5 Spotify playlists to help your mind travel and body move

Liliana “Li” Saumet of Bomba Estereo, Celebrate Brooklyn, 07.26.10. Photo by Derek Beres for National Geographic.

The Young Pope

Thank goodness Topsify Italia took the time out to assemble the music from this HBO limited series. Beyond the stunning set and wardrobe design—and a hell of a story—the music made the show. This is likely the most played playlist out of my entire collection.

Haruki Murakami’s vinyl collection

There are two threads the Japanese novelist weaves into every novel: cats and music. I know this because I’ve read everything Murakami has written (at least what’s been translated into English). Someone even more fanatical than myself uses every Murakami resource at his disposal to construct the man’s vinyl collection. At 241 hours long, just hit “shuffle” and return in ten days.

Head Trip

I pride myself on having an extensive sonic palette. Having spent over a decade as an international music journalist, I’ve been lucky enough to sample the sounds of every nation on the planet. Being in this industry you meet others as nuts as you for music. One is Bob Duskis, co-founder of Six Degrees Records, which I’ve loved (and even had the pleasure of producing an album for) since their founding. Bob constructs a ton of great playlists, but Head Trip is the one I return to most.


Three-and-a-half hours of Golden Era-Ethiojazz? No explanation needed.

Global Funk

Spanning Afrobeat to North African desert music to American jazz, the rule is the groove, which this playlist consistently finds. Whoever at Spotify maintains this one: thank you.

EarthRise Yoga: The Weekly Playlist

I know the headline says five, but I’m adding my own weekly playlist as an honorable mention. I began teaching yoga in 2004, while still employed full-time in international music, and grew frustrated that most “yoga music” didn’t reflect my experience of the practice. I co-founded EarthRise SoundSystem to address this issue. This month marks my fifteenth year as an instructor; I’ve created a new playlist every week since. Updated every Saturday.

Media. Movement. http://www.derekberes.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store