How to describe Julia Holter? Is she a singer-songwriter? Composer? Sound designer? Holter is one of the most innovative artists on the music scene today. While she has roots in classical composition and piano, Holter has developed an unparalleled and thoughtful sound that eloquently interweaves avant sensibilities with sophisticated pop. We focus on her full length albums starting with her highly conceptual debut, Tragedy, that captured the focus of the underground blogosphere. She found her way to Domino crafting the opulent Loud City Song and her highly praised pop record Have You In My Wilderness. The episode culminates with Holter’s stunning beast of a record, Aviary, which stands as possibly her most ambitious and outward looking effort to date that is sure to dazzle the sensorium. We at Philosophy of the World look forward to what Julia Holter does next.


1. “Goddess Eyes” from Tragedy

2. “Try to Make Yourself a Work of Art” from Tragedy

3. “Fur Felix” from Ekstasis

4. “Marienbad” from Ekstasis

5. “World” from Loud City Song

6. “Maxim’s I” from Loud City Song

7. “Sea Calls Me Home” from Have You In My Wilderness

8. “Feel You” from Have You In My Wilderness

9. “Voce Simul” from Aviary

10. “I Shall Love 1” from Aviary


Companion Material
Julia Holter web site
John Cage and the mesostic poem
Euripides’ Hippolytus
Gigi by Colette and Gigi (1949)
Aviary Recording and Players

Support us on Patreon and hear more about Julia Holter

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed

You may have a definition of “post-rock” in your mind, but the prospect of encapsulating the variety of bands and sounds that have been labeled with the term over time is nearly futile. This month, Philosophy of the World goes back to the early 1990’s when the term meant, “using rock instrumentation for non-rock purposes”. These artists took rock music to experimental realms often incorporating elements of jazz, electronic, musique concrete, dub, and kosmische to make something new in the face of a music scene dominated by grunge and Britpop. Listen with us as we explore the beginnings of the subgenre with Talk Talk’s irreproducible spacious jazz-inflected songs, Disco Inferno’s extreme experimentation with looped samples, the foreboding tone poems of Slint, and Tortoise’s ever-exploratory, rhythmic rock incorporating elements of minimalism, dub and jazz. Before being reduced to cathartic crescendos, post-rockers were a group of musicians unafraid to push the boundaries of what rock could be.


1. Talk Talk – “Ascension Day” from Laughing Stock

2. Bark Psychosis – “A Street Scene” from Hex

3. Disco Inferno – “In Sharky Water” from D.I. Go Pop

4. Pram – “Earthing and Protection” from Sargasso Sea

5. Stereolab – “Orgiastic” from Peng!

6. Slint – “Breadcrumb Trail” from Spiderland

7. Tortoise – “Glass Museum” from Millions Now Living Will Never Die

8. Rodan – “Bible Silver Corner” from Rusty

9. Rachel’s – “The Siren” from The Sea and the Bells

10. Dirty Three – “I Remember a Time When Once You Used to Love Me” from Horse Stories


Companion Material
Simon Reynold’s Post-Rock Article for The Wire
Fearless: The Making of Post-Rock by Jeanette Leech
Storm Static Sleep: A Pathway Through Post-Rock by Jack Chuter
Breadcrumb Trail Documentary
The Lost Generation

Support us on Patreon and hear more about Post-Rock

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed


As summer slips away, Philosophy of the World tries to hold on, immersing itself in the wondrous, bright and lysergic pop of Animal Collective. The quartet of David Portner (Avey Tare), Noah Lennox (Panda Bear), Josh Dibb (Deakin), and Brian Weitz (Geologist) has made music together since childhood and through an independent spirit of sonic exploration, created an enduring legacy in experimental music. Early efforts including the bizarre fairy-tale imagery of Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished and the acid-fried Here Comes the Indian turned heads but it was the freak folk masterpiece, Sung Tongs, that broke them out. The subsequent string of dense, kinetic records of forward-thinking psychedelia culminating in Merriweather Post Pavilion solidified their influence on independent music. Join us as we explore the impressive discography of Animal Collective.


