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Trippy Music: Reality Sandwich MixTapes

For as long as humans have existed on Earth, music has played a crucial role in our development as a species. Plato said:

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything”

As we perpetually interact with sound as we go about our daily lives – music provides order, inspiration, and connection. Scientists have shown that rhythm is hardwired into the human psyche, activating the pleasure centers of our brain. Psychedelics have long inspired auditory accompaniment, and psilocybin researchers have even determined a synergistic effect between music and an intentional trip experience. In the practice of ritual and ceremony, music can be used as a tool to connect with breath and unite intentions. The same can be said for putting on an album to soundtrack your workout, making a mixtape for a friend, or dancing around a fire. Trippy Music brings us together, enhances the moment, and makes us feel good. Yum.

Every month, we’re giving you a new playlist to soundtrack your moment. Pulling from shamanic traditions, psychedelic funk, global grooves, and underground jams – each playlist is curated with the goal of inspiring curiosity, playfulness, and connectivity with self and source. 

January Mixtape

It’s 2022 and we hope you have HIGH hopes that this is finally gonna be your year. Maybe you decided to hit the gym? To help get you started, Foo Fighters “The Pretender” is a great pump-up song, they use it in concerts to start the show and they must be doing something right.

If you met that special someone when the ball dropped then you probably got a little “Sugar”, Maroon 5 will keep you swooning off that memory. When “Come On Eileen” comes on you might find yourself dancing while you clean the house you promised yourself you’d keep tidy all year.
Then again, if you just want to “do you” this year, Joan Jett knows exactly how you feel about, “Bad Reputation”. Your newfound confidence this year should help you stay “On The Ball” like Bryce Vine.

We are all still in the midst of a global pandemic and it’s 2022 but for some of you, this pushed you to adapt. Fifth Harmony saw it all coming, “Work from Home” funnily enough, sounds all too familiar these days. Finally, the 10-year challenge has gone viral again and Drake’s “Started From the Bottom” rings out with every post you see. Happy New Year!

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December Mixtape

‘Tis the season and for better or worse you’ll be hearing a lot of Christmas music! Not necessarily on this playlist though. We know, if you are into it, you’ve been listening to all your favorite classics but we’ll start you off with perhaps a lesser-known jingle.

“Merry Christmas” by Valery and The Greedies is a little gem, while not entirely in English and maybe a little strange, it might find its way into your holiday tradition. As the songs go on, you may pick up on some hints that it’s almost the new year. You may want to get up and move around when you hear Miley Cyrus’ rendition of “Heart Of Glass”. 

Another year of the global pandemic winds down and you may have missed out on gathering at the club with friends, you would have undoubtedly listened to a lot of these hits. Most of all “INDUSTRY BABY” by Lil Nas X & Jack Harlow, like it or not everyone would have flooded the dance floor to this one. Second to last, the unmistakable, Auld Lang Syne, plucked on guitar in “Bringing in the new year” by Charles Brown plays us into our finale.

Charlie Brown’s Christmas brings truth to the cliche, ‘heartwarming classic’, you can dance like Snoopy with “Linus and Lucy”. 

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An illustration of Miley Cyrus laying across a green recliner chair in a cute little santa clause dress, candy cane striped thigh high socks and fishnet gloves. She’s got a microphone in her hand and a dragon head pop rests next to her.

November Mixtape

The holiday season is here, the weather has changed, the days are shorter, if you find yourself traveling this season or stuck inside the house due to weather it’s time to kick back and vibe out to some music. For your first course, skip the green beans and cranberry sauce, try the allah las.

The name might be a mouthful but don’t worry, it’s light and cheerful enough to carry you through, on some spacey beach vibes to Bad Bad Not Good’s Time Moves Slow. As Samuel T. Herring sings about “looking out watching the leaves falling in”, you can picture the fall season, no matter where you are. Now, while you may expect a turkey for the main course, why not try some of Steve Lacy’s “Dark Red”.

