February 23, 2018
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.
February 16, 2018
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’
January 26, 2018
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,
January 19, 2018
Techno is, generally speaking, a genre not always so accommodating to stoned listening — but divorce these tracks from a club environment and their unceasing drum patterns and prolonged lengths become hypnagogic. Small flickers of sound and gently shifting instrumentation are ideal for soundtracking deeply wiggy moments. Richard D James,
January 12, 2018
In recent years, there’s been an uptick in the number of TV shows that feature cannabis use. No longer used just as a cheap punchline or for a moralizing scare story, there’s a considerable overlap between the dawn of “peak TV” and the realization that audiences might just be able to relate to characters smoking up as an everyday pastime.
December 8, 2017
Wiki likes to smoke weed — the Ratking lynchpin is pretty up front about it. Last year, he sold a line of T-shirts blessed with the phrase “smoke weed in the park.” On his single ‘Pretty Bull,’ released earlier this year, he flaunts his preference for a tight zoot, lambasting a friend for rolling a J that looks like “a dad pouch.”
December 1, 2017
Naira Marley’s ‘Marry Juana’ is one of the most ebullient odes to reefer ever written, period. Marley adorns the low-slung BPM percussion of dancehall with bleeping laser synths, topped off with a lolloping, lightly auto-tuned vocal. It’s representative of both the joyous potential that weed has as a muse and a new strain of U.K.
November 22, 2017
Trance is often misunderstood. Thought of as a goofy genre, its proto-EDM is seen as overblown festival fodder, which has done a lot to sully its reputation. But Teki Latex’s 2014 mix Deconstructed Trance signaled a reappraisal of the genre, opening the door for a wave of new artists to break its sonic architecture apart and assemble something new out of its skeleton.
November 10, 2017
Memphis rap is essentially the product of Three 6 Mafia. DJ Paul, Juicy J, and Lord Infamous found the perfect formula: molasses-slow beats, muttered and threatening lyrics, horror-movie samples and a laissez-faire approach to audio quality. All they had to do to change the game again was turn down the distortion.
November 3, 2017
In the history of Chicago’s music scene, there’s an emphasis on genres that lean on heightened tempos and angular percussion, such as ghetto house, juke, and footwork. But there’s also a jagged offshoot of these sometimes stark genres that is perfect for this time of year — when the temperatures drop and we all feel the need for a potent dose of sunshine.