The tree and tinsel are up at inertia HQ for December’s edition of our monthly radio feature. You’re probably sick of Christmas tunes by this point so we’ve kept them to a minimum, stuffing the playlist instead with some glorious picks of what we’ve been listening to lately. Tuck in!
Idris Muhammed – Piece of Mind
I was initially turned on to Idris Muhammed by Jamie xx, who sampled him on his track Loud Places. I only semi-recently discovered the original tune, Could Heaven Ever Be Like This, and only more recently still decided to explore a little bit of Muhammed’s back catalogue, which spans a wealth of different influences and seamlessly synthesises the warmth and familiarity of soul with the free-flowing structure of jazz. This combination is on fine display on track Piece of Mind, a 9-and-a-half minute jam which oozes with funky energy and makes for a really fun listen.
Chastity Belt – Joke
I’m a long-time fan of Chastity Belt and always find myself returning to their broody sound in the darker months of the year. Throughout their music they weave moody instrumentals with lyrics that vary in tone from cheeky send-ups of social niceties (‘Your tattoos are so deep, they really make me think’) to the much more sentimental. Joke, despite its title, is a listen that lies much more on the personal end of that spectrum, and to me it really captures a certain feeling that nothing matters, but in the good, freeing sense of the term. I can imagine this song would be fit for a night time drive cruising down a dark road, which is perfect now that the sun is going down at half 3 in the afternoon.
Pépe – As Long as There’s Sunset
I’ve been listening to a fair amount of Spanish producer Pépe this last month, so I thought it only fair I include one of his tunes in December’s edition of inertia fm. Sadly the particular tune I’ve been obsessing over (Linda’s Retreat) isn’t available on Spotify, but I feel like As Long as There’s Sunset is a track which accurately portrays what has me hooked about his music. His arrangements are just mesmerising, featuring everything from reverbed harps to xylophone beats and rapid-fire synths. It’s like Nintendo arcade meets mushroom house meets Todd Terje future disco. Give it a bash.
Grimes – Realiti
The soundscapes that Grimes can create by looping sound effects and her own vocals is amazing really. For me her 2015 album Art Angels is probably the peak of this, although I’m still captivated by her newest release Miss Anthropocene, which takes a bit of a darker and eerie turn. For me, tunes like Realiti and Flesh Without Blood speak for Grimes as an artist and are enough for me to look past her relationship with innovator, entrepreneur and all round prick Elon Musk.
Insecure Men – Mekong Glitter
The kind of dark yet upbeat pop that Insecure Men brought out back in 2018 has always had a great appeal to me. Creating songs that almost sound a bit tacky, as if they were made on a secondary school music class keyboard, a lot of the quality lies in the lyrics here. On the surface their music is a fun singalong experience but often looks a wider themes both personal and pop culture based. Mekong Glitter really is one of those tunes that I can’t get out of my head whenever it worms its way in there.
The Specials – Blank Expression
Definitely my favourite non official Christmas song, Blank Expression has all of the cosy undertones and festive spirit to put it right up there with Last Christmas and Fairytale of New York. The Specials are one of those bands that you can go months without listening too, but the second one of their songs comes on in passing you have to go back an re-listen to their discography because there is so much great music to choose from.