• Soul Bearings: Explorations in contemporary jazz

    This week, we focus on jazz emerging in the past decade, including a range of experimental and traditional approaches.

    October 13, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    Opening Toking Tunes this week is Esperanza Spalding’s ‘I Know You Know,’ from her eponymous 2008 release Esperanza. It’s followed by a tune by Soweto Kinch, a British saxophonist and rapper, from his 2016 release Nonagram.

    Also included are tunes from Kamasi Washington’s 2017 follow up to the incredible 2016 release The Epic,

  • Flesh Barbie: Exploring noise through grime and distortion

    This week's playlist takes its name from Julie Rousse’s ‘Flesh Barbie Techno Fuck,’ a Paris-based artist whose work goes beyond sound.

    October 6, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    This week’s playlist opens with ‘3’ by Pita — a beautifully noisy and distorted track from 1999’s Get Out — and closes with ‘Hail to Thee, Everlasting Pain’ by The Body. The tracks offer distinctly different takes on noise, though they’re both thoroughly consuming. Much has been written on the relationship between cannabis and aural perception,

  • A Rainbow in Curved Air: Hues of minimalism

    This week we bring you a playlist of minimalist sounds, mostly from the 20th century, but with a few contemporary excursions into the tradition

    September 29, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    Breaking from the tone of the past few playlists, this week we offer one of calming of minimalist music. From precursors such as Erik Satie’s now-iconic Gymnopedies to recent ventures such as Claire M Singer’s ‘The Molendinar’ and Laraaji’s ‘Zither Dance,’ the playlist stretches from 1888 to 2016.

  • PONPONPON: POP!

    This week's playlist features hyper-saturated sounds from around the world, including a range of pop artists from the eclectic to mainstream.

    September 15, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    Opening this week’s playlist is the bright and flashy ‘PONPONPON’ from J-pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Catch the fantastically trippy video here if you haven’t already.

    Also featured this week are a range of pop sounds. On the weirder end of things we have the eclectic Róisín Murphy with ‘Night of the Dancing Flame’ from her excellent 2005 album Ruby Blue,

  • Heart It Races: Sounds of indie rock

    This week we feature everything from the indie-pop sounds of Stars to folkier tunes from Father John Misty and Fleet Foxes

    September 8, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    Many tunes from the noughties make up this week’s playlist, complete with a few more recent ventures in indie rock. We kick it off with a few feel-good tracks from the likes of Dr. Dog, Rilo Kiley, and Bombay Bicycle Club.

    In between features some folkier sounds from Fleet Foxes,

  • Devil’s Gateway: Exploring industrial sounds of the ‘80s

    A journey to the noisier side of the decade, from post-punk to synthpop

    September 1, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    This week’s playlist features tunes from post-punk’s vicinity, from noisier, industrial tracks to songs that veer towards synthpop. Based on releases solely from the ‘80s, it includes many sounds from the U.K., but also artists from the U.S., Slovenia, and Japan.

    Opening the playlist is a growling tune from industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle,

  • Herbsman Hustling: From classics to experimental dub tunes

    This week's playlist features highlights of the genre, including King Tubby, Mad Professor, and Dokkebi Q.

    August 28, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    It goes without saying that there are more than a few weed-related dub tunes out there — a few of which appear in this week’s playlist alongside classics and more experimental tracks.

    Essential sounds from time-honored artists include King Tubby’s ‘King Tubb’s Big Big Dub’ and Lee “Scratch” Perry’s ‘Rude Boy’

  • Highly Flammable: ‘Someone roll them blunts’

    This week’s playlist features high-energy, bassy sounds from East London.

    August 4, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    We bring you heavy sounds originating from East London in this week’s playlist. It features a host of Grime pioneers and essentials, from Skepta’s iconic ‘That’s Not Me’ to ‘I Luv U’ from Dizzee Rascal’s seminal Boy in Da Corner.

    Stefflon Don’s infectious, reggaeton-tinged ’16 Shots’

  • I Wanna Be Down: Smooth sounds of rhythm and blues

    Toking Tunes returns with a mellow playlist, featuring R&B sounds from the 90s to today.

    July 28, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    After our brief hiatus, we return with a soulful, R&B-tinged playlist. Opening with ‘I Wanna Be Down’ from Brandy’s 1994 eponymous album, the playlist traverses ’90s essentials, as well as more recent ventures.

    The playlist also features tunes from contemporary artists like Alexandria and Childish Gambino and the classic title tune from Aaliyah’s 1994 Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.

  • Spiritual State: Hip-hop-infused electronic sounds from Koop, Tokimonsta, and more

    Departing from the warm sounds of influential Japanese producer Nujabes, this week’s playlist features a range of dreamy tunes.

    July 7, 2017
    By Mollie Zhang

    Nujabes’ ‘Spiritual State’ opens this week’s playlist — the first track from the eponymous album. Released posthumously, it’s a beautiful release from a producer gone far too soon. Enjoy part of his influential soundtrack for the anime Samurai Champloo here.

    The rest of this week’s selections follow a similar tangent.