At this point in the Delic Diner, you may find yourself loaded up with some heavy dishes, around the time your uncle starts bringing up politics, brace yourself for Kendrick Lamar’s “untitled 05 | 09.21.2014”. While the message may be troubling, you may find yourself feeling thankful? Finally, as the desert trays come out, you’ve endured the chaos, quit taking everything so seriously with Fidlar’s “West Coast” “Checked out, I’m waiting for the weekend!”

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October Mixtape

October hits us all too fast as we dive into the spooky season. Nostalgic pastimes of our fleeting childhoods are returned to us as we’re given a chance, for one night, to be whoever we want to be. This Halloween-inspired playlist features artists that are pure originals — sometimes horrifically.

“Night of the Vampire” begins with a heavy rock anthem. We have a chance to peer into the mind of one of the original pioneers of psychedelic music, Roky Erickson. Fitting for a Halloween mood and an artist that pushed the limits of staying true and original.

As you navigate past the eerie post-punk synths, stop for a break and dance to Rex Williams’ “You Are My Heart,” a song that invokes the feeling of dancing with loved ones, alive and ghosts alike.

And when you’re strolling through your neighborhood looking at decorations you may feel a sense of longing for the past, the Trance Farmers make this happen in “Lone Star” by flat out telling you “You’re so far from home.”

If anybody screams Halloween it’s Orville Peck, who’s constantly wearing a mask perhaps to help feel comfortable enough to be themselves as we all may do this Halloween. “Dead of Night” will have you feeling a certain type of way that’s hard to pin down, but it’s good, nonetheless.

Finally, as Bas’ “Too High to Riot” fades out, Swans leaves you with a terrifying message, “It’s Coming It’s Real” that puts you into a meditative trance which actually really helps us feel, explore and accept this reality we are in. We may be getting older, but we’ll never stop having fun.

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September Mixtape

As summer comes to a close, many are faced with new beginnings. Whether it be returning to school and work or just wrapping your heads around the barreling passage of time, this playlist highlights and celebrates all things new. All of the songs on this mixtape were released in 2021, showcasing artists’ newest projects.

Starting off in a pensive headspace, Future Island’s synth-filled ballad “Peach” teaches the virtues of pushing through difficult transitions and promises: “I won’t give you up.”

New music from Lorde and Nina Cobham introspects the novel experiences of love and fame, whether trying to keep a lover “interested” or finding yourself “Stoned at the Nail Salon.”

The heavy beat and lyrical stylings of Bakar’s “The Mission” and Greentea Peng’s “Free My People” outline the motivating qualities of new beginnings and how to harness visions and hopes of the future for a better tomorrow.

This vision of hope launches us into the second half of the mixtape, where uplifting high-energy tunes like Felix Jaehn’s “I Got A Feeling” or Climafunks “Funk Aspirin” keep your head bouncing and hips grooving until the very end.

New beginnings often come from endings that leave a bittersweet taste in the mouth and heart. This mixtape integrates the highs and lows of summer’s ending and hopefully helps cultivate a sense of optimism for fall.

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August Mixtape

Nothing can spice up this season of sun like a summer fling.

This mixtape mirrors the ups and downs of love that burns bright and fizzles as leaves change and vacations end. Still Woozy’s newest single, “Get Down” establishes the wistful hope of summer love and how fun romance without giving a damn can be. The experience of a romp in the sand is maintained through Babe Rainbow’s psychedelic ballad “Funky I Like It” and Sport’s sexy basslines and gasping vocals of “Whatever You Want.”

Lighthearted love doesn’t always last and as we hit the middle of the mixtape, Nick Leng’s “Lonely Shade of Blue” transitions us away from shallow fun and towards introspection. Sometimes a relationship full of joy can change as the realities of life rush in and illuminate the cracks, heard in the Foo Fighters’ “Chasing Birds.”

