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  • Edges Fall Away: Listen to the experimental sounds of instrumental grime

    Glazed-over tracks with indisputable drive and energy from the genre are a perfect companion for your 4/20 celebrations.

    April 20, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    Springing largely from the London-based record label Boxed, instrumental grime has taken up a niche position within the U.K. music scene. The genre delivers grime tunes driven not by vocals from MCs, but instead by internal sonic narratives. In recent years, the scene has quietly mutated into various strains, all subtly stranger and more outré than the original form.

  • From Centre to Wave: The strange and heavy sound of space rock

    We turn our attention to psychedelia's weirder offshoot, paying tribute to a genre that's gone hand-in-hand with cannabis culture since the Summer of Love.

    April 13, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    Whether you call it psychedelia, psych rock, or even just ‘stoner music,’ a genre defined by lengthy tracks, flanged-out guitars, and groovy rhythm sections has gone hand-in-hand with cannabis culture since the first summer of love. This week, we’re turning our attention to space rock – psychedelia’s heavier, weirder offshoot.

  • Broke Open: Smoker-friendly emo from the early days of the genre and beyond

    Emotionally-charged tunes make up this week's playlist, from early emo artists to recent takes on the sound

    April 6, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    The origins of “emo” as a genre name are nebulous at best. It emerged out of a particular strain of emotionally-charged ’80s hardcore, but it didn’t really gain a foothold in cultural vernacular until the mid-90s. Twiddly guitar lines and yelped vocals took center stage as bands like Sunny Day Real Estate,

  • Going Blank Again: The heady pleasure of shoegaze

    From My Bloody Valentine to Slowdive, we bring you a playlist full of sounds of shoegaze

    March 30, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    Overanalyzing music isn’t always great, but when you’re stoned it can be unavoidable. Several times I’ve found myself deep in a stoned haze and been confronted by the heavy, whirring sounds of My Bloody Valentine. There’s something about it being simultaneously crushing and dream-like that mimics the way my brain swerves upwards and downwards when I’m under the influence.

  • I’m a Smoker: A deep dive into Chief Keef’s archives

    A journey through Chief Keef's wide-ranging discography reveals how he pushed his sound from muscular rap to more adventurous experiments.

    March 16, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    There are two things you can say for certain about Chief Keef: He likes smoking weed and he releases a staggering amount of music. ‘I Don’t Like,’ which blew up in 2012, not only codified the nascent Chicago drill scene, but also allowed Keef to plough his own path onwards.

  • A Place I’d Like to Be: The hypnotic, heartbreaking sound of slowcore

    The sedated sounds of slowcore, from Duster to Jessica Bailiff, make up this week's emotional playlist

    March 9, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    Like post-rock without the theatrics, like emo without the energy, slowcore is a genre built perfectly for lighting up and going out to. Sure, the music has a tendency towards melancholy. But if you’re going to smoke up and space out, you might as well feel something, too.

    We start our journey with Galaxie 500,

  • Too Cute to Puke: Dispatches from America’s DIY explosion

    This week, our playlist features the sounds of a special moment in American DIY culture, with tunes from the likes of Dan Deacon, The Mae Shi, and more.

    March 2, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    At some point in the mid-2000s, the sound of American DIY coalesced into something new – something fizzing with inventiveness and charm. On opposite sides of the country — L.A.’s DIY capital The Smell and Baltimore’s expansive warehouse scene — there was a sea change from the dominant post-punk sound that had burst out of New York after the dramatic ascent of bands like the Yeah Yeah Yeah and The Strokes.

  • Easy Greasy: How stoner metal got its name

    From Weedeater to Acid King, the slow, fuzzy sounds of stoner metal make up this week's playlist.

    February 23, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    Even to a metal layman it’s pretty clear where the stoner subgenre gets its name from: it’s slowed down, spaced-out, and covered in a layer of fuzz. Fusing post-rock’s sweeping guitars and un-fussy drums with the sludgy, almost funereal quality of ’70s southern rock, stoner metal makes up this week’s playlist.

  • Diamond Days: Freaky Sounds from Britain’s underground

    From Sybille Baier to Vashti Bunyan, this week's playlist tunes into the influential sounds of Britain in the '60s.

    February 16, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    The British dream of the ’60s died long ago, often relegated to an acid-damaged aside for aging hippies and old guys in denim jackets. But the avant-garde of this particular era has aged incredibly well — drawn to the mythology and folklore of the British isles.

    Designated as ‘Freak-Folk’

  • Sativa: Futuristic R&B for sci-fi dreamers

    This week we bring you sounds of digital futurisms and abstracted sounds, from Jhene Aiko and Rae Sremmurd to Kelela

    January 26, 2018
    By Ned Powley

    Stuck with ungainly and misleading monikers like ‘alternative R&B’ or ‘PBR&B,’ the emerging sounds of contemporary R&B are chock-full of digital futures and fascinatingly abstracted sounds. We start with Jhene Aiko and Rae Sremmurd’s gorgeous love letter to ‘Sativa,’ (better luck next time, indica) which crawls through odd noises, languid melodies,