"Hit play and see what you can get done."Elisa Halkes


‘Atlas’ by Bicep

The newest (and long awaited) offering from Irish electronic duo Bicep, ‘Atlas’ is another jewel in the crown for this two-piece. An enchanting, hypnotic track, a real depth is created; layers are peeled back then reshuffled in typical Bicep fashion. Coming in at just under 6 minutes, it also minimises time spent endlessly scrolling for the perfect working track.

‘On Hold’ by The xx, Jamie xx remix

Jamie xx has a special talent for making you feel as though you’re lingering on the edge of something great - this remix is a particular favourite, drawing on the more interesting elements of the classic xx tune. Though the muted, ‘another room’-esque opening and vibrant beat may at points feel more clubland than studyland, it strikes a great balance between the original’s yearning lyricism and a newly captivating rhythm that makes it a versatile listen. For those looking for something a bit more angular - newest release ‘Idontknow’ might do the trick.

‘Kerala’ by Bonobo

‘Kerala’ is cinematic - in all the good ways. Simon Green (aka Bonobo) skillfully combines shimmering strings and airy vocal sampling to create a richness and sense of peace evocative of languid summer days. Relaxed - but with enough going on for it to get you in that focussed headspace.

‘Genesis’ by Krystal Klear

Hailing from Krystal Klear’s newest April released EP, ‘Genesis’ is a newfound track that serves equal parts 80s synth fun and noughties electro-goodness. Melodically repetitive in the most brilliantly simple sense, Dec Lennon (aka Krystal Klear) continues to produce tunes you can’t stop listening to. Hit play and see what you can get done.

‘Grey’ by Kölsch (album version)

Danish artist Kölsch paints a spellbinding picture with ‘Grey’. The intro to this track is almost ethereal, bringing to mind cloudy train journeys and rainy afternoons - just before easing you into a killer riff. Perfect for preparing yourself to pen that supo essay…


‘She’s Back’ by Bella Boo

The repetitive melodies in this track by Swedish DJ Bella Boo are simultaneously seductive and propulsive. This is the type of song which might be played at twilight in a swish city bar. (Or, it might be just he track to listen to when you’re the last one in the library.) I find the whole album is generally a Good Vibe for working to.

‘Clouds Strum’ by Beatrice Dillon

This inquisitively-baselined track comes from Dillon’s much lauded album Workaround. Some of the more syncopated tracks can be a little distracting for studying to. This track is perfect – a total masterwork in drum programming, it feels bracingly fresh and innovative whilst still being toned down enough to aid focus.


Mountain View

Soundtrack to my quarantine

‘Forward Flamingo’ by rRoxymore

Berlin-based rRoxymore is behind this restless and stylish track. There are some muted, transcendent chants going on in the background. It’s near impossible to decipher what they are saying, but they add to the song’s invocation of thrilling anxiety. I could imagine this song soundtracking a montage in which the lead character of a film is being mind-controlled and made to commit several assassinations. Whatever is going on here, the overall effect makes you want to hustle.

‘Keep Holding On’ by Danvers and Tereza

One of many good tracks on an album born out of Berlin-based event Blue Space, this is a classy groove. There are some really nice details on this track - the deeply funky guitar melody that comes in about halfway through; the choppy injections of echoey vocals. Interesting but not so interesting you’ll stop paying attention to your example sheet.

‘Passing Me By’ by Maya Jane Coles

Real ones will know about the dumping ground that is my electronic focus playlist on Spotify - tracks by  Maya Jane Coles feature prominently on there. (Her darker, bassier material released under alter-ego Nocturnal Sunshine is well worth checking out!) This house track captures the kind of hypnotic energy that I need when I’m working.