Good music is a requirement for any long trip. You’ll want to set it up in advance, so you don’t have to fumble with finding songs as you go. Don’t worry if you can’t get it all perfect on the first try. Finding 6-8 hours of great songs is no easy task, so perhaps starting with a few of your favorite albums can be a good start. Many people swear by Pink Floyd or Phish, but your playlist should be specific to your taste. Start with what you know you love, and branch out from there. Curating a good playlist is something that will happen over time, and it may take a lot of trial and error. Here’s some tips to get you started.
Lyrics – They Matter!
Something you may notice when you’re “living” in a song for a few minutes, is that you’ve started to pay attention to the lyrics in a way you’ve never noticed before. One of the songs on our original playlist was “Pursuit of Happiness” by Kid Cudi ft. MGMT. It’s a great song, it’s got a cool beat and synth sounds, and sounds like it’d be pretty cool to listen to while tripping. But the lyrics really bothered me, and brought me down, especially when he got to the part about night terrors and the bed of sorrow. Now most people would say “hey, you should be able to tell it’s not a happy song”, and they’d probably be right. It just hits harder when you’re in a certain state of mind.
There’s another song, “Reach Lines” by Chad Valley, that I cannot tell what the lyrics even are when I’m sober. I can’t find the lyrics online, or tell what the song is supposed to be about. It’s a very original song with a very chill vibe. Yet, in the middle of a trip, I suddenly understood the lyrics clear as a day, and it weirded me out. I had to remove the song from the playlist on the basis of lyrics that bother me, and I couldn’t even tell you now what the lyrics are. Your mind may make up things that aren’t there or aren’t real, and that’s still a valid reason to not include it in your playlist.
Tone of Voice
“Bliss” is one of my favorite Muse songs, so naturally, I added it to my first playlist. When I got to the song in the middle of the trip, I suddenly realized how angry Matt was while singing it. Now, he may not have meant to sound angry, he might not actually be angry in the recording at all, but the tone I perceived was angry. Suddenly, I felt like I was being yelled at, and I had to skip past it. I still like the song while I’m sober, but be aware that you might perceive one of your favorite songs in a completely different way while under the influence. If you have the capability, take notes in a notebook as you go, or have a recorder nearby so you can simply say to yourself “take this song out of the playlist” for next time.
The First Song or Two – Mindset
I like to start with 2 songs that set up a good mindset for my trip. The first is Beethoven’s 7th Symphony – 2nd Movement – “Allegretto”. Classical music? What? Why!?
The reason I’ve chosen this song is because it reminds me of samsara, the life cycle, and the life I’m currently experiencing. This is how I start my trip, and I usually play it again at the very end of the night. Sometimes to go on a long trip, you must first know your starting point. This song represents to me a starting point, and from there, I can depart and experience our universal existence.
The second song is “Cherry” by Ratatat. Again, this sets me up in a positive mindset for the start of my trip. “Cherry” is one of those songs that if I was in a coma for seven months, someone could play this song, and I would wake up. So if you can think to yourself, “What song would wake me from a coma?” try that song out for setting up your positive mindset.
The Come Up
Depending upon your dosage and method of administration, it may take you 20-90 to come up and start “feeling it”. We use oral blotter, usually pressed against the gums for 10 minutes before swallowing, and a known, reliable batch, so I can predict I will start “feeling it” within 20 minutes, and be firmly in Lucy’s grasp within about 45 minutes. So this segment, for us, should last no longer than 45 minutes. For your own experience, you may want to make this shorter or longer.
This section of music should be all about pump-you-up, get hyped, get ready to rock, and maintaining a positive mindset as you start to shed your ego. Here’s my list:
- Knights of Cydonia – Muse
- On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons
- Holiday – Vampire Weekend
- Radioactive – Imagine Dragons
- Can’t Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton) – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- Break Free (feat. Zedd) – Ariana Grande
- Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake
- Uprising – Muse
- Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
- Get Up and Fight – Muse
- Starlight – Muse
As you can tell, there’s a lot of Muse songs here. We’re big into Muse, and one of the things they do very well is perform these songs that make you feel like you can take on the world. Again, these songs are merely suggestions, but for this section, focus on what makes you feel positive and ready to have a great trip.
The Ghosts of Past Trips
You should be about an hour into the playlist now. During this section, you will most likely start to shed your ego. It can be a painful process sometimes, as your ego will fight for its life to stick around and be YOU. You don’t need it. In fact, for a great trip, you don’t want it. So kick that ego off a cliff and get things really going.
We’ve been doing this for a few decades now, and as this next section will show, there’s a bit of nostalgia for the songs we’ve listened to years ago. Many of these songs are strongly linked to being at this stage in the trip, so I personally think it makes it easier to shed the ego and become the music. “Silence” is usually the song where it happens for me. Again, this list should be tailored to your likes, your comfort music, and what will make you feel most at peace as you shed your ego. But I do recommend you give “Pasilda” a try at least once, it’s a pretty amazing song!
- Forget – Shallou
- Silence (DJ Tiesto’s in Search of Sunrise Remix) – Delerium
- Titanium (feat. Sia) – David Guetta
- Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love) – Sophie Ellis-Bextor
- King Of My Castle (Roy Malone Mix) – Wamdue Project
- Don’t Call Me Baby – Madison Avenue
- Lady (Hear Me Tonight) – Modjo
- Sun Is Shining (De Luxe Edit) – Funkstar De Luxe
- Pasilda (Knee Deep Club Mix) – Afro Medusa
- Mark IV – Georgi Kay
Hitting the Peak
This next block is our absolute favorites, the ones that we can be comfortable letting go into, and disappearing into the universal consciousness for a while. Some of these will paint pictures, some of these will evoke bliss and ecstacy, and others will give those brain tingles. This particular set, we duplicate later in the playlist, and will occasionally play later in the evening if we want to return to a way a certain song made us feel.
Looking over our list, you may be thinking “Kali Uchis? Doesn’t she do pop songs on the radio? She does! But that doesn’t affect how amazing her songs sound on LSD. And the way we’ve lived in “Fury” and “Shine”, Matt Bellamy should be charging us rent. These songs may not be for everyone, but I hope you can find songs that make you feel the way these make us feel.
- Telepatia – Kali Uchis
- Melting – Kali Uchis
- In My Dreams – Kali Uchis
- new skin – VERITE
- Fairy Tale – Ekali & Elohim
- Faithless – Ekali
- Cage – Ekali & Mossy.
- Never Gone – Said the Sky & Kerli
- Planeador – Soda Stereo
- Shine (Acoustic) – Muse
- Fury – Muse
- Lonely Town – Puggy
- Anything For You – Puggy
Music through your peak should aim to be at least 3-4 hours. If you can’t find enough songs you really like and feel comfortable with, feel free to repeat your favorites.
For a continuation of how to build your playlist, follow this link to Part 2.