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DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Identity

Songs of individuality, personal expression, distinguishing characteristics and notable traits fill the playlist. The theme this month is identity. From the self-reflexive to the outwardly-expressive, these musical signatures reveal something the author. The desire for identity is an incredibly powerful force, especially when we feel unstable. It seems to be an inherent human need to figure out who we are. Wrought with conflicting motivations, seeking definition and bristling at being defined, wanting to belong, yet clinging to individuality, and somewhere in this tension we try to find a place we can claim. However maybe it’s not a fixed place, maybe it’s simply about accepting the impermanence of identity.

I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off this months playlist than with the riot-girl punk progenitors X-Ray Specs and their ruminative tune “Identity”. Central to the ethos of punk was confrontational self-expression and identity, especially in the formative years. I’ve included a couple of samples from this era with ex-Television bassist Richard Hell’s “Blank Generation”, Siouxsie and the Banshees “Overground” and the Ramones “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”. Great stuff and there is a goldmine of early punk to explore if you like these tracks. On the more contemporary side of the song list we have a great new release from British mumbler King Krule with “Comet Face”, a smooth serenade from up-and-coming South London poet and singer Arlo Park with “Sophie” and a new narrative tune from famed producer Royce Da 5'9" with “Dope Man”. Also woven throughout the playlist, you will find over 10 tunes from Jakarta-based bands. The Indonesian city picked the theme this month and what delight it was exploring the cities vibrant musical acts. The Jakarta bands include: Goodnight Electric, White Shoes & The Couples Company, The Upstairs, Sore, Jirapah, Circarama, Bedchamber, Reality Club, Vira Talisa, Peonies, and Soft Blood. What a diverse range of styles and sounds, I’m eager to continue the exploration.

The playlist this month explores themes of identity, whether you’re a rocker, a punk, a goth, a hip-hop head, an emo kid, or completely undefinable, this playlist has something for you. From X-Ray Specs to Tribe Called Quest you’re sure to find something to identify with in this track list.

Thanks for listening and if you enjoy these playlists, please follow me on Spotify and give me a shout on Twitter, I would love to hear from you.

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