1. Avey Tare & Panda Bear – “Someday I’ll Grow to Be as Tall as the Giant” from Spirit They’ve Gone, Spirit They’ve Vanished

2. Campfire Songs – “Doggy” from Campfire Songs

3. Animal Collective – “Slippi” from Here Comes the Indian

4. Animal Collective – “Who Could Win a Rabbit” from Sung Tongs

5. Animal Collective – “Grass” from Feels

6. Animal Collective – “Chores” from Strawberry Jam

7. Panda Bear – “Comfy in Nautica” from Person Pitch

8. Animal Collective – “Summertime Clothes” from Merriweather Post Pavilion

9. Animal Collective – “What Would I Want? Sky” from Fall Be Kind

10. Animal Collective – “Today’s Supernatural” from Centipede Hz

11. Animal Collective – “Hocus Pocus” from Painting With

12. Animal Collective – “Hair Cutter” from Tangerine Reef


Companion Material
Animal Collective’s 2010 Visual Album, ODDSAC
Audiovisual Album, Tangerine Reef
Coral Morphologic

Support us on Patreon and hear more about Animal Collective

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed


In the late ‘60s, the Brazilian psychedelic music of Tropicália was led by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. These visionaries sought to make music representative of all classes and social statuses by not only embracing Brazilian music like bossa nova, but also incorporating rock, psychedelia and experimental elements from the US, UK and beyond. Their harsh criticism of an iron-fisted, CIA-backed dictatorship resulted in the forced exile of Veloso and Gil in 1969. Despite this, likeminded artists persisted. The erudite experimentations of Tom Zé, far-out explorations of Gal Costa, eclectic psych pop of Os Mutantes, beautiful arrangements of Rogerio Duprat, and the fuzzed out Os Brazões pushed the bounds of the country’s musical tradition. These are the figureheads of the Brazilian counterculture, Tropicália.


1. Caetano Veloso – “Tropicália” from Caetano Veloso

2. Tom Zé – “Quero Sambar Meu Bem” from Tom Zé aka Grande Liquidação

3. Gilberto Gil – “Coragem Pra Suportar” from Gilberto Gil

4. Os Mutantes – “Panis et Circenses” from Os Mutantes

5. Os Brazões – “Pega A Voga Cabeludo” from Os Brazões

6. Gal Costa – “Tuareg” from Gal

7. Lula Côrtes E Zé Ramalho – “Bailado Das Muscarias” from Paêbirú

8. Jorge Ben – “País Tropical” from Jorge Ben

9. Nara Leão – “Lindonéia” from Tropicália ou Panis et Circencis

10. Rita Lee – “Vamous Tratar Da Saúde” from Hoje É O Primeiro Dia Do Resto Da Sua Vida

11. Novos Baianos – “Mistério do Planeta” from Acabou Chorare

12. Nelson Angelo E Joyce – “Meus Vinte Anos” from Nelson Angelo E Joyce


Companion Material
Hélio Oiticica’s Tropicália
Nelson Motta’s “A Cruzada Tropicalista” (The Tropicalist Crusade)
Brutality Garden: Tropicália and the Emergence of a Brazilian Counterculture
Tropicália Documentary by Marcello Machado
BBC Brasil, Brasil Episode 2: Tropicália Revolution

Support us on Patreon and hear more about Tropicália

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed

In just over a decade Daniel Lopatin, best known as Oneohtrix Point Never, has created an impressive catalog of experimental and forward thinking electronic music. We discuss his early CD-R and cassette releases of Tangerine Dream-esque soundscapes, his inadvertent creation of the vaporwave genre with his Chuck Person project and his string of celebrated releases on labels like Editions Mego and Warp Records. Driven by strong concepts to shape his music making, Lopatin crafts a distinctive and otherworldly sound that is continuously built upon with each subsequent LP. From his parent’s air-conditioned house to Brooklyn DIY shows to collaborating with Iggy Pop for film music, this is Oneohtrix Point Never.


1. Dania Shapes – “Sunset Corp” from Sound System Pastoral

2. Magic Oneohtrix Point Never – “Behind the Bank” from Betrayed in the Octagon

3. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Transmat Memories” from Transmat Memories

4. Oneohtrix Point Never – “A Pact Between Strangers” from A Pact Between Strangers

5. Oneohtrix Point Never – “I Know It’s Taking Pictures from Another Plane (Inside Your Sun) from Young Beidnahga

6. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Time Decanted” from Russian Mind

7. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Computer Vision” from Zones Without People

8. Chuck Person – “A7” from Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1

9. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Preyouandi” from Returnal

10. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Sleep Dealer” from Replica

11. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Still Life” from R Plus Seven

12. Oneohtrix Point Never – “I Bite Through It” from Garden of Delete

13. Oneohtrix Point Never – “The Pure and the Damned” from Good Time OST

14. Oneohtrix Point Never – “Black Snow” from Age Of


Companion Material
Rare Frequency Astronaut Interview
Sunset Corp YouTube
Cryptic Garden of Delete Press Release
Kaoss Edge
Masqves (Lopatin + Hauschildt) Live Collaboration
Myriad Trailer