The grand finale of Rim Kwaku Obeng’s “Love Me for Real” ends with a mantra of “if you love me you better love me for real,” a sentiment of strength and optimism as summer flings end. Listen to this mixtape while on a road trip or lounging at a tropical beach and feel like the main character in a steamy beach read.

It doesn’t always have a happy ending but the journey is sure to delight.

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July MixTape

What better time to get a little sweaty than summer? Start off this heatwave in the desert with Rufus Du Sol, and ease into the sauna with the mellow lyrical stylings of Chet Faker and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker.

By the time the first bass hits in Snakehips “Run It Up” the party has started and maintains it’s hype through Duck Sauce’s “aNYway” and Lady Bee’s remix of “Body Pump.” Vulfpeck’s “Animal Spirits” rounds out the mixtape with a final hurrah of boisterous vocals, layered percussion and a grooving saxophone.

Throughout this mixtape, you’ll find heavy basslines and bouncing melodies, perfect for turning up the heat on any dance floor — whether that be your kitchen floor or under the club’s disco lights. 

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June MixTape

Many times, lyrics are what take listeners on a musical journey. Our hope is that this playlist celebrates musicians creating a story and feeling without relying on heavy lyrical accompaniment.

The Mahavishnu Orchestra captures our ears with their hypnotic melody but, the rippling rhythm section and occasional shrieking guitar ensure we stay awake. 

Meanwhile, the bouncing percussion and ethereal whisperings of Dorthy Ashby’s harp create a musical experience reminiscent of today’s lo-fi hip hop beats. Bill Evans and Khruangbin transition us into a groovier mood, followed by Snarky Puppy’s wild and wailing organ and Takuya Kuroda’s bursting trumpet.

The rest of the mixtape stays funky, perfect for grooving in your kitchen as you cook dinner or tapping your hands on the steering wheel as you drive home from work.

Did you feel it?

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May MixTape

We have all collectively experienced the doozy that was last year. Though the world is still in need of justice and healing, spring is here and with it hope for the upcoming summer.

A synthy cinematic M83 song, “My Tears Are Becoming The Sea”, will immerse you in its orchestral layers and bursting resonance. 

Leading into the contemplative existential lyrics of Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” And Michael Blume’s “Lifting You.” As the playlist continues, the mood brightens toward summer-time fun. Leave your worries behind with Bob Marley and dance with Boy Pablo. With bouncing bass lines perfect for grooving in your lounge chair next to a pool, this playlist pairs well with the relief of sunshine and a chilled beverage.

Bonus points for a joint! 😉

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April MixTape

The world is at the precipice of something big. As we celebrate 4/20, Bicycle Day and this month’s magic, the world is awakening to the wisdom ethenogenic medicine holds. 

For the aunties who started smoking at Yasgur’s Farm way back when, the veterans sitting their first ayahuasca ceremony, and everyone dancing in that sunshine in-between – this mixtape is dedicated to us – the sprout, the unfurl, and all the seeds being planted in the Right Now.

April’s Trippy Music Mixtape is an ode to the psychedelic revolutionaries – past, present, and future. Crafted with an idyllic Spring Sunday in mind – roll up something nice and let’s celebrate…

The vibe is set with “Champagne & Reefer” from Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones, recorded at Chicago’s famed Checkerboard Lounge in 1981, and we shake our way down to “Shakedown Street” with the Grateful Dead’s disco-oriented jam. Pass it left to Mr. Willie Nelson & friends’, and keep the energy lifted with Kings of Leon’s punchy hit “Taper Jean Girl”. 

We settle into the bliss with Bob Marley reminding us of that good-good and Surfaces’ reinforce the uplift in their blippy steel drum daydream “Where The Light Is”. Take it back to when live music was a thing and “Burn One Down” with Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals in their singalong classic. Stay in that 90’s after-school special energy and blast Sublime’s “Badfish” and rip it gooood with Cypress Hill’s “Hits FromThe Bong”.

