INTRO: Ben Hawling

Hi, hows it goin’?

Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, I hope that the latest Spotisfaction playlist is filling your ears and softly soaring through your atmosphere.

My name is Ben Hawling and I will be flooding the Spotisfaction pages with regular reviews and the occasional rant. These reviews will consist of both album and gig reviews, plus a few band profiles every so often in an effort to keep our collective Spotisfaction fingers on the pulse of what’s hot, musically. I will also be conducting a weekly “Band back catalogue appreciation” feature (yeah, working on a better name as we speak), where I rummage through the back catalogue of a different band each week so that a whole host of new fans can be introduced to fine music. This will also allow the more loyal fans to reminisce, and their appreciation be born all over again.
Based in the glorious Cheltenham town, I am a resident reviewer for the visionary Cheltenham Underground imprint, so I will be posting regular nuggets of local talent. I will also give the heads up of any mind-blowingly awesome artists that play at the Cheltenham Underground showcase nights, and where you can find them (in a non-stalker way…….well, maybe).

The reason behind my involvement with the Spotisfaction blog is purely because I long to be part of something that is groundbreaking, and that thrives on delivering music in all it’s forms to those who may not have access to it. But on a more personal level, it is down to the enjoyment and appreciation of the mixtape itself. Spotisfaction allows the 15 year-old me, sat alone in my bedroom, to finally share all the mixtapes that I compiled from odd tapes and CDs. Just as the mixtapes got me through the drudge of school, I hope that the playlists and discussion that you will find on Spotisfaction carry you through the harshness of modern day life and on to a higher plain, wherever that may be.

If there’s any albums/gigs/bands that you want me to review or take a look at, please feel free to contact me on twitter (@benchs25) or via my email address,

We are all part of something spectacular, and most importantly, real. Let’s embrace it!

Thank you,

Ben Hawling



Hey guys, and welcome to my Spotisfaction blog. I will be contributing reviews, articles, features, general stuff intended for debate.

I’m very pleased to be here and helping to grow the size and scope of the site. I was really very impressed with what Dave and Thom had achieved here, keeping it growing, gaining momentum and keeping an interested following. The growth of Spotify has really been phenomenal, and when Facebook was tied in and the social, collaborative nature of Spotify went through the roof, and all via an interface and technology which was almost perfectly realised, I had to contact the boys. I could see where this could go: there was the potential to be one of the first sites to provide music news, reviews and blogs where all its content was linked to instantly listenable, legal material. I really think that this, right here, could be a first. I haven’t encountered another independent internet blog that ties all of its content to an entirely free, entirely legal and legitimate music streaming service.

I’m unbelievably enthusiastic about the potential, but only if you’ll stick with us, continue to listen, to read, to contribute. That last one is the most important. Spotisfaction’s raison d’etre is its collaborative nature. We don’t just want you to provide playlists, we want your news, your reviews, your opinions, your ideas for features. We want to try to create a community driven, Spotify enhanced musical encyclopaedia of a blog. Spotipedia? Blogify? No, Spotisfaction.


The Spotisfaction playlists won’t stop, and please don’t stop submitting them, because we still intend these to be the most frequently posted things on the site. It’s just that we’ll supplement these with an archive of album and artist reviews, news posts, and general blogs like this one.

A little about me I guess. Well, I recently applied to be on the news team at Latitude festival, and I had to describe myself in 50 words. Here are my 50 words:

I am a passionate musician, editor and blogger. I have a wide taste in music and have stewarded at many festivals with Oxfam for 5 years including Glastonbury , Reading , and WOMAD. I work in digital editorial, and also help to run an online music blog, contributing reviews, articles and featurettes.”

Living and working in central London, I keep myself involved in as much as possible and will be trying to review as much as I can. I also review for, a company that allows unsigned bands to have their music reviewed by people working in the industry. Expect a diverse (I trust) list of reviews and playlists – my previous submissions have been Dubstep, Acoustic and Metal mixes. I have a blog on Piracy that I think will be posted in the next couple of days to give you all to chew on while I disappear to Glastonbury on Saturday. I’ll be reviewing Glasto for you all next week and you can continue to follow me and my other goings on via Twitter:

Please keep the submissions coming, be it playlists, news, reviews or ideas for features. You can email them all to me at or submit them through the site as normal.

[James TAE]


NEWS: Announcements!

Some exciting Spotisfaction news for your delectation this afternoon:

Firstly, some housekeeping. As some of our more observant readers may have already noticed, we decided to stop being cheap and have bought ourselves a new domain name! is now officially Feel free to change your bookmarks, innit. Way to be more professional, Spotisfaction! We’ve also added a few links underneath our title frame including a new ‘About Us’ section, which I encourage you to check out.

