Blonde Bunny's Toby Wardle made us a playlist to prepare for Blackout, containing some remarkable choices.
Kendrick Lamar - Untitled 02
This is on the new Kendrick album, which is basically tracks that never made it on to To Pimp a Butterfly for one reason or another. It’s funny, and a testament to how incredible he is, because even though it’s an ‘off cuts/demos’ album, it’s still better than pretty much anyone else’s actual releases.
NxWorries - Link Up
A collaboration project between Knxwledge and Anderson .Paak - both super-talented guys. A feel-good track with refreshing production choices and a great video. Knxwledge seems to be the kinda guy who gets stoned and makes beats all day - my kinda guy.
Kanye West - Devil in a New Dress
One of my favourite ever Yeezy tracks, from an unbelievable and hugely nostalgic album for me and probably everyone in the band. Warms our insides. Wanted to pick something off the new one but they’re doing that Tidal exclusive crap (pleasantly surprised by how good Tidal is though - not really into streaming services per se, but got a free trial recently and I like it!) Anyhow - so many ignorant Kanye-haters on the internet who haven’t even bothered to listen before slating him - his work speaks for itself.
J Dilla - Crushin’ (Yeeeeeaah!)
J Dilla is one of my heroes and I just picked this track because it makes me laugh.
Van Der Graaf Generator - A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers
Contains the lyric: “My fingers feel like seaweed.” Sprawling, prog-rock, jazz greatness for 23 minutes. And there’s an amazing live version on YouTube, have a look-see.
Miles Davis - On the Corner/New York Girl
Another long one - repetitive and infectious but completely mad and way ahead of its time. This song reminds me of having a shower - I went through a period of about two weeks where I’d wake up every day and put my laptop in the corner of the bathroom - let this song reverberate around while I got clean.
Kate Bush - The Song of Solomon
Really beautiful and emotional song, touches my soul. Kate Bush is one of the most heartfelt and expressive singers/writers there’s ever been - she’s a massive inspiration to me. This is from her 90’s record The Red Shoes which I love so much (despite a few tracks it could do without). My car only had a cassette player for ages and this was one of the cassettes I had - I used to drive around at night whilst listening to it and weep.
Major Lazer - Lean On
This is one of my favourite pop songs of recent times. Written with precision - Diplo has a habit of putting odd sounds in pop records and getting away with it. Fun video too!
Burial - Ghost Hardware
In 2014 we did some tour dates where we all slept in the car for a few nights and we hotboxed ourselves to sleep listening to this Burial track. It’s the sound of a spaced-out London at night - or the sound of a 24hr Tesco carpark if you’re in Blonde Bunny.
Holly Herndon - Interference
Holly Herndon is doing something really interesting right now, I feel like her and Arca are operating in a similar new realm. I’d describe this as ‘super-digital’, but it's been mixed with real taste so it doesn’t sound cheap and nasty. It’d be impossible for this music to exist without the advances we’ve seen in digital plugins, programming languages, technology generally - I think that’s so interesting and exciting.
Earl Sweatshirt - Faucet
I love the production on this, he produced the whole album himself - definitely one of my favourite records of last year. He’s one of the best MC’s about, love his voice, flow is crazy, always on point lyrically. Seem to find myself in a supermarket browsing the biscuit aisle every time I listen to this on headphones.
Scott Walker - Rosary
Finishing up with a scary slice of Scott Walker - this is from 1995’s Tilt. So unsettling and intense, and insanely effective given that it’s just a minimal electric guitar part and a vocal. There’s an amazing live version he did on Jools Holland that’s worth a look too.
Listen to the complete playlist here: