs

        There’s some really rad stuff on here. Check out Geist.

  • Izedis Apirikubabadazuzukanpa

    Thank you very much for posting this. I’m in no way an expert at anything in this dimension, but it’s still an honor to see someone paying attention. I picked very few of these tracks. Basically what I did was spread the word that I was putting out a 24 hour long compilation and accepted submissions from anyone that wanted to send something. Nothing really done on my part. Thanks again Terlet Ov Hell.

    • Welcome to the Toilet!

      • Izedis Apirikubabadazuzukanpa


    • Dubs

      Thanks for dropping by! I think even possessing the network and connections to pull this off does in fact make you an expert.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™


  • Waynecro

    Thanks for the heads-up about this sweet-ass compilation/playlist.

  • I used to burn my own cds Venezuelan pirate style.

    Those were the days, mang-o.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      A Link mixtape would be a treasure to behold, truly.

    • Waynecro

      Set to random play, the Zune I put all my new music on is essentially a 120 GB compilation/playlist.

      • Dubs

        Now you’re speaking my language, Wayne.

        • Waynecro

          Zune life, dawg. Speaking of which, Amazon still has a pretty sweet Altec-Lansing Zune dock for, like, 40 bucks. I have one in every room I frequent, and I just bought one as backup. Gotta get ’em while you still can.

      • I always wondered. What’s Zune? 😛

        • Waynecro

          The coolest portable music player since the Walkman.

          • since, and prior to.
            (my Zune HD was lost after i came home from my trip. wound up in the washing machine AFTER a load was finished. thing wouldn’t boot up. so i purchased a new battery online, repaired it, and whala! scariest week of my life.)

          • Waynecro

            Holy crap! That Zune HD is a durable little fucker, apparently. I broke the screen on one of my older Zunes and had to send it away for repair.Thankfully, several companies still do Zune repair. I’m not about to attempt that shit myself.

          • bro, screens are tough, bro. but the rest is manageable. i looked up Zune docks, none support the HD 🙁 i need a hug.

          • Waynecro

            For the HD Zunes, you need a specific dock from Microsoft. I have one. It’s a tiny base that plugs into a TV or audio system, not a stand-alone speaker system. They still sell them on Amazon.

          • let me know if you need halp with repairs doe. i got that sh*t on lockdown

          • Waynecro

            Thanks, man. I should learn how to repair Zunes myself, but I prefer to rely on the experts to fix something as precious as a Zune.

        • Dubs

          In Aeons past, when mortals strode beside the gods in the gardens of paradise, when magic filled this world and all our hearts were filled with wonder, the gods gave our ancestors magic stones that resonated with the most divine tunes imaginable. However, as you well know, the golden days have long past; corruption has entered this world, and no one believes in magic or gods anymore. Sound is all awash in DRM and archaic policies that subjugate the wageslaves to the wills of their corporate overlords. It is said that in the dark corners of the Earth, though, that there are cults who bear the mark of the Z and keep the fire of the divine ablaze.

          • tl dr lololololol

          • Waynecro

            I heard that Microsoft harnessed secret crystal technology from the lost continent of Atlantis to create the Zune.

          • Dubs

            Strange, I heard it was Lemuria.

          • Waynecro

            Well, a great deal of Atlantis’s technology likely derived from Mu, so that’s probably true.

          • So is like a chinese mp3 player without being chinese and way more rooted in the traditional capitalism?

  • EsusMoose

    I’ll probably have to turn this on some time, I’ve been trying to keep to queuing albums for the day and also exploring older groups that I may have missed but haven’t done the best job so far. I just got a few books so while reading those I hope to listen to some new stuff

    • Hans Müller

      Don’t you find it difficult to listen to new music while reading? For me, if it’s stuff I already know, it’s okay, but unknown music takes me out of the reading way to frequently.

      • EsusMoose

        If the book is good, it’s not a problem, if it’s bad though I find myself blindly gazing over pages while listening.

  • Hans Müller

    Interesting topic. You reminded me that those Metal Hammer CDs used to play quite a role in my life, although none of the bands on them except for Misery Index stuck with me over the years.
    Back in school, there was this guy a couple of grades above me that introduced me to various Black Metal like Emperor and Immortal when I was still listening to Korn and Skate Punk. None of that stuck with me, either; I just wasn’t ready for it. These days, I love me some Immortal.

    Point is that ultimately I think that, at least when it comes to introducing someone to new stuff (be it a whole new genre or a different take on one they already like), I think it’s better to let people find their own way into it. You’re ready when you’re ready. It took years for stuff like Death Metal and Grindcore to click with me, and I often marvel at how that came to be; how everything I listened to over the years built on other stuff, easing me into things I would have called pointless noise a couple of years earlier.

    On the other hand, given the number of releases readily available these days, some guidance may go a long way. What do I go by when looking for new music? Band name, album name, cover art. Genre tags often come second. And I think everyone is exclusive about those; I used to say I’m not into OSDM, yet here I am listening to Under the Church and Rude. Any criteria I apply to narrow down the overwhelming amount of music I could listen to will ultimately be somewhat arbitrary and make me miss shit. So the thought of just letting someone else take the lead gains a whole new appeal here.

    Long, LONG story short, I think I’ll be checking out that playlist over the next few days. Thanks for the article, Dubya!