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    Toking Tunes


    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

    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

    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

    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

    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’

  • Lucy In The Sky: Hidden and not-so-hidden references to drugs in popular music

    For some pop songs, the drug references are pretty blatant. For others, a tribute to favorite substances came with a wink and a nod.

    August 18, 2017

    Since the early 1990s, it’s been on- and off-trend to blatantly reference drugs in popular music. From Cyprus Hill’s ‘I Wanna Get High’ to Lana Del Rey’s ‘High By The Beach,’ many tunes are unabashed in their enthusiasm for altered states. But in the earlier days of recorded music, drug references were more often in-group phrases that non-consumers wouldn’t understand.

  • Under the Influence: Weed-related tunes for inspiration

    Pet Grotesque collects stoner-related tracks from bands that have offered valuable musical inspiration over the years.

    August 11, 2017

    This week’s Toking Tunes playlist comes from Calum Armstrong aka Pet Grotesque. A former editor at Volteface (where Word on the Tree’s founder and editor has freelanced), Armstrong left his full-time gig to pursue music. His debut album Good Egg is available at Bandcamp and you can find out more at Facebook.

  • Highly Flammable: ‘Someone roll them blunts’

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

    August 4, 2017

    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

    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

    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.

  • Rising Light: Trance-inducing drone music for stoned listening

    This week’s playlist is full of meditative, drone music, featuring artists like Stars of the Lid and Sarah Davachi.

    June 30, 2017

    Opening this week’s playlist is a minimal, delicate drone piece from Sarah Davachi. ‘For Voice’ is a stunning meditation of familiar timbres made up of layered voices. Closing the playlist is Marielle V Jakobsons’ ‘Rising Light’ — a more texturally varied piece that references psychedelic sounds of the ‘60s.

    In between the two,