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    Toking Tunes

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

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

    December 7, 2018

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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 —

  • Mutant: Arca’s spiritual solace can transform you

    Our latest playlist explores the alien, the intimate, and the strange with a venture through Arca's catalog.

    October 12, 2018

    Smoking weed has not only improved my relationship with others, but also myself. It has bolstered my connection to music and my body. So with the next few playlists, I thought it would be apt to highlight some artists whose work has been key in this process.

    Arca’s music is both alien and intimate,

  • How Sad, How Lovely: Ballads to ease the post-summer blues

    This week's playlist soundtracks the shift of seasons with a selection of melancholy yet warm ballads.

    October 5, 2018

    Autumn may have have arrived, and many of us feel stuck in a post-summer malaise. Temperatures have dropped, plant life has withered, moods have grown solemn; overall there’s a sense of uneasy transition.

    But what better vehicle than the ballad to accompany this seasonal shift? (Ballads of the most wayward persuasion,

  • Om: Jazz to transport you to a metaphysical plane

    The sounds of Alice Coltrane and Art Ensemble of Chicago make up this week's playlist, which goes on a long, winding journey through cosmic jazz.

    September 28, 2018

    There are probably thousands of different kinds of weed smokers out there. You have your casuals, your metalhead stoners, cannabis science nerds – the list goes on. But easily one of the best-known, and perhaps most-shamed, is the white-guy spiritualist. Nothing is more annoying than a fresh-out of university guy who is “really in touch with the 31 planes of Buddhism.”

  • Black Sun: When doobies lead to darkness

    Continuing a sinister, surreal thread, this week's playlist comprises dark, psychedelic sounds.

    September 21, 2018

    Smoking weed can take us to places we’ve never been before. Leading us by the hand, it walks us willingly into the unknown. This week, I’ve selected a playlist that accompanies those times most sinister, when the doobies lead us into darkness. That’s not to say that this is for when marijuana makes us depressed;

  • The Inmost Night: Gloomy, doomy goth sounds to color your high

    From classics like Siouxsie and the Banshees to newer ventures like Chelsea Wolfe, this week's playlist explores gloom and horror with a trip through goth.

    September 14, 2018

    Following on from last week’s blaze through a film noir lens, this weeks’ playlist paints a dark landscape to accompany getting high. Goth is the theme, and this aesthetic runs through these toking tunes: They create a world of gloomy detours and horror mise en scenes. The Inmost Night features the originals,