June 1 Reviews / Work music

This was another crazy week. I didn't think I'd finish the podcasts, but stayed up past my bedtime. Ah...

In keeping insanely busy this week and trying to keep going with different music, I figured it would be a good discussion topic. What's the best music to listen to when you're trying to get some work done?

Commenting has been closed on this article.

Michael
non music post here, but is anyone else thoroughly enjoying the world cup

Kristian
Cool to see a review of The White Birch. Ola Fløttum's other band Salvatore is also well worth checking out.

Noname
Thanks Moka and Mr Cool for the names and the link, I'll check.

I think I create confusion with those percutions and loud thing. That was in comparison with standard classical stuff (not a final). From the few I heard there was plenty break, it was loud with an high use of percutions but not only from far and I didn't feel it experimental.

Moka
mmm, speaking of which, browse around UBU if you're still unsure, they have a huge library with samples of experimental and modern classical releases http://www.ubu.com/sound/index.html

Ezra
NEU!

Moka
mmm, speaking of which, browse around UBU if you're still unsure, they have a huge library with samples of experimental and modern classical releases http://www.ubu.com/sound/index.html

Moka
mmm, noname, try Unsuk chin or if you're thinking about really loud and experimental music then go for Adachi Tomomi.

almostcool
Hrmm. I will try to answer all the questions below, but my responses probably won't be in order...

First off, I basically make my choices about what to review based on what I have in my possession. Some things get sent to me, and others I buy. I like to have the whole CD (packaging and CD, because I still feel like they're linked somehow) before I review (basically, I don't review from MP3s only). Not doing the Mogwai review wasn't a direct choice I made, it's just that I've lost a bit of interest in them over the course of their past couple releases and I didn't spend the money to buy the new one.

On the other hand, sometimes there are weeks where I just feel like reviewing something I already own and love, which is how things like Steve Reich, Gorecki, Shelleyan Orphan and others have slipped into the archive.

This isn't always the case, but I _sometimes_ give preference to lesser-known artists over more well known. For instance, I have the new Built To Spill, and I had the latest Franz Ferdinand, but I figure that for the most part, everyone has already read a lot about those big name artists.

Lastly, I'm not sure if it's who you're looking for NoName, but there's a modern classical composer named Giya Kancheli who uses lots of big percussion and creates very mystical-sounding releases. They're not for everyone, but he has some great stuff.

Noname
To answer the topic, bedtime? Arg I go sleep then! ;-)

Noname
Michael, that was just my 2 cents, that doesn't worth a lot. :-)

Noname
Mister cool (well you hide quite well your name so you'll get the nick name!) I hadn't seen you comment about the review feedback in previous topic. Sure there's no problem that plenty different style are covered included some I have more difficulty to enjoy or that I don't enjoy at same level than you. In fact that's also why I'm reading this site, to discover new stuff and expand music discovery. About musical taste that differ, that can't be different, everybody has a unique musical taste or is a sheep. The point in the reviews is to be honest and have enough background, distance and curiosity and you do that quite well.

Michael
I agree noname, but in previous months Mogwai's "Government Commissions" was reviewed on this site . As was the likes of Herbet who is pretty well known where i come from at least. Basically, i would like to hear the opinions about album i truly love.

To finish off ive seen Mogwai live 3 times in the last 7 months and they truly are an astounding band

Noname
Moky or anybody knowing this stuff, about ontemporary classical music, I have heard a bit of music from a japanese composer, there was plenty percutions, quite violent and loud. But I didn't succeed to quote his name. He seems very known. Any idea?

Noname
Michael, sorry to mix to stuff that aren't my concern, I shouldn't but I can resist. Hell on me! (Or Hail to me if you prefer :-)

I'm not sure it's highly interesting to have a review about an old and very wellknown group and about an album that already get plenty light. Ha well just my 2 cents. :-)

Michael,
good to get feedback almostcool....

Was worried you were to busy to continue my favourite site on the web. Ive been reading ever since stumbling across a review of "Konigforst" by Gas in 2003.

Its good to know there are likeminded individuals about on the other side of the world from me. To be quite honest 75% of your reviews are new to me and i find very interesting.

I think the forums are a great idea and try to post most weeks. Keep up the GREAT work!!!!!!!!!!

One question, though...

How do you choose the albums that you review. I was dying for you to review "Mr Beast" by Mogwai (i am in absolute awe of this band). Also, i think you would like Epic45 (unless you already know about them)

Anyway Great site
Cheers
Hail Hail

peter
Here is a topic idea: What is the most you've ever paid for an album (cd / vinyl / tape) and/or how lond did it take you to hunt it down?

