What’s This Playlist All About? Unknown Mortal Orchestra frontman Ruban Nielson carefully curates a funky, groovy, sometimes paranoia-infused mix that serves as an excellent companion to his band’s brand-new fourth album, Sex & Food.
What Do You Get? A thoughtful blend of new and old sounds that swings between hypnotic and heavy—kind of like Ruban’s own music, which seamlessly sneaks into the mix every now and then. The older stuff is equally eclectic and edgy, from worldly disco treasure “Space Talk” by Indian polymath Asha Puthi to the Hendrix-conjuring magic of Funkadelic, and the unrelenting rhythms and riffs of NEU!. The newer stuff offers just as much out-there sounds with a slightly cannier sense of restraint, like Parquet Courts’ jittery garage rock and Grizzly Bear’s woozy harmonies.
Greatest Discovery: Scottish producer Makeness’ doomy, dance-y, Matrix-like melodies.
How Does This Playlist Match Up with Sex & Food? Exceptionally well—Ruban clearly found influence in every one of these artists. In tracks like “Major League Chemicals” and “American Guilt,” you can taste hints of Sabbath’s chugging, proto-metal and Fuzz’s fuzzier translation of it. In the warped soul-funk of “Ministry of Alienation” and “Now in Love We’re Just High,” you can hear a touch of Sly & the Family Stone along with the groovy psych-jazz fusion of Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick’s recent collaboration with jazz duo Mattson 2.