Secondly, we will very shortly be expanding our blog section to include music news, reviews and features (among other things we haven’t thought of yet). These will be in addition to our 3 playlists a week – which aren’t going anywhere – and will hopefully be community-driven, ie, written by you good folks. Here’s your chance to release your inner opinionista. If you saw an awesome gig recently, chuck us a review. Think it’s a travesty that hardly anyone has heard a particular album? Send us a short piece on why you think everyone sucks for not listening to it. More info incoming shortly, but in the meantime consider this your advance warning to get writin’.

Spotisfaction is constantly growing – get involved and get your voice heard.

To help us drive this forward, we’ve brought in a couple of brand spanking, shiny new editors. Please give a nice, warm, slightly soggy Spotisfaction welcome to James TAE and Ben Hawling – you’ll begin to see posts from these lovely chaps very shortly indeed.

Thirdly, we’re working furiously behind the scenes on getting Spotisfaction out to the masses. No official announcement to make just yet as we’re still hammering out the details, but expect good things shortly. Sorry for being vague, but these are ridiculously exciting times… plus I wanted to be a bit cryptic and mysterious for once :P

Finally, a thank you. All of these changes were bought about after reading your feedback. We exist because of and thanks to you guys. Thanks for your support. As always, if we can do anything to improve Spotisfaction, please let us know.


PS. If any of you lovely folks is a whizz with Photoshop and/or webdesign, please get in touch at – we may have a job for you. HEARTS AND STUFF.

News Playlists

NEWS: Spotisfaction Archives

Evening all.

Just a quick bit of information I wish to share with you all. Are you new to this Spotisfaction thing? Do you want to listen to a playlist that some bloke with a shaved afro and dangerously long fingernails posted last month but don’t want to trawl through the entire blog looking for it? Well you’re in luck, because you can now head over to the Spotisfaction Archives here (or if you’re prejudice against clicking text links you could click that little clock icon on the top right of this blog). Contained within is every single submission we’ve published. Woot. Is that still too much effort, then you can head over to either Dave’s Spotify profile or my Spotify profile, which also feature the entire Spotisfaction back catalogue.

Right, back to work.


Sign up for Spotify Open, no invitation needed

Hey guys,

As you know, here at Spotisfaction Towers we have a huge crush on Spotify. A manly crush, you might say. A deep, meaningful, sweaty and sadly unrequited man crush, but a man crush nonetheless. And so, the following excites us:

Spotify Open is a free version of our favourite music-streaming client. If you’ve not been listening to Spotisfaction because you didn’t have an invite, now’s the time to get involved!

Much <3 to the Spotify crew.

PS. Yes, this is old news, but I’m OK with it.



Feedback Time!

Sup. So, recently we’ve had some lovely feedback about Spotisfaction but it feels as if the submissions are gradually slowing down and I think it’s a good idea to try and address how we can improve things for you guys. What we’d like to ask is the following question:

If Spotisfaction could have one more feature, what would it be?

To help, I’ll share some comments we recently received.

I think you guys have done a really good job in starting a community here and I like supporting that however I could. In that respect I think you could actually open up what Spotisfaction ‘is’, or rather ‘does’ – it is quintessentially about sharing music, and so the mixes should remain integral to what it does, but you can suppliment and expand the community by opening up to community journalism and that sort of thing. You could write one on the Digital Rights Bill, for example, [or] an article on the expansion of Spotify in general, and the impact the new facebook and personal library integration the new update has. We could definitely kick something like this off!

Further thoughts: People could submit album reviews, perhaps only for albums that are on Spotify so that you don’t break the spotify-4th-wall, so to speak. Similarly, you could do artist overviews, in a similar way to Allmusic so that you’re literally building a Spotisfaction editorial/journalistic community, all tied in by the fact it can be instantly listened to through Spotify

Would people be interested in something like this? If we were to open up Spotisfaction to such submissions, are there many of you that would submit articles to us?

Just a thought to get the ol’ creative juices flowing – all other suggestions are gratefully received!

Much love, yo.


Commenting And You or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Spotisfaction.

Turns out that while our Tumblr theme was sort of pretty, it didn’t really let us do anything fun. So… after a good couple of hours of messing around with a new theme (ARGH HTML WHY MUST YOU TORMENT ME SO?!), we’re ready to introduce our new commenting system!

Our good friend Craig pointed out that “…Spotisfaction has the potential to inspire much debate, and people would enjoy feedback on their selections.” – so, please do get involved and leave encouragement, props, ask questions or whatever you like.