Pink Floyd’s “Any Colour You Like” takes us to another dimension of synthy soundscape bliss, and we flip deeper into an auditory tripfest with Sphongle. “Bluebird” from melodic techno duo Stil & Bense delivers a shamelessly stoned voiceover backed by lively disco kicks, get set “Adrift” by Tycho – landing somewhere among the stardust in Nicolas Jaar’s “Space Is Only Noise If You Can See”.

We jettison back towards celestial terrain in Xique-Xique’s remix of Nicola Cruz’ “Fohla de Jurema” just in time for “Angel Echos” to blast us back to the heavens with Four Tet’s signature ethereal loops. Trevor Hall’s organic acoustic guitar begins to wind down our trip to the sun, and we close out with Kaikane’s ukulele version of “What a Wonderful World”.

Trippy Music April 2021 Notes

March MixTape

In honor of your internal interstellar woosah – light one up, turn it up, and let’s wiggle.

Get rowdy from the get-go with Sofi Tukker’s chonky bassy earworm “Best Friend”, and stay in that uplift as we move to Ms. Lauryn Hill’s late ‘90s affirmation of better days “Everything is Everything”. M.I.A pairs up with Aborignal rap group Wilcannia Mob in “Mango Pickle Down River” for a didgeridoo-driven wompfest – which takes us to the lush, simple-yet-refined melodies of Tash Sultana’s “Pretty Lady”.

Have your guitar & hairbrush mic at the ready for Janis’ iconic “Piece of My Heart” and dive deeper into sonic confirmations of clarity with Princess Nokia’s bop “I am Free”. Keep the liberation vibes high with Florence and the Machine’s synthy, piano-studded “Delilah” and rock out to Miley & Stevie Nicks’ precociously ubiquitous mashup “Edge of Midnight”. 

Shoulders shake in Rupa’s “Aaj Shanibar” age-defying, disco-spacey 1982 jam and into Clozee’s massive remix of the perpetually exuberant “Baiana”. Ida Engberg and David West bring us “Abataka” – an Afro-house effervescent dance-party delight, melting us towards Octo Octa’s latest techno-meets-genrefuck banger “She’s Calling”. 

Let HAIM’s stripped down cover of “That Don’t Impress Me Much” become the cheeky sing-along of your middle school dreams, and we close with a step towards trusting grownfolk intuition and celebratory immaculate harmony in Rising Appalachia’s “Medicine”. 

Trippy Music March 2021 Notes

February MixTape

Trippy kitties – are you ready for L O V E?

Valentine’s just got a little more funky with this almost 2-hour mixtape of tracks curated to pour love on all your places and spaces. Whether you’re sparking one solo or melting with a special someone, we’ve soundtracked your ultimate February lovefest.

Indulge in fond memories of crushes past with Lo-Fang’s slow, sensual rework of the cheeky Grease classic “You’re The One That I Want” and sashay your way into prohibition trip-hop laced with delicate dance-hall instrumentation with “Je t’amie beaucoup”. Take a sip of water and swoon into The Paper Kites’ indie-folk melodies that hit like a perfectly warm night.

The Doors’ classic tempestuous jam, “Queen of the Highway” riffs us into Boy & Bear’s heart-wrenching cover of “Wicked Game”, punctuated by twinkly mandolin and harmonic, stripped-down vocals. “Space is my Place” gently flows into chuggy acid-bounce with liquidus percussion that invites you to get curious about what’s hanging on in your heart-space, and Thievery Corporation – with their swirling electronic melodies and ecstatic strings. Next, blast off in “Sweet Tides (Symphonic Version).”

Bringing heavy #relationshipgoals and sunny vibes, “Sweet Talk (feat Quinn XCII)” from ACADEMY” elevates the trip into Plasterbrain’s “Nimbasa CORE” – a drum & bass-influenced amalgamation of playful innocence and electronic commotion, taking us into a 1993 recording of The Orb’s “Little Fluffy Clouds” from Trekkonner Sunset Festival in Copenhagen. Listen for the extended pulse and let it move you.

