By: Staff –
Kodiak Arcade is back with his new single “Dumb”, and to celebrate, the acclaimed electronic artist curated a brand new exclusive curated Spotify playlist that you can stream below.
Jungle – “Busy Earnin’”
I was first introduced to this record on a trip to Mexico, squished into a car brimming with friends on our way to a destination wedding. It was one of those truly rare moments where everyone had a few days in a row with nothing to do but hang and celebrate in a novel location. It became the soundtrack to the trip and that album became a classic for me after that. I often turn this one on to pump myself up before I start a late-night recording session. That main horn line sounds like some sort of modern take on Rocky-fight-music, and it never fails to get me going.
Amon Tobin – “Get Your Snack On”
“Get Your Snack On” was one of the tracks that made me want to veer into organic electro writing. When I first moved to Toronto in the early 2000s, this record got a lot of play. There’s so much to hear in this mix. It’s such a unique collage of sounds and in places, it almost feels like the perfect heist music. It’s one of those jams that has aged well in a genre that’s often defined by momentary trends.
MGMT – “Electric Feel”
This track has been a favourite of mine since it was released. Even though it draws on some 60s and 70s era sounds, it still sounds modern to me. When it came out, it made me hope that that’s where music was headed. It’s super danceable and I love MGMT’s tendency towards the psychedelic. To my ear, this one always felt like an indie rock precursor to NuDisco.
ford. – “The Color of Nothing”
This is a relatively recent addition to my collection. There’s something so chill and gorgeous about this piece. I love the soft pump of the tonal material. The palette of gentle instruments is so satisfying. It evokes some sort of summer scenery for me. The video for this one blew my mind as well. Worth a look.
Porter Robinson and Madeon – “Shelter”
This collaboration between Madeon and Porter Robinson has been a classic for me. Madeon was one of the key artists that made me want to contribute to modern electronic music. The album, Adventure, is still one of those records I listen to front to back without ever wanting to skip a song. It’s a masterpiece as an album. The chord progressions are interesting, there are lots of musical and production surprises, satisfying builds and loads of heart. This track isn’t from Adventure, but it was my gateway to falling in love with Porter Robinson’s catalogue too. I listened to this song a lot when I was still considering the possibility of moving to LA, and it reminds me of trips to a recording studio Voodoo Highway once had in West Hollywood. Lots of priceless nights with new friends, all of whom moved to LA to make a career out of their art. I always had more creative fuel in my gas tank after trips like that. This song captures my emotional optimism from that time.
Passion Pit – “I’ll Be Alright”
I’ve been on countless runs where this track makes me want to run just a bit faster. I love the hyper beats, the hard-cut audio file editing style and the wild falsetto. Passion Pit has always felt like an awesome blend of indie rock and purely electronic music to me. Their catalogue has an imaginative style that feels both beautiful and untamed.
The Naked and Famous – “Punching in a Dream”
There’s such a youthful energy to this track. It has an air of teenage invincibility to it and I love the vocal duet. It’s another great example of the kind of synth-driven indie that I’m drawn to.
The Japanese House feat. Justin Vernon – “Dionne”
Two great vocalists who are somehow even better together. Both consistently deliver incredible vocal performances and this track is no exception. I love how heavy this song feels even though you could slow-dance to it. The lyrics get me too. Moments like: “And I know it’s not very sexy when somebody / Loves you this much and knows you this well / But it’s the way it is”, or “I’ve been thinking about my storyline / And how your past becomes your present if it’s always on your mind”. The Japanese House is worth spending time with if you’ve never listened.
Porter Robinson – “Mirror”
This one has been in my headphones a lot this year. I read these lyrics as an artist’s conversation with their own inner voice. It seems to address some of the costs of being overly critical with yourself, the dangers of wearing yourself out with mental chatter until you’re sick of your own company and so on, but it also talks a bit about how sometimes, it can feel like your inner voice is calling on you to rise to some sort of occasion, and asking you to push yourself just a bit further, write for one more hour, stick with the problem that you feel like abandoning and such. Like a good coach, it’s the piece of ourselves that’s urging us toward building something we’re proud of. Part of what I love about Porter Robinson is that there is a real vulnerability in his music, a real depth to the lyrical content, in a genre that isn’t always known for that. I love music that’s just meant to make us move too, but I feel like this kind of song adds even more depth to the whole genre.
Télépopmusik and Angela McCluskey – “Smile”
I used to leave this track on an endless loop while studying. Angela McCluskey’s vocal has such a unique beauty to it. It feels straight out of the same imaginary David Lynch-style club that Portishead forever sings at in my mind. These vibes transport me way back to when I played in a live PA act with Sue from The Good Lovelies and Joel from Dragonette. We were barking up the same tree stylistically and it became a song that really encapsulates the feeling of that time in our lives.
San Holo – “bb u ok?”
That warped vocal gets me every time and I love the way this tune feels so exuberant when it kicks in. It’s a head banger with an emotional leaning, and even though there aren’t many words, it delivers something feel-good with depth-of-feeling. It’s one of the songs that inspired our own track “I’m Fine”.
Chet Porter and Alison Wonderland – “Bummed”
I love the mix of electronic and performed parts in this tune, but also the way that it feels specifically Californian, despite being written by an Australian and a fellow Torontonian. There’s something here that makes it feel like surfer music for a new generation. I love the washed out vocals, the driving beat and especially the synth line that comes in around the two minute mark. That simple synth part always hits me right in the heart and I don’t have a clue why. That’s the beauty of music though I guess. That unquantifiable affinity for a musical moment that makes us feel connected to others we’ll likely never meet. It’s one of those things that still makes me feel like music has so much mystery and magic in it.