We’re using DISQUS ( for this functionality. All you need to do to comment on a playlist is click on the Comments link underneath the post.

You can post comments anonymously as a guest, with your Twitter account, or via a Yahoo!, OpenID or DISQUS login.

Ladies and gents, we hope you enjoy as much as I enjoy a good rack of BBQ ribs (read: a lot).


Features News

Spotisfaction Meet-Up – Come see Broken Social Scene with us!

Yo! So, one of my all-time favourite bands are playing in Birmingham on Saturday 26th June. The Spotisfaction crew are going, and we’d like you guys to come too.

I’ve set up a Facebook event with further details, including where to buy the tickets from and a rough idea of what the plan will be.

Give us a shout if you’d like to come with us, and we’ll send you an invite! You can find me on Facebook at:



Mukinabaht: Save Our Interwubs

Link: Mukinabaht: Save Our Interwubs

I haven’t had chance to post recently, it’s been a pretty wild April that has managed to near bankrupt me. Lots of news, lots of news. I’d planed to update later this week with enough stuff to make up for the last week or so of quiet. However, this couldn’t really wait.

The Digital Economy Bill

Sit up and take note, people. This is important. It damn well is. Trust me, sitting this one out will piss the Spotisfaction boys to no end. So make sure you damn well read it. And ACT, for the love of God. Unless you are a soul-less, ball-less no brain who is happy to sit on and smile whilst the condiments that are your liberties are being taken from the dinner table that is your life. I for one love a bit of wasabi. Don’t let them take our wasabi!


Feedback Loop

To make things easier for you, you can now ask questions, provide feedback or even contribute by going to the below link:

Fill in the form with your questions or comments and by the power of magic and spandex in will arrive in our grubby little inbox for us to read. I believe that you can submit anonymous questions if you’re worried about ridicule and I don’t believe your questions will be published to the public.

Come on, we’re not giving you any excuses. Submit some shit.



Feedback time is nao.

Hi folks.

So, we’ve been thinking about how to best go about this whole Spotisfaction malarkey, and have been asking some listeners what they think about the whole thing. It seems that it’s sometimes hard to find enough time to listen to a 2hr playlist every day. So, that leaves us with a couple of options:

We could move to an every-other-day kind of system to avoid over-saturating people’s brainparts with quality music lists. That’d mean that the pressure to fire out a killer playlist would be a bit higher to compensate. The playlists so far have been banging… can the human brain cope with the next level of amazing? I foresee explogasms in the near future.

We could create a ‘best of’ list as voted by our listeners to highlight any stand-out tracks that may have been missed throughout the week. Perhaps this could be in the form of a collaborative playlist on a Friday? We could all choose, say, 4 tracks that we loved that week and bung them into Friday’s playlist. The drawback here is that it’d involve a fair amount of audience participation and wouldn’t work if you fine kids didn’t help out.

So, we’re looking for some feedback please! Let us know what you’d prefer, or even if you’d like us to carry on as we have been doing.

(Follow me on Twitter)

Finally, a question: How would you describe Lady GaGa in 10 words or less?


NEWS: Hey you. Make me a playlist. Yeeeaaaahhh.

Like Spotisfaction? Want to get involved? Submit your own playlist.

A’ight. We’re looking for people to contribute playlists to our Spotisfaction series, so if you like what we’re doing, give it a shot yerself. To see the guidelines, please continue reading…

  • Try to aim for around the 2 hour mark in playtime (around 25-30 tracks seems to work nicely).
  • Make a playlist of stuff that you’d listen to. You don’t have to love every track. Hell, you don’t have to have heard every track. If there is a track that you haven’t had chance to listen to then queue it up.
  • Try to keep it a bit varied. Themed playlists are fine and we don’t really have any limits on genres, but remember these are Mixtapes for the 21st Century. There is no point sharing the entire Hot Chip catalogue. Make it a bit personal.
  • Let us know where you’re coming from, what your standout tracks are and why. We’d like to know what has fueled this playlist – just a few lines is all that’s needed.

Playlists can be submitted to, in person, by courier or via the medium of dance.

Finally, if anyone would like to get involved but doesn’t have Spotify, give me a shout for an invitation.




NEWS: Mukinabaht: Friday Morning Guest Spotisfaction?

Link: NEWS: Mukinabaht: Friday Morning Guest Spotisfaction?

Okay. So we’re getting there. Here is the deal.

At present, Dave and I are swapping playlists daily. I’m taking Monday and Wednesday and he’s taking Tuesday and Thursday. Friday we had planned to do a collaborative playlist and then leave it for the weekend. Instead I want someone to put…

Submissions to: