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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – Mariel Pauline
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.