DJing the late night can be isolating. Don’t get me wrong, I thrive after dark and love spinning tunes for the ghosts and ghouls (although it’s easy to get wrapped up in my own ethereal world in the witching hours). Sometimes I forget where I fit in with this all-star lineup of radio DJs I’ve found myself a part of (it’s still crazy and new to me). That’s where the KCRW Top 20 comes in: a collective tool in sharing and connecting the musical dots between station favorites as dictated by the DJ hivemind themselves. Every week, I’m reminded that I’m not completely out to lunch with my nocturnal playlists and there are, in fact, other renowned selectors who share the same passions and tastes. Simply put, the Top 20 is my own personal anchor of curatorial sanity.
I’m VERY into what Jim-E-Stack cooked up with his latest single “Good Enough,” it’s further evidence of his abilities in crafting compelling, dynamic pop production. Shining a light toward darker contemporary hip hop stylings, this newest work with vocalist Ant Clemons adds a dimension to his uniquely bouncy rhythms, which I first became drawn to when he was involved with now defunct LA bass label Body High and have been keeping an ear on ever since.
The debut record from Automatic is a work of art, giving a nod to post-punk of yesteryear while still making a statement by being creatively out on its own. Their record Signal has been a staple on my show and the album’s cooled out conclusion “Strange Conversations” is a perfect entry point into their universe of bass-driven fuzz.
In similar fuzzy fashion, Men I Trust have been lighting up our airwaves with their latest full-length Oncle Jazz, and I can’t recommend it enough. Turn off the lights, flip on “All Night,” and slide into a state of cool-out – this is bedroom pop at its finest.
Hell, just cue up the playlist below and get ready for takeoff – wherever you decide to go on this week’s musical journey, there’s no wrong direction.