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  • For Today I Am a Boy: Artists capture the feelings of gender dysphoria

    Artists across the LGBTQ spectrum have highlighted the darkest and brightest depths of gender dysphoria.

    February 15, 2019
    By Aimee Armstrong

    As most trans people know, gender dysphoria can be a horrible experience. It can be difficult to see yourself in music, film, and art — until certain songs click. This week’s playlist highlights many great trans artists as well as other songs by non-trans people which encapsulate the sinking feeling which arrives with gender dysphoria.

  • Temple of Time: Video games soundtrack stoner weekends

    In the digital age, video games and weed have always been great companions.

    February 8, 2019
    By Aimee Armstrong

    If you smoke weed and you’re also a gamer, it would be pretty shocking if you’ve never combined both experiences.

    In the digital age, video games and weed have always been great companions. Whether you’re too blazed to navigate a Rainbow Road on Mario Kart 64 or can’t differentiate Sonic and Shadow on Sonic Adventure 2,

  • Slur: ’80s Britain blurs the lines of reality

    This week's playlist features a selection of subtly psychedelic, hypnagogic sounds.

    January 11, 2019
    By Aimee Armstrong

    It would be easy to view ’80s Britain as a land of drab, conservative realism. Margaret Thatcher’s economic vision posited that there was no alternative to capitalism and that the nation as a whole had to come to terms with this grim but simple fact.

    Though much of the music here is not overtly political,

  • Computer Love: How autotune exposes flaws just as much as concealing them

    Auto-tune has become a hallmark of our times; across plastic pop, vintage grooves and emotional crooning.

    December 18, 2018
    By Aimee Armstrong

    Manipulation of the voice can be a great opinion splitter. X Factor’s legion of fans will call it dishonest; a seasoned rockist may call it trite. But autotune is the musical texture that best defines our relationship with technology, in all its intimacy.

    In this week’s playlist, autotune exposes the flaws of the human voice just as much as it conceals them.

  • Nowhere2go: Hip-hop is stretched out, screwed and chopped

    A look back at some of 2018's best hip-hop tunes.

    December 7, 2018
    By Aimee Armstrong

    The past year has been a stellar yet unpredictable year for hip-hop. Earl Sweatshirt, Pusha-T, and JPEGMAFIA are but a few of the artists who have put out formidable albums in 2018, and the fact that none sound at all alike only demonstrates how fertile and stratified the genre has become.

  • Be Yourself: Frank Ocean crafts songs that are familiar and ambivalent

    This week's playlist ventures to capture feelings of emotional dissonance towards drug use

    November 30, 2018
    By Aimee Armstrong

    This is the final installment of artist-themed playlists for Toking Tunes. We’re rounding it off with ten tracks from Frank Ocean.

    Frank Ocean has a conflicted relationship with drugs — particularly on his record Blonde. On the interlude ‘Be Yourself,’ the voice acting as his mother says: “Do not smoke marijuana,

  • Arisen My Senses: Björk journeys through familiar and strange emotions

    This week playlist is an introduction to the unparalleled artist Björk, whose discography can be challenging for some.

    November 16, 2018
    By Aimee Armstrong

    Many would label Björk as weird or strange. However there is something very normal and tangible about her as an artist. That’s not to understate the singular nature of her music and aesthetic; her costumes, voice, and sonic ideas are all profoundly striking. But for me, Björk has always unpinned the hidden narratives inside all of us.

  • Boing Boom Tschak: Kraftwerk craft a hallucinatory world

    The pioneers of electronic music have created a mystical world perfect for elevated states.

    November 9, 2018
    By Aimee Armstrong

    Kraftwerk probably isn’t the first name you’d imagine would appear on a weed playlist. “It is not easy to turn knobs on a synthesizer if you are drunk or full of drugs… We always tried to keep very aware of what we were doing while acting in public,” band member Karl Bartos once said.

  • Delicious: Charli XCX’s pop music tastes sugary sweet

    Catchy, gratifying and infectious tunes from Charli XCX continue our look at 420-friendly artists

    November 2, 2018
    By Aimee Armstrong

    To continue the artist-centric playlists, we make a small turn towards the hyperactive, overproduced mural that is pop music today. One person in particular amplifies these often tiring signifiers to the point where they become flat-out bonkers, yet still captivating.

    This artist is Charli XCX. She may not be the first name that springs to mind when you’re going to smoke weed —

  • Shook: Dean Blunt’s lo-fi transmissions beg you to light up

    This week's playlist focuses on an artist who knows how to set the tone for a hot box.

    October 26, 2018
    By Aimee Armstrong

    Last week’s playlist that showcased one of my favorite artists to toke to — Arca. To continue on from that, I’ve chosen to focus on another artist who knows how to set the tone for a hot box. The clue is the pseudonym with Dean Blunt. He’s so well versed in hazy and hypnagogic sounds,