Doors to Eclectic Musical Rabbit Holes


I’ve listened to more music over 2020 than perhaps any prior year, largely to focus during WFH.

Shazam has been integral to my music discovery process. I’ve discovered innumerable new & interesting songs over the years via Shazam.

I signed up for Youtube premium so kiddo wouldn’t have to watch ads & to listen to content with the screen off but Youtube Music has been an unexpected bonus.

I haven’t used Spotify recently but Youtube Music Radio is phenomenal in taking you down the rabbit hole given a song as a starting point. When you’re in the zone you don’t want to be having to skip music & purely on this metric Youtube Music is excellent.

So without further ado presenting some Doors to Eclectic Musical Rabbit Holes.

  1. Stairway to Heaven - Simone Kopmajer

Sometime in 2016; IFC, Hong Kong

This was one of my first Shazams waiting for a seat at Crystal Jade in Hong Kong. There was a nice record store right next to it back when there were record stores.

What Youtube Radio gets you: soulful acoustic rock covers and of course lots of Simone Kopmajer drifts towards classic rock after a while

2. Haryanvi 1 (?) - Anil Yadav

04 Dec 2018, morning; 91Springboard, Nehru Place, New Delhi

I’d be the first one in at 91springboard each morning and the place would be empty, coffee machine yet to be refilled and janitorial staff engaged in sundry cleaning tasks. One of these folks loved playing loud music on his phone as he went about his work & this was one of his favourites. He would also sing along for good measure.

What Youtube Radio gets you: peppy Haryanvi, Bhojpuri numbers gradually gravitating towards Bollywood

3. Toyota n’til Magdi - Karpe

20Sep2020; Home

Picked up from Young Wallander

What Youtube Radio gets you: Scandi Hip Hop - lots & lots of it - the genre is deep & never-ending with no drift

4. Hocus Pocus - Focus

15Jun2014, Hong Kong

Probably deserves it’s own blogpost. Picked up the song watching Robocop (2014), likely not Shazamed but discovered via Reddit. Thijs Van Leer has mad talent & brings a certain maniacal energy - see the next 20 seconds of this reaction video. My go-to song to beat procrastination & high burn sprint tasks.

This scene from the movie that features the song is worth watching as much for the philosophy of man+machine consciousness as it is for the music.

What Youtube Radio gets you: Lots of Focus, Instrumental Prog and such landing firmly inside Prog proper after 2 hours or so

5. Sirata - Habib Koite

19Jan2020, Chennai

I heard this during SaaSBoomi 2019 at Novotel or at the event venue could have been lobby, elevator or cloak room music

What Youtube Radio gets you: Slow, Melodic West African music - don’t know enough to judge drift - yet to explore fully

6. Old Thing Back (feat. Ja Rule & Ralph Tresvant)

12Jan21, Aer Four Seasons, Mumbai

After watching Unsolved a while back I binged on both Biggie & Tupac for a while so I was peripherally familiar with Want that Old Thing Back. Lyrics are as NSFW as they get, but the sax solo that periodically creeps in is just sublime.

What Youtube Radio gets you: Reserving comments as I’m yet to fully explore or characterise

7. Greetings - Joni Haastrup

11Mar20, WeWork SFO

WeWork loved blasting Joni for some reason and he kept me going through jet-lag & worse in the days, weeks & months that have followed since.

What Youtube Radio gets you: If you’re uninitiated in 70s Nigerian Afrofunk this is the place to start. Excellent music for complex tasks that need sustained medium burn effort like responding to questionnaires.

8. Kaval Sviri - The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir

Sometime in 2018; Home

Picked this up watching the preview for Gaga: Five Foot Two - it sounded hauntingly similar to Making of a Cyborg, which I learnt later was inspired by Kaval Sviri.

Youtube Radio gets you: Bulgarian (possibly Romanian?) Folk with lots of acapella - lots of depth in this genre and goes on for a long time without drift