We clap it off to Tube and Berger’s dancefloor anthem “Imprint of Pleasure” with the ever-poignant sample of Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti questioning humanity’s focus on pleasure. Keeping the lush house energy high- Felix da Housecat’s remix of Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman” is sanguine acid piano goodness. RY X’s “Howling (Sofi Tukker remix)” will make you want to take your clothes off, not-so-subtly enticing you with punchy 130bpm club-ready kicks. “Your Love Will Set You Free (c2’s Set U Free remix) brings Carl Craig’s mastery of commanding the groove to an already monster Caribou track disguised as a serotonin-dump. A new favorite – SG Lewis and Rhye turn up the bubble machine in their yummy electronic single “Time”.

Missy Elliott and Lizzo team up for the NSFW twerk-forward bassy “Tempo”, and Bay-Area electro-funk boy band Planet Booty invites you to get comfy and “Take off Your Pants” (if you haven’t already). The sensual haze of Jhené Aiko and Swae Lee’s silky duet “Sativa” mushes us into Irish band Jape’s drug-induced love story for the ages – “Floating”. Punctuated by Gregorian chanting and lyrics like “We laid by a river, we looked at the stars / I said how tiny we are? Girl how tiny we are?”, get ready to SWAY.

Managing to capture both unquenchable lust and trepidation in three-and-a-half minutes, Rhye’s “Open” shows off Mike Milosh’s sleek vocals, “Stroker Ace” gives us an evocative jazzy, trip-hop panty-dropper. Amber Mark adds her signature smokiness to a self-recorded cover of “Heart Shaped Box” – produced in her NYC apartment during quarantine. And we close with the positively L O V E-inducing tech house jam “Ready 4 Love” from Italian producer Ennio.

With headphones turned all the way up, dance it all the way out.

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January MixTape

Here’s a soundtrack for your January loaded with music to help you uplift, ground down, and get real. Whatever right now looks like for you, this month’s Trippy Music mixtape will kickstart you back in to flow. Spark one, and let’s gooo…..

We kick off with Grammy Award- winning artist Deva Premal chanting the “Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha” mantra for abundance and new beginnings, then breathe in to atmospheric flow and lush driving drums in “The Four Agreements” from Matthew Dekay and Martin Roth. Native Quechua indegenous singer Luzmila Carpio’s “Ch’uwa Yaku Kawsaypuni” will get your energy flowing and Yukicito brings his blend of Japanese-meets Brazilian groove in “One”, punctuated by yummy organic drums and poignant spoken-word vocals. 

“Some Sunsick Day” off of Morgan Delt’s sophomore album brings us sunny psychedelic alt-rock vibes accentuated by kaleidoscopic synths, and the 2007 Björk hit “Earth Intruders” is the otherworldly tribal instant earworm trippy dreams are made of. With “Livid Hop Hop”, we jump around and let it all out, and “Before Midnight Tonight” refocuses us with Hugo Kant’s marriage of foreboding trip-hop with cinematic wood flutes to contrast the underlying wub. We take a trip to melodic, piano-heavy outer space in “Everything”, and get lost in Luttrell’s simply massive electronic heart-opener “Don’t Forget To Breathe”. British musician Nick Mulvey invites us to be curious of our impact on Gaia while loading us up with uplifting future-forward lyrics and effervescent melodies. We close with singer/songwriter Alexia Chellun’s uncluttered “Power of Love” – reminding us of the power we hold in our hearts.

Dance, shake, smoke, scream, wiggle, and float your way into the New Year with these tracks selected with your heart and trip in mind. 

Welcome to the New Age, psychonauts. Be here now. 

Trippy Music Notes

December MixTape

With everything that came to be in 2020, it also was a year that catalyzed some amazing music.

