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.
October 27, 2017
It isn’t the job of a song to express a linear narrative; more often than not they draw and color with shapes and patterns instead. Though the songs in this week’s playlist aren’t strictly narrative tracks, they all share a meandering quality, with fuzzy vignettes of city-wanderings and vast landscapes.
October 20, 2017
Few songs manage to capture the feeling of a drowsy head-high properly; the sensation of your brain lifting away from your body and taking you someplace else is hard to express. But Neutral Milk Hotel’s ‘Engine’ pulls it off through meandering lyrics drifting atop an otherworldly theremin.
‘Engine’ kicks off this week’s playlist,
October 13, 2017
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,
October 6, 2017
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,
September 29, 2017
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.