SNDTRK: Volume 3

Random access memories...

Volume 3 bucks tradition. There is no central theme to this week's additions other than I've been playing these songs exclusively for the past week. It feels good to be back at the writing desk talking to you about music. Feels right.

Leave a comment below or @ me on Twitter with your thoughts.

Feel Good

Maribou State & Khruangbin

Treee City turned me on to Khruangbin a few months ago. He had taken the reins on the aux cord during a friend's cookout and queued up Maria Tambien. Like much of their music, Maria Tambien is a blend of latin funk and hip-hop rhythms that serves as a great introduction to their catalog. With the exception of that one song, I didn't give them a full listen until I got back from Massachusetts.

Fast forward three months. Tommy and I are at home listening to one of his playlists and The Wheel by SOHN comes on. A great song in its own right. I decided to start a Spotify Radio playlist from it while working the next day. Maribou State is one of the artists featured throughout the playlist. Their sound is different than Khruangbin, somewhere in the vein of Phantogram (many of their best songs feature vocals from UK singer Holly Walker).

As I was going through Maribou State's track lists, there was Khurangbin on Feel Good, a collaboration released back in June. It is a well-crafted blend of both groups and their strengths, mixing that same latin-style bass guitar with heavy drums and a layer of electronic effects and modulated vocals. You'll be a fan of both bands from this one song.


Skepta, Shorty, Frisco, Jammer

There are two things people know about me.

1. I love grime music.


British battle rap league Don't Flop first introduced me to the sub-genre back in 2015. The sport of battling rekindled my affection for lyrical finesse in hip-hop that was lacking in popular music. That sentiment carried over to my relationship with grime. It blends bombastic, upbeat rhythms with swagger and charm that doesn't sacrifice engaging wordplay, contrary to the style of many popular US hip-hop artists in 2018 that lack any measure of depth or creativity.

Let me be the first to say, none of these artists are Aesop Rock or Kool Keith. The content isn't over your head complex, which is my preferred approach to rap/battling. It's more reminiscent of Ready To Die or Lifestylez Of The Poor And Dangerous; simple couplets strung together to make catchy patterns and clever schemes.

More grime to come.

Giorgio by Moroder

Daft Punk

A fond memory from my sabbatical this summer is learning and then routinely losing at Settlers of Catan. My sensei, Jenny, was an excellent teacher but a brutal opponent, showing little mercy for her pupils (I got my sweet revenge in ping pong).

One night, for evening activities, Jenny and I ran a couple Settlers of Catan games with Josh's help. The three of us and one student played an intense game that went down to the wire. It was the only game all summer that a teacher didn't win.

Usually, I had DJ duties, but for his special appearance at Settler's night, Josh had a condition: listen to Random Access Memories in its entirety. Like most people, I knew one song from the album, but I'm a passive fan of Daft Punk and welcomed the request.

While the album turned off most of the other students (including the only French student at the table), it was the appropriate backdrop for a distinguished moment with two people whose memory I wanted to cherish.

"I knew that could be a sound of the future
But I didn't realize how much the impact would be..."

Each Friday, SNDTRK will hit this site and your inbox, providing you with three songs.

Ranging from music that has inspired me, invigorated me, or just songs that bump including fresh cuts and old classics. In doing this series, I want to share the connections I have to music and in turn, make a connection to you.

You can find the full playlist here.