This December – roll yourself a fattie and tune in to some of the trippiest tracks to come out of 2020. This is just a taste of the sonic psychedelic goodness that we bit into this year. 

Here we celebrate 16 releases, remasters, and reworks created in a time of incubation and surrender. These songs evoke reflection, joy, tension, curiosity, and release. 

We kick off with East Forest’s 15-minute “Meditation for Chaotic Times”, and flow into “Ethereal Light” from Eric Shans- using the track’s fluttering piano to guide us down the journey. SAULT’s righteous anger bathed in reclamation stands out in “The Beginning & the End” and will get you moving. Finnish rock band Superfjord’s energetic chakra-opening guitar riffs shine through in “Rainbow”, and El Búho and Nickodemus’ collaboration “Diablada Disco” brings in lucious trumpets to warm the soul. “Why Do We Shake In The Cold” – the title track of Grammy-nominated Elderbrook’s debut album – delivers lowkey euphoric vocals married to a driving indie bass, and, we bliss and ground down with a previously unreleased heady AF track from Fatboy Slim’s alias Yum Yum Head Food. “Where Do We Go From Here” from New Orleans’ legends Dumpstaphunk brings us to an optimistic and funky close – pushing us towards the light with their horn-heavy sound towards looking at the future, the unknown, with wide eyes and wide-open hearts. 

With this playlist, we invite you to move. Tune in to what happens when instead of bailing during a year where things got unconscionably hard, we got curious. Grounding into our power we let the challenge catapult us into creation. 

2021 – we’re coming for you.

Enjoy the trip.

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November MixTape

November reminds us to give thanks.  One of the easiest ways to hack the brain is to shift attention towards gratitude. Researchers have determined that the effects of a gratitude practice are strong enough to rewire our brains to look towards the good. All the music in our November MixTape are songs that invite harmony, ritual, contemplation, healing, gratitude, and grace. 

We open with the joyful sounds of Nada Sadhana & Kevin Courtney, and move to Nick Mulvey’s enthusiastic Ram Dass sample in the dissonance-heavy “Give it to Kali”. Tame Impala’s psychedelic funk further implores us to let go of the past (listen for the Groundhog Day reference), and we bop to The Human Experience’s latest prismatic electronic single – “Rising Tides”. We bliss out to two sensuous string covers from Kishi Bashi and Kate Simko, and close with a neo-funk declaration of love from MaMuse. All songs curated with the intention of love, release, presence, and gratitude. 

Turn on, tune in, and drop out.

Enjoy the trip!

PS – Still loving the tunes of October? Don’t worry, we saved the list for you below.

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October MixTape

October brings us into a season of shift, and here is the perfect playlist to ground your transition. You’ll move to Drumspyder’s darbuka drum grooves, call on ancestral powers with Mongolian metal band The Hu, walk through the fog to Eivør’s Nordic driving vocals, and shake it out to the psychedelic classic “Season of the Witch”. MGMT evokes neo-psychedelia synth mastery, and we close in true #spookyszn fashion with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell On You”. Boo-teauful! 

RS Contributing Author – Haley Noble

(May 2021 – Present)

Haley is a writer, artist, and musician based in Southern California. She is passionate about discovering new avenues toward compassion and understanding for self and others. With an academic background in psychology, she hopes to reduce the stigma surrounding plant medicine so more people can find healing and relief, allowing them to tap into the expansiveness of human existence. In her free time, she loves eating breakfast foods, taking in a sunset over the ocean, and laughing with friends.

RS Contributing Author – Mariel Pauline

(October 2020 – April 2021)

Mariel Pauline is an interdisciplinary artist, event producer, and plant medicine evangelist. Her audiophile tendencies have allowed her the privilege of working deep in the underground NYC nightlife and global festival communities for over a decade, where she began immersing herself in studying our plant allies. She can often be found drinking tea, playing with fire, hanging upside-down, and chasing the sun. Connect with her on Instagram – @marjustmar

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