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DJ Jim Q's Playlist: Surreal

This month’s theme is surreal. The theme was selected by the Brussels chapter, a city which also happens to be one of the origins of visual Surrealism.

In the first half of the 20th century, artists like Ernst, Dali, Magritte, Delvaux, and later Kahlo and Carrington, built upon the literary and intellectual surrealism movement. A movement which employed an unconventional writing technique called automatism. This form of writing emphasized free association over formal intent of expression. Fueled by Freudian theories, the surrealists embraced the subconscious and the irrational. They were pursuing something unencumbered by tradition or reality, these visionaries were searching for something pure, an unrestricted stream of consciousness. This desire to exceed the mundane and achieve the extraordinary was not limited to the “fine” arts.

In rock music, in the 60’s in particular, bands like The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Cream, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, The 13th Floor Elevator and countless others experimented with psychedelic drugs and used the surreal experiences to inspire some pretty unconventional music. These artists were possessed by the same desire as the surrealists to tap into something pure and untainted by convention, logic and ego. It’s part of an artists nature to seek something outside of our mundane reality. Now LSD isn’t a requisite to creating surreal art after all most of the traditional surrealists were not actively using psychedelics (as far as I know) and their work was pretty out there, but it does take an explorers spirit and curiosity.

Come with me on a journey to the center of your mind. This month’s theme is surreal. From the bizarre to the uncanny, to the far-out and beyond, these songs push the boundaries of reality. This roster of artists tends to skew towards the older psychedelic bands, Hendrix, The Doors, Frank Zappa, Jefferson Airplane, but I was sure to include a few more contemporary musical surrealists like Dr. Octagon, Thundercat and Tama Impala. So sit back, enjoy the trip and meet me back here next month.

Thanks for listening. 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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