Support us on Patreon and hear more about Oneohtrix Point Never —

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunes • GooglePlay • Stitcher • RSS feed

This month on Philosophy of the World we present a primer on German music from the 1970’s, pejoratively known as krautrock but more accurately branded kosmische musik (or cosmic music). This was music by the 1968 Generation of West Germany emerging from the various student counterculture movements. The otherworldly music they created was the consequence of seeking a new cultural identity by not only vehemently rejecting post-Nazi Germany, but also resisting imperial Americanization after the construction of the Iron Curtain. Through the adoption of the Moog synthesizer, machine-made music, and influences from not only around the globe but also from the cosmos these bands created something wholly new. This spawned artists like the pastoral and motorik-driven Neu!, the art commune weirdos Faust, and progressive electronic pioneers Tangerine Dream and Ash Ra Tempel. Join us as we explore the many facets of this cosmic music.


1. Neu! – “Isi” from Neu! 75

2. Harald Grosskopf – “So Weit, So Gut” from Synthesist

3. Cluster – “Hollywood” from Zuckerzeit

4. Can – “Vitamin C” from Ege Bamyasi

5. Faust – “Just a Second (Starts Like That!) / Picnic on a Frozen River / Deuxieme Tableaux” from Faust IV

6. Kraftwerk – “The Model” from The Man Machine

7. La Düsseldorf – “La Düsseldorf” from La Düsseldorf

8. Harmonia – “Notre Dame” from Deluxe

9. Ash Ra Tempel – “Deep Distance” from New Age of Earth

10. Tangerine Dream – “Movements of a Visionary” from Phaedra


Companion Material
Krautrock: German Music in the Seventies by Ulrich Adelt
Electri_City: The Dusseldorf School of Electronic Music by Rudi Esch
Future Days by David Stubbs
Krautrocksampler by Julian Cope
Krautrock: The Rebirth of Germany

Support us on Patreon and hear more about Krautrock

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed

Sonic Youth changed the landscape of guitar music through their experimentation with free-form noise, off-kilter rock/pop songs and dissonant alternative guitar tunings. The core members of the band (Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo) formed in 1981. On episode 35 of Philosophy of the World we revisit the output of this essential indie rock band from their early years to the end of the 1980’s. We start with their debut EP highlighting Sonic Youth’s no-wave roots, journey through EVOL and Sister which established them as powerful underground artists and finish off the show with instant classic Daydream Nation launching them into the pantheon of legend.


1. “I Don’t Want to Push It” from Sonic Youth EP

2. “Shaking Hell” from Confusion Is Sex

3. “Death Valley ’69” from Bad Moon Rising

4. “Brave Men Run (In My Family)” from Bad Moon Rising

5. “Tom Violence” from EVOL

6. “Shadow of a Doubt” from EVOL

7. “Schizophrenia” from Sister

8. “Pacific Coast Highway” from Sister

9. “Into the Groovey” from The Whitey Album

10. “Making the Nature Scene” from The Whitey Album

11. “Kissability” from Daydream Nation

12. “Teen Age Riot” from Daydream Nation


Companion Material
Goodbye 20th Century by David Browne
Girl in a Band: A Memoir by Kim Gordon
Confusion is Next: The Sonic Youth Story by Alec Foege
The Year Punk Broke
Sonic Youth Concert Chronology

Support us on Patreon and hear more about Sonic Youth

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed

Breaking free and seeking a new, transcendent language for music, spiritual jazz arose under the umbrella of free jazz amidst the civil rights era of the 1960s. Lead by incredible players like John & Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, Pharoah Sanders, Lonnie Liston Smith and many others. This music created melodies incorporating elements from Indian classical music and the Far East, mysticism, and more textured arrangements with uncommon instrumentation such as tablas, tambura and harps. Philosophy of the World presents a primer on this unique brand of jazz that sought the sacred.


