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Questlove on ‘Shuffle Culture'

Friday, April 13, 2012

The shuffle setting on iPods and digital music players has changed how we experience recorded music. Drummer Questlove of The Roots and friends are emulating the juxtaposition and freedom of the shuffle setting in live concerts at BAM this week. He joins us to talk about shuffle and take calls. 

Listeners: Do you use the shuffle setting on your music player? Why...or why not? Tell us below!


Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson

Comments [10]


@Jerry from Queens...that is pathetic...update your music and ditch the lame stuff...maybe then you will have more people at your card parties.

Apr. 13 2012 02:54 PM
taylor from westchester

shuffling has been used as an artistic practice thanks to the devices like the iPod for a while now. The artist called Asher comes to mind with his album " intervals". This album is a series of short tracks and when listen to on shuffle gives you an ever evolving listening experience. Now with the invention of mobile apps there's a real opportunity here for generative and otherwise constantly shifting musical compositions.

Apr. 13 2012 02:26 PM
carol from staten island

Correction: It was a blonde moment!

Apr. 13 2012 02:25 PM

One of the reasons i love my son's old iPod shuffle is that there's a feature that shuffles ALBUMS so i get the best of both worlds. Shuffle stops me from playing the same music over and over, but keeps each album intact!

Apr. 13 2012 02:24 PM
taylor from westchester

shuffling on an iPod has been being used for a while as an artistic practice. the artist Asher comes to mind. his album intervals is designed as a bunch of short tracks that when listen to on shuffle creates an ever evolving listening experience. it was sort of possible back in the day when CD players had a shuffle feature. but CD players always put pauses between songs so you could never use it quite the way you wanted. could never get the seamless experience you can with an iPod on shuffle. now with the invention of iPhone or other mobile apps, the idea of ever evolving shuffling musical compositions is more exciting than ever.

Apr. 13 2012 02:21 PM

My Zunes are filled with and shuffled among many Soundcheck, Fresh Air, programs, New Sounds, American Mavericks audio interviews, and Phil Blackburn's Measure for Measure and Alive and Composing interviews.

Apr. 13 2012 02:20 PM
Jerry from Queens

This is going to sound pathetic, but here it goes, i have my 1987 cd player on shuffle, it holds 100 cds and plays everything from King Crimson to Digital Underground.

Apr. 13 2012 02:20 PM
KP from NJ

With all this 'shuffling', we have probably seen the sad demise of the ultimate 80's expression of young love...the mix tape...I still listen to some of mine (my boyfriend was a DJ...and yes I helped him lug around all of those crates of albums and 45's...)

Apr. 13 2012 02:20 PM
carol from steten island

I was listening to my ipod on shuffle during my commute. I said to myself wow I really like all theses songs. Later I realized of course I liked those songs its my ipod. It was a Blondel moment.

Apr. 13 2012 02:13 PM
Straight from LA from LA


I admire your humbleness and intelligence but I really love your beats - those solid hits on the drums that sound heavy and real. Lov it.

Apr. 13 2012 02:11 PM

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