On Eating Insects

This playlist is a list of songs & descriptions from author Josh Evans that were in rotation during the writing of On Eating Insects. The author describes the significance of the music in his own words below. 

  •  visa från utanmyra (jan johansson)—i was first introduced to this album a few weeks after arriving to nordic food lab, in june 2012, by my danish colleague at the time, mark emil. it is a compilation of swedish folk songs rendered into jazz. it was what we listened to on the deck of the houseboat as we read and talked and put together the grant application for our insects project.
  • a new error (moderat)—this song and the next were a frequent part of our work playlist on the boat in 2013, especially when we were all working in the kitchen to build the menu for our pestival event at the wellcome collection in london in april/may.
  • tessellate (alt-j)—see above.
  • a tooth for an eye (the knife)—on repeat many long evenings in the summer of 2013, during the first months of the project when i started gathering research materials and planning our fieldwork.
  • first breath after coma (explosions in the sky)—this whole album was a fieldwork mainstay of countless night transits. i remember especially a long nightbus journey in kenya where it kept me sane, and a winding car ride in the dark up into the japanese alps.
  • gone (my bubba)—a boat neighbour of ours at the lab was a jazz bassist, and played double bass for this scandi-folk band. i've always loved this track of theirs, and over the winter of 2013/2014, in a brief break at home between fieldwork trips, taught myself to play its bare bones.
  • keep you (wild belle)—this is by a friend's brother–sister band, and it was obsessively appropriate for driving around the basket range outside adelaide collecting produce for a collaboration dinner i did with some chef friends for the adelaide arts festival in march 2014, just before our fieldwork in the outback. to season the dessert, we served green tree ants that we had stuck to branches above the tables with purple carrot molasses.
  • distraction (leisure suit)—the band of a friend from my hometown, victoria bc. i was fixated on an earlier production of this track, which i had on loop driving across hidalgo, mexico, at dawn and at dusk, hunting escamoles.
  • sleeping ute (nicolas jaar remix) (grizzly bear)—i'm also very partial to the original, though this remix by nicolas jaar became particularly appropriate on long, overcast boatrides up the peruvian amazon; it fit with the rhythms of the swirling currents, the greens that flashed by on the banks.
  • tesla (flying lotus)—on a dutch train, the flat landscape needed a bit of frenetic energy!
  • red eyes (the war on drugs)—became obsessed with this album when it came out in 2014, and it came to be a go-to soundtrack for many drives across denmark, including for our fieldwork up to livø, a small island in the northwest fjords, as well as many visits to the farm of two great friends outside copenhagen in central zealand.
  • can't do without you (caribou)—the summer and fall of 2014 were hugely busy for us, with big changes in the team, lots of travel, multiple events, fieldwork, and a big move from the houseboat to the university of copenhagen, and this track definitely gave a jolt of energy to the team when it was needed most.
  • girl on the wire (tweaks)—great track by one of our interns at the lab in summer/fall 2014, who was working on rancidity and the oxidation of fats. it buoyed me during some wet, dark afternoons cataloguing specimens and poring over fieldnotes.
  • swimming (kotomi)—the texture of this fit right in with the japanese forests where we did fieldwork on wasps and giant hornets—a brief respite during our full-on days criss-crossing the mountainsides.
  • sweka (the very best)—a surefire way to stay dancing during full days developing dishes and tweaking recipes in the lab kitchen.
  • mi mujer (nicolas jaar)—one of the favourite tracks of our resident lab dj, jonas. we never tired of it, especially during cooking staff lunch or big clean-downs. 
  • awake (tycho)—i mainly listen to wordless music when i read and write, and this album was a stalwart companion in many bookish days at the bustling lab in the last months of the project in late 2015 and 2016.
  • hvis du forstod (de underjordiske)—a great danish band. when i needed a break while writing the manuscript for the book in june 2016, my housemate and i would throw open the doors in our house, blast this track and jump on the trampoline in the yard.
Greg Bresnitz