1. John Coltrane – “Welcome” from Kulu Se Mama

2. Lonnie Liston Smith & the Cosmic Echoes – “Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord” from Astral Traveling

3. Alice Coltrane – “Journey in Satchidananda” from Journey in Satchidananda

4. Pharoah Sanders – “Astral Traveling” from Thembi

5. Bennie Maupin – “Ensenada” from The Jewel in the Lotus

6. Leon Thomas – “The Creator Has a Master Plan” from Spirits Known and Unknown

7. Michael White – “The Blessing Song” from Pneuma

8. Don Cherry – “Love Train” from Eternal Now

9. Joe Henderson & Alice Coltrane – “Water” from The Elements

10. Sonny Sharrock – “Black Woman” from Black Woman


Companion Material
The House that Trane Built by Ashley Kahn
Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary
NTS Radio Black Classical: History of Spiritual Jazz Parts 1-4
Pitchfork’s Spiritual Jazz Primer

Support us on Patreon and hear more about Spiritual Jazz

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed

The legendary MF DOOM’s (Daniel Dumile) work can be found under a plethora of monikers but his style is unmistakable. Through his unique blend of hip-hop and nerd culture, husky flow, and indelible, off-kilter rhymes DOOM has built an enduring, broadly loved and influential legacy. On episode 33 we take a deep dive into the super villain’s catalog, starting with early KMD years as Zev Love X. After being abandoned by the music industry, he returned to the scene with revenge on the mind, dawning a metal mask and spitting with a new ferocity. The result was a string of several classic albums culminating in a gold standard of underground hip-hop in Madvillainy. Since then, MF DOOM’s output has become more sporadic, but while he may not do exactly what we want, he’s the super villain we deserve.


1. 3rd Bass – “The Gas Face” from The Cactus Album

2. KMD – “Who Me?” from Mr. Hood

3. KMD – “Black Bastards!” from Black Bastards

4. MF DOOM – “?” (feat. Kurious) from Operation: Doomsday

5. King Geedorah – “Anti-Matter” (feat. Mr. Fantastik) from Take Me to Your Leader

6. Viktor Vaughn – “Let Me Watch” (feat. Apani B) from Vaudeville Villain

7. Viktor Vaughn – “Fall Back-Titty Fat” from Venomous Villain

8. MF DOOM – “Hoe Cakes” from MM.. FOOD

9. Madvillain – “Accordion” from Madvillainy

10. Madvillain – “ALL CAPS” from Madvillainy

11. Danger Doom – “Sofa King” from The Mouse & the Mask

12. DOOM – “That’s That” from Born Like This

13. JJ DOOM – “Gov’nor” from Key to the Kuffs

14. DOOMSTARKS – “Victory Laps” (Madvillainz Remix) from Victory Laps EP

15. DOOM – “Notebook 3” from The Missing Notebook Rhymes

16. Czarface & MF DOOM – “Nautical Depth” from Czarface Meets Metal Face


Companion Material
3rd Base – “The Gas Face” Music Video with Zev Love X
The Story of Little Black Sambo
Special Herbs Guide
Real MF DOOM Replaces Imposter

Support us on Patreon and hear more about MF DOOM

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed

Philosophy of the World episode 32 is all about the early years of post-punk. It’s such a diverse and important movement we couldn’t fit it all in so we focused on its formative years of 1978 and 1979. From the ashes of UK punk, the appropriately dubbed post-punk emerged carrying the raw DIY ethos of punk but embracing new sounds and experimentation. A disparate group of artists coalesced under the expansive umbrella of post-punk in major hubs of London and Manchester in the UK and New York and San Francisco in the US. Dig in to this rich movement with us and enjoy the angular funkiness of Gang of Four, the dub-infused rhythms of The Slits, the early synth experimentations of Tuxedomoon, and the textured, cold dissonance of Public Image Ltd.


1. Public Image Ltd. – “Public Image” from First Issue

2. Magazine – “Definitive Gaze” from Real Life

3. Siouxsie & the Banshees – “Hong Kong Garden” from The Scream

4. Gang of Four – “Damaged Goods” from Entertainment!

5. Wire – “Practice Makes Perfect” from Chairs Missing

6. Tuxedomoon – “No Tears” from Tuxedomoon EP

7. A Certain Ratio – “Do the Du” from The Graveyard & the Ballroom

8. The Pop Group – “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” from Y

9. The Slits – “FM” from Cut

10. Public Image Ltd. – “Careering” from Second Edition/Metal Box

11. Pere Ubu – “Navvy” from Dub Housing

12. The Fall – “It’s the New Thing” from Live at the Witch Trials

13. The Raincoats – “Adventures Close to Home” from The Raincoats

14. Joy Division – “Disorder” from Unknown Pleasures


Companion Material
PiL on The Tom Snyder Show
Siouxsie & the Banshees’ Lords Prayer
Blaine Reininger (of Tuxedomoon) Documentary
Rip It Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds
Early Show by The Slits
BBC Four Punk Britannia (Part 3 of 3)

Subscribe to the podcast—
iTunesSpotify • GooglePlayStitcherRSS feed