Steph Kretowicz

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We’re delighted to share a SIDES mix from writer, editor, journalist and co-founder of London-based arts publication, Steph Kretowicz.

Somewhere I’ve Never Been is a multi-platform narrative project exploring global soundscapes as an expression of heavily mediated, networked mobile environments. Accompanying a selection of creative essays published by London’s Pool Press and Berlin’s TLTRPreß in May – edited by Tom Clark and designed by Maria Mitcheva – it pulls together field recordings of sound and music from a self-started journey through the US, Europe and the Middle East. The project ran over five years and includes audio, video and online components, all of which are hyperlinked in the book itself. This is a selection of tracks that were newly discovered, sometimes revisited, along the way to become unlikely favourites.

You can find more about the project at


Kimmo Modig, ‘The Power of Love’
Samir Srour, ‘I Am Here’
Nancy Ajram, ‘Ya Tabtab… Wa Dallaa’
Fahd Al Kaseer, ‘We Are Carrying the Coffin’
Celine Dion, ‘Parler à mon père’
Jesus Culture, ‘Show Me Your Glory (Christian Dubstep)’
Princess Oluchi Okeke, ‘My Life Medley’ (excerpt)
Mike Kelley & Scott Benzel Tijuana Hayride
Harry Partch, ‘U.S. Highball (A Musical Account of Slim’s Transcontinental Hobo Trip)’ (excerpt)
Pierre-Laurent Aimard performing Messiaen’s ‘Vingt Regards Sur L’Enfant Jesus (IV. Regard de la Vierge)’
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’
Smadar Akray, ‘Yamen’
Eyal Golan, ‘Longing’
Irénke Nagy Gyuris, ‘Korobeiniki’
Kapono Beamer, ‘Palisa’
Fausto Papetti, ‘Stand By Me’ (Ben E. King cover)
Jack star and His Magic Panpipe, ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ (Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes cover)
Óðinn Valdimarsson, ‘Ferðalok (Ég er kominn heim)’
Nighttrain, ‘Hallo Bimmelbahn’
Steph & Chris Kretowicz, ‘Skype with dad a cappella’


Commend: You live in Los Angeles now. Your essay on L.A. in SINB is one of my favorites in the collection, the vivid description of dissociative soundtrack of the health food shop, the “all-natural unnatural.” Are there any unique-to-L.A. sonic experiences you’ve had lately that could be part of the SINB lineage?

SK: It varies in Los Angeles depending on where you are. There are so many little bubbles and universes here. That said, the low hum of traffic is inescapable. You can be hiking alone and still hear it. I live inner city, so there it’s just cars, sirens and police helicopters. Near to Independence Day, people set off illegal fire works for at least two weeks before and after the event, which is very annoying and easily confused with gun shots. On the actual night it’s like a war zone, totally crazy.
Because you spend so much time in your car it’s music (I don’t listen to the radio but iTunes) and the comforting sound of the GPS. My computer talks to me in an Australian accent. My phone’s Google Maps has an English accent and Waze is American. I think that’s pretty representative of how I talk by now.
The weirdest and most specific thing, though, that I’ve only noticed while living here is that the more cheesy, high-end shopping malls always play golden age easy listening – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra – which is kind of strange and uncanny. The whole experience plays out like a nostalgic Lana Del Rey tribute to Apple Stores and Doris Day; the false promise of an American ideal sung by gangsters and inspired by capital.