I spend a lot of time listening to music. Whether it is in the car staring into space trying to brainstorm new solutions to the problems I’m working on, or at my workspace implementing those solutions, there is always music. Typically, It is but sound in the background, but I do understand that inspiration is gathered from the sounds, even if unintentional.
There are two vehicles I use to get music to my ears. The first is with my iPod. the second is through the service Last.fm. I know there are a ton of other internet radio providers out there, but I have a solid reason for choosing last.fm. Simply for the ability to “scrobble” music, both online and offline listening. What this means is Last.fm tracks my listening habits even if I am listening to my iPod. Each time I synch my iPod or iPhone, last.fm gathers a list of tracks I’ve listened to, how many times I’ve listened to it, and adds it to my recently played list. This information is then used to generate a personal radio station of music I am familiar with and new music that fits my overall musical tastes. I have discovered that I am beginning to turn to last.fm more often when listing to music than my own collection. You should check it out, and maybe we’ll hook-up!
Now for my love list. These are the artists and musicians that really get my brain moving.
Apoptygma Berzerk is an ebm/futurepop/synthrock musical group from Norway. It has achieved moderate commercial success with a unique brand of gloomy, danceable gothic synthpop, winning awards and top-10 spots in Germany and Scandinavia. – via last.fm
Crystal Castles consists of producer Ethan Kath and vocalist Alice Glass. They are named after the lyrics “The fate of the world is safe in Crystal Castles” and “Crystal Castles, the source of all power” both from the theme song for She-Ra’s fortress. Ethan Kath formed the band alone in December 2003, in Toronto, Canada. In April 2005, Glass recorded vocals over five original instrumentals by Kath. The band’s first single (“Alice Practice”) was actually a microphone test by Glass. She was not aware that the recording existed until London Uk’s Merok Records asked to release the track on vinyl. The release sold out instantly. NME Magazine has included their debut album in their “Top 50 Albums of the Decade” list at #39 – via last.fm
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, electronic music and several of its subgenres became a preferred musical style among European underground culture. It gained favor initially within major cities and eventually trickled into the continent’s more socially secluded regions. This new wave of music was discovered at different instances by a group of young friends living among the shadows of Helsingborg, a scenic municipality in western Sweden. Eskil Simonsson, Joakim Montelius, and Clas Nachmanson, three teenagers with mutual, youthful curiosities for science, philosophy, and matters of existence, were enthralled by the unique presentation and the emotional content offered through the music, specifically by that of bands such as Kraftwerk, The Human League, and by EBM pioneers Front 242 and Nitzer Ebb. – via last.fm
Boards of Canada
Boards of Canada have had an enormous influence on the ambient, downtempo and IDM scenes. They have frequently made reference to the warm, scratchy, artificial sounds of 1970s television. Indeed, the Sandison brothers admit to being inspired by the documentary films of the National Film Board of Canada, from which they take their name. The duo have recorded a few minor works under the name Hell Interface. Boards of Canada’s music has been used in several CSI episodes and on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim interlude shorts; small bits of their music have been used on the BBC program Top Gear for transitional music. – via last.fm
Ladytron are an electropop and new wave band formed in 1999 at Liverpool, UK by Helen Marnie (vocals, synths), Mira Aroyo (vocals, synths), Reuben Wu (synths), and Daniel Hunt (synths, guitar). All four members are also songwriters and producers of their music and sometimes play DJ sets (except Helen) each on their own. – via last.fm
Daft Punk is a multi Grammy Award-winning electronic music duo consisting of French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (born February 8, 1974) and Thomas Bangalter (born January 3, 1975). The duo is considered one of the most successful electronic music collaborations of all time, both in album sales and in critical acclaim. After Daft Punk reached significant popularity in the late 1990s house movement in France, other artists such as Air, Cassius, and Dimitri from Paris began to receive a similar amount of attention. – via last.fm
Kraftwerk (In English, “power plant”) is an electronic band founded in 1970 in Düsseldorf, Germany. They pioneered electronic music in the 1970s and are considered one of the most important and influential bands of their genre -often described as ‘the godfathers of electronic music”. Ralf Hütter (b. 1946, Krefeld, Germany; organ) and woodwind student Florian Schneider-Esleben (b. 1947, Düsseldorf, Germany; woodwind) met while they were studying improvised music in Düsseldorf, Germany. – via last.fm
Shiny Toy Guns
Shiny Toy Guns is an alternative/electronic band which formed in Los Angeles, California, United States in 2002. The band currently consists of Sisely Treasure (vocals), Gregori Chad Petree (vocals, guitar), Jeremy Dawson (synths, bass) and Mikey Martin (drums). Former vocalist Carah Faye Charnow left the band to pursue other musical interests in 2008 to be replaced by Treasure (who was formerly in the band Cooler Kids). – via last.fm
The pioneering force behind the rise of trip-hop, Massive Attack were among the most innovative and influential groups of their generation; their hypnotic sound — a darkly sensual and cinematic fusion of hip-hop rhythms, soulful melodies, dub grooves, and choice samples — set the pace for much of the dance music to emerge throughout the 1990s, paving the way for such acclaimed artists as Portishead, Sneaker Pimps, Morcheeba, UNKLE and Tricky, himself a Massive Attack alumnus. Their history dates back to 1983 and the formation of the Wild Bunch, one of the earliest and most successful sound-system/DJ collectives to arrive on the UK music scene; renowned for their seamless integration of a wide range of musical styles, from punk to reggae to R&B, the group’s parties quickly became can’t-miss events for the Bristol club crowd, and at the peak of their popularity they drew crowds so enormous that the local live music scene essentially ground to a halt. – via last.fm
Autechre is an English electronic music group consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both natives of Rochdale (near Manchester, England). They are one of the most prominent acts signed with Warp Records, a label known for its pioneering electronic artists. – via last.fm
Booth and Brown formed the group in 1987 while they were both living in Rochdale. They began by making and trading electro and hip-hop mixtapes, but gradually collected some cheap equipment (most notably a Casio SK-1 Sampler) and moved on to their own compositions. By the time Warp Records released their debut, Incunabula, they were employing a variety of electronic instruments to create their evolving style.
Who do you listen to & love?