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  • Music for working

    Mag 27 2007, 21:46

    Often people have advised that you should not listen to music and work. At 14 years old, i thought it would be okay to listen to maybe Arch Enemy or Rage Against the Machine and revise for my GCSEs. I soon found that the advice was right.

    But being 17 years now, i have managed to find some great work-compatible music. A large majority of it is , and even (not-so-harsh).

    My latest discovery is the incredible Birchville Cat Motel.
    His long, compositions are almost trance inducing, but not too intrusive. I think its perfect, and sometimes it creates a good background atmosphere.

    A more drone like find is Thuja.
    This is also good for working, but can sometimes be especially dark sounding and may put some people off. However, i still include it in the mix due to its great continuous.... grooves?

    I have only ever heard one album by Rhys Chatham, and it fits right in with this mix.
    A Crimson Grail is quite minimalist, performed by 400 (?) electric guitarists. It is very soothing music and by no means harsh on the ears. Sometimes, though, it can give that sleepy effect.

    Muslimgauze is another fairly minimalist artist that i find is good for working to.
    The steady beats and atmospheric background sounds create a good flowing feel.

    Now, i am a huge Sun City Girls fan, and i have listened to them long enough to know they can provide for everybody. Their one album Sumatran Electric Chair is full of -amazing- soundscapes and exotic sounds and almost transport you to another country whilst still allowing you to focus.

    Many of us will proceed with caution when including Merzbow on a playlist, especially on one such as this. Merzbow, similarly to Sun City Girls, has a huge (but less diverse) catalogue. And with his insanely harsh compositions, come his less abrasive ones. It is hard for me to choose a particular album but i will recommend Merzbuddha. The noise is at first quite hard to get used to, but it eventually sweeps you away like a giant wave, and sinks into the background. I also recommend (some) Hijokaidan. Especially 'Sound of the Sea' which i often find on my working playlist.

    Some of you might be asking why i havent included some artists such as Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky.. Usually i find Post Rock to be too epic or emotional to work too and often distracts me. But each to their own!

    Finally, i will mention . Now, this is obviously questionable and does not apply to all as a first preference for working music, but i have actually found that it works almost as well as other Ambient music.
    Obviously, i wouldnt include anything as aggressive as Peter Brotzmann or Borbetomagus. I often find myself adding less harsh free jazz to my playlist because it somehow encourages focus for me, despite being so hectic . I do however have it quite low, so it isnt as intrusive.

    I also recommend... Pan Sonic and Boards of Canada.
    Pan Sonic in particular tends to be so quiet and minimal that it is almost un noticable.
    Be sure to put on something quite manic, or just upbeat afterwards. Always helps.

    Tell me what you think guys..
  • Drone/Minimal Power

    Ott 8 2006, 13:00

    I have just heard some amazingly repetative music on last.fm and it has inspired me to write.
    Whilst on my recommendation radio, i was suddenly plunged into 14 minutes of the word 'light' and about 2 chords.
    Sheets of Easter.
    It tests your patience.

    I also heard some great ambience electronic drone..
    Check out Bubblegone
    And also Aidan Baker
    Great for sleeping to, im sure.