The beginning of a year is like the beginning of any album from a band you've known and loved for years: hopeful, exciting, full of promise and curiosity. Nothing sets the tone for a great album like the opening track, just like the month of January, a brand new year, a new number, one that will offer up new experiences, changes, opportunities and another collection of unfinished short stories featuring a character you just know will be memorable this year. An opening track is essential, it's what makes you keep listening and provides the idea for what is yet to come. And while the first song on an album is not always the best, the first track on a mix has to be. 

A mix of songs is like a story-- a beginning, a climax, and a subtle or explosive ending. The start of a mix should entice, the same as the start of a great meal, a decade long love affair, a movie that becomes your favorite. When I make a mix, be it for Epitonic, another person, or a simple collection for my own enjoyment, the first song is always what I spend the most time on. If you're not intrigued after track one, you might as well skip to to track four, or eight, or right to the end. 

The beginning is the best, before anything has a chance to disappoint. These are ten first tracks from my first ten playlists for Epitonic, the fist being the epitome of opening tracks for mixed CD's, the last also being the epitome of opening tracks for mixes. After all, the start of a playlist is like the start of a really great year: hopeful, exciting, full of promise and curiosity and pages of all those short stories long before you receive the rejection letters in the mail.