mundane adventures in running
Sometimes I listen to music when I run, sometimes i don’t. When I do, I tend to either listen to stuff at 180 bpm, to help cadence, or just long varied playlists on random so the music makes my mood jerk from place to place and gives the run a sequence of totally different feelings, so perhaps some high energy dance stuff to get my heart racing, or some dour downbeat singer song writer wrist slashing fest to make me a little more reflective. It works for me.
Without any further ado, five tracks to add to your running playlist today. Now. Go on. Do it.
Rescue Dawn. Hype Williams.
Kind of old now, but amazing. This is totally hands down my favourite ever song about Pokemon. It’s all consuming, a crazy stoned psychedelic journey. It’s slow song, meandering molasses with crazy chords and endless near different loops. You can follow it, meditate on it, get hypnotised by it. The sample kicks in after about a minute, just when you’ve becomes absorbed by the music. A slowed down bassy, mournful voice talking Pokemon. Well into the run, the endorphins kicking in, his soliloquy becomes a mantra to push you further, to make you redouble your efforts, to strive for your goal.
“I want to be the best the ever was. To beat the rest, that’s my cause. Catch ‘em. Catch ‘em. Gotta catch ‘em all. Pokemon. Gotta catch ‘em all.”
When this song is perfect for running: after about 20k when you’re starting to feel a little trippy, when the mantra helps you trot out a few more dour but spiritual kms.
Sophie needs to do more stuff now. The world needs more music like this. It’s just joyful. T
he lyrics are amazing, the vocal is pitched to bubblegum teen pop perfection. The bass and jerky percussion with the occasional acid squelch or housey sample are an intoxicating blissful listen.
All that said t it’s the crazy euro techno style high energy interludes that make this a great track for running.
When this song is perfect for running: running through crowds trying to dodge tourists, or overtake other runners. Twisty paths with lots of jumping about. Staccato interval training or strides as part of your warm up.
One sec. Novelist Mumdance
In this track, The MC asks permission to discuss four topics: flows, road, girls and dough. Given that 25% of this song is chatting about road, it makes sense as an accompaniment to a run. It sounds like an old school grime track, but stripped down to the bare minimum. It’s powerful and aggressive and compelling.
The lyrics are kind of great and hilarious. It’s very perfectly south London, with LOTS of postcode references, JD sports namechecks, and no bad language; nothing that would offend his mum.
I love this lyric:
“Karl’s mum said she cant cope,
that’s why i got bigger man bars on the road”
When this song is perfect for running: when you’re a south east five boy repping his ends in SE22. (I AM 38 YEARS OLD AND I JUST WROTE THAT)
On a ragga tip. SL2
I hadn’t even thought of this song for years until I heard it coming out of a white beemer in Penge a couple of weeks ago. Oh it was good to hear. It went straight onto the running playlist. The tempo is horrible for running, and it’s tempting to try and run in time to it, but resist the temptation. I love it because it’s so insanely positive and really amazingly distracting. Listen to this and you will feel no pain.
When this song is perfect for running: on a sunny day when you’re running through west London trying to remember what nottinghill used to be like. Or when you’re in pain and want some light relief.
You- HA HA HA. Charlie XCX (Gold Panda)
I love the beat to this, and all the Gold Panda stuff… lovely sufi sounding analogue beats with crazily cut indian vocal loops. I enjoyed it the first time round, but can’t get enough of the Charlie XCX version.
This is the only track on this short list which is about 180, so it’s great for running anyway. You can run in time to it, and you’ll be fine. So good for your running form, you’ll be doing yourself a favour running to this. Also, after you’ve listened to it enough times it becomes a struggle not to sing along. Do it. Go on. Sing along. It’s hilarious running down the street, sweat dripping down your face, salt crusting round your eyebrows… “You, you lied, I was right, all alone, you’re done, your dumped, you fucked it up”
When this song is perfect for running: when you’re form is getting a bit sloppy, but you’ve still got enough air in your lungs to belt out the lyrics. Oh, and preferably when there aren’t too many people around.