Welcome to Spectrum City
This project was born out of a simple desire to share all the incredible music I have discovered and to map my own personal journey as a music fan and DJ. I wanted to highlight how the music I have listened to throughout my life has morphed, evolved and sometimes mutated.
I was pondering how to present this story whilst on the Muni in San Francisco. Looking at the stops on the map, it struck me that a subway map would be a really interesting way to tell this story. Each stop could be a mix, each line a genre or sub-genre of music. Where lines met could even highlight musical influences.
I began work on the design but quickly needed a name for this factitious city. Back in London driving to a gig with some friends, we discussed ideas and Spectrum was thrown into the pot. Spectrum was the name of the first house night I ever went to, whilst Spectrum City was the name of Chuck D’s first musical project which went on to become Public Enemy. What’s more, the name summed up what I planned to do: explore the full spectrum of music.
Spectrum City was born in February 2010 and for five years I added mixes to the subway map. You can still see that original version here, although note it doesn’t get the latest mixes anymore. The decision to redesign Spectrum City came to me after I realised that people were struggling to understand what Spectrum City is and how to find the music they liked. After much consideration I switched the site to this design in November 2015.
The aim remains the same; to curate the best music from multiple genres and sub genres, then seamlessly sequence into mixes for everyone to enjoy. I don’t see this project ever coming to an end. As music keeps evolving, I just discover new scenes and uncover new gems.