"This playlist reflects my everyday theme music. Whether I'm prepping, in service, attacking the day's to-do list, cooking for friends or doing something else that requires me to give full attention, this playlist puts me in my element," says Bryce Shuman, executive chef at triple-starred New York City restaurant Betony. "It's got a nice all-purpose mix of party songs, classics, sentimental tunes and hard beats—the variety and uniqueness that I look for in great music."
① "The Promise," by When in Rome
"Haunting, reassuring and melodic, this tune could have been the first dance at my wedding. It always gets me."
② "I Only Have Eyes For You," by The Flamingos
"This actually was the first dance at our wedding, and I've loved it since forever, even before The Fugees sampled it."
③ "Thumbs Up" by Kill the Noise & Feed Me
"'If you believe in yourself/ You can/ You just keep practicing'—the lyrics in here are basically words to live by."
④ "Seedic," by Evol Intent feat. The Enemy
"This is serious drum 'n' bass—an early release from the Atlanta/Tuscaloosa-based trio that still gives me goosebumps years later."
⑤ "B**ch Don't Kill My Vibe [Remix]," by Kendrick Lamar feat. Jay-Z
"I've gotta throw in a little hip-hop now."
⑥ "No Alarm," by Flinch
"This song has great downtempo soulful release. It's basically a dubstep lullaby."
⑦ "I Feel You," by Depeche Mode
"There's just a little twang behind the echoes in this classic, driving Depeche Mode banger."
⑧ "Black Mountain Rag," by Doc Watson
"I grew up listening to Doc. A fellow tarheel from Deep Gap, North Carolina, the man was the greatest flatpickin' bluegrass guitarist ever—and he was blind. He just passed away a little over two years ago, joining his son, Merle, who was lost in a tractor accident."
⑨ "Kiss Kiss," by Cashmere Cat
"Unique minimal electro beats from this young Scandinavian producer who just crushes dance floors."
⑩ "Tiny Anthem," by The M Machine
"This is travelin' music. If The Post Office met When In Rome. Great on a journey, even if it's just over to Brooklyn."
⑪ "BTSTU [Demo]," by Jai Paul
"Jai Paul put this up on his Myspace page, then BBC picked it up on Radio 1 and called it the 'Hottest Record in the World'—twice."
⑫ "Everything Happens to Me," by Chet Baker
"Chet Baker is my second-favorite trumpet player and my No. 1 favorite crooner. His voice is just so unique and casual. This song is a wry smile at your own bad luck."
⑬ "If I Were a Bell," by The Miles Davis Quintet
"Miles is my favorite trumpet player. From Relaxin' released on Prestige in 1958, this whole album is legendary hard bop. John Coltrane, Red Garland, Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones join Miles to make one of the most legendary jazz tracks of all time."
⑭ "Manhattan," by Blossom Dearie
"A super sweet jazz homage to the city I live in. Beautiful."
⑮ "MDMX," by Dieselboy and Gridlok
"Brand-new, hard-hitting drum 'n' bass from a living legend. I have always been a huge dance music fan and I remember driving to see Dieselboy in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at the Afterdeck in '01 or '02 with AK1200 and Dara. It was an open-air club with a pool on the third floor and absolutely crazy, sweaty business until 8 a..m He ripped the roof off the place—and now he comes to Betony."
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