The sounds of December courtesy of

The Soundtrack To November 2011

Phil Wilce‘s monthly tastemaker is now here! If you want a round-up of the best new indie and electro from the past 30 days, this is the playlist for you: Scroobius Pip, Roots Manuva, DJ Shadow feat. Little Dragon, This Is The Kit and more.

Hitmakers: Benny Blanco

SMP user Clabbe is something of an expert at uncovering these lesser-known songsmiths. His Hitamker series features stacks of producers behind some of the biggest hits of the past few years. Like this chap, Benny Blanco. The American gained recognition for his work with Spank Rock, which led to jobs behind the desk for superstars like Britney Spears, Katy Perry and Ke$ha, Justin Bieber, Mike Posner and Taio Cruz. Check them all out here.

Please Please Somebody Else

Our patience has worn thin. Time is up. We can wait no longer. With the help of SMP user The Mammal, we’ve taken the Beatles’ conspicuous absence from Spotify into our own hands. Check out their debut album, Please Please Me, reconstructed entirely from cover versions by the likes of Chaka Demus & Pliers, Estereotypo, Flamin’ Groovies and Maggie Bell tackle Fab Four classics. You can find more Beatles’ albums like this one here.

100+ indie & alternative Christmas songs

Admittedly, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the old classics on the radio, blaring from the shops and, well, just everywhere. But if you’re looking for some new twists on classic compositions, as well as some brand spanking new festive tunes, this is the mixtape for you: Pete Philly, The Decemberists, The Specials, The Flaming Lips, Frightened Rabbit, Mogwai, Smith & Burrows, Richard Hawley, Fleet Foxes and stacks more.

Unsigned Finds: The Next New Thing

We have not stopped listening to the new Unsigned Finds series of playlists, created by hoxsd1. They’re veritable feasts of the best new music on Spotify, and must-hear mixtapes for music geeks like us. It’s essential that we champion undiscovered acts like the ones featured here, of course it is. But it is also very important we play a little game of: who’s got the coolest band name? We’re going for Fearless Vampire Killers. Ace. Check out more Unsigned Finds playlists here.

Studio Soul Men: Cropper and Dunn

This little gem has been going down a storm on the old SMP Facebook page. It’s not hard to see why it’s so popular, it’s one of the most consummate collections of soul music we’ve ever received. All tracks featured have one thing in common: Steve Cropper on guitar and Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass. Otis Redding, Booker T. & The MG’s, Sam & Dave, Albert King, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and more. A real top-class playlist.

PASTE: The 50 Best Songs of 2011

Playlists made of our users’ favourite tracks from 2011 are coming in thick and fast now. Here’s our early contenders for single of the year: Yuck – Georgia; Lykke Li – Love Out Of Lust; Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues; Tom Waits – Bad As Me; M83 – Midnight City. All of which – conveniently – feature on this mixtape. Upload a mixtape full of your favourite tunes from 2011. We’d be ever so grateful.

Turkish Psychedelic Folk

We love – LOVE – absurdly obscure mixtapes like this one here at SMP – and you clearly do too, as you went Like crazy for it on the SMP Facebook page. There’s nothing we can write here that will make you want to listen to this playlist more than you will after simply reading the title: Turkish Psychedelic Folk. Brilliant.

Cool Yule

One more Chrismas mixtape before we go? Why not. You certainly won’t mind when you hear the quality on this one. You see, as festive mixtapes go, this is pretty much as cool as it gets: “Keep the Yule cool with a mix of holiday jazz classics from John Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Donald Byrd, and more,” says its creator EMI Music US. Magic.

Resident Advisor Top 50 November 2011

We end, as always, with a spectacular, mind-bending, dancefloor-destroying collection of house and techno. If you’re dusting off your dancing shoes over the festive season, we’ve got your pre-party music all sewn up: Resident Advisor Top 50 November 2011. In particular, check out bangers from Mendo, Mendo, Yakine, Carl Craig, Robert Dietz, Anja Schneider and Terrence Parker.