Moka
sorry for not being around almostcool I've read your reviews and you've got some good albums in there.

Warm electronica or contemporary classical music will do the job for me. Lately I've been gaining huge interest for modern classicals like Ingmar Marshall and Osvaldo Golijov. I'll do a playlist on the blog soon I guess and I'll let you know when it's ready so you can listen to some of this stuff. Ah yes, it wasn't that important when it came out and I rarely listen to it but brian eno's "another day on earth" from 2005 has done the trick lately when I'm working.

almostcool
Sorry, it wasn't that I ran out of weekly topics, it was more that people haven't been commenting lately. I'm not mad, it's totally understandable as it's summer and everyone seems to be busier and/or more occupied with things. I just figured I'd keep on posting my reviews and maybe start a new topic every other week or so.

Oh, and feel free to talk about whatever you want in here, obviously. Your topic idea is a good one, I think I'll give it a full post next week and hopefully get some more conversation on it.

Michael
ill start it off by recommending a great band from Scotland taht most people will not knoe about:

.... Uncle John & Whitelock

Very dark, almost bluesy and an excellent vocalist that sounds like a deranged madman lovechild spawned by Nick Cave and Jim Morrison

Enjoy

Michael
I realise your busy and all but......


if you've ran out off weekly topics almostcool, i suggest a post concerning great bands from everyones local area. Ive noticed the cosmopolitan of people who visit this website, and i love hearing about bands i would normally never get to know about

dedalot
for working on the computer i love listening to instrumental stuff like explosions in the sky and godspeed. I also really enjoy some ambient aphex songs like stone in focus and blue calx.
for biking and excersize related activities i tend to listen to fast and energetic music. supper furry animals, built to spill, dino jr, yo la tengo ect.

weis
claylord... kill kill kill your grass! you don't need it and neither does the natural world! Be a friend to the birds and the bees and plant those gorgeous native plants instead!!! That goes for anyone else out there in almostcool land who owns a slice of land. http://www.for-wild.org/
(sorry for getting off path)
While I'm tending to my Foxglove Beardtongues, Purple Coneflowers and Little Bluestems I enjoy listening to Loren Mazzacane Connors, Boxhead Ensemble and John Coltrane.

CLAYLORD
I've been bustin out in the yizard, sawin, cutting and a waterin. Killin what there was of my grass. Hammerin nails and paintin walls and all I could hear was kids a playing and dogs a barkin!
But I do enjoy a good bit of the NecoCase and Loquat. Im a sucker for that junk. Neutral Milk Hotel and We Are Scientists have crept up my craw, Orangers been remindin me of TMBG. good figure.
PS- I LOVE COLEMAN!

peter
I've had the vitaminsforyou album for some four weeks now (pre-ordered it, and received it three weeks before its releases?. Long? Yes. However, i don't feel like its long. I own both his albums and his EP, and they are all over far sooner than I want them to be, all in a good way though. I guess I want him to keep going, on and on. Strange.

As for music at work, it's larger dependent on mood. But, when I am at home working, I generally stick to "electronic" music or sample based music. when i need to really think, i play isis. when i need a break, rock.

richie
generally, i don't listen to music while i work. especially new music. i can't focus on both.

Noname
I feel that listening music when I work broke my concentration and lowdown a lot my (relative) efficiency. I don't know if that's related, but in general I don't like listening new music I don't know already well when I'm doing something else. It's because I feel I lost some discovery pleasure when it's new music and I'm not contrated on it. But in practice I do it anyway quite often when I'm doing lazy/leasure computer stuff like browsing Internet and reading foums.

weis
Thanks for putting in the extra effort on the Podcasts. I look forward to them every friday morning.
I just finished cutting back the invasive thicket in my backyard and my soundtrack was Ekkhard Ehlers, Heroin and Jackie-O Motherfucker's, Change.

Michael
Forgot to sign my name on the A Silver Mt Zion post. Anyway, music for working.........

Ode-Ley by Beck was good during my university years. But i prefer putting itunes on random shuffle when working


Saw A Silver Mt Zion last night and amazingly it was only their 80th performance. There was about 500 people crammed into a venue that was far to small. The band were huddled together on stage and produced a mind-blowing performance, ranging from campfire chanting to full on Godspeed ecstasy. The violins and cello were beautiful and the double bass thudded and shuddered right through me. Particular highlights were "Horses In The Sky..." and "Blind , Blind, Blind". If they are coming your way go and see them, they are outstanding

Alex
I seem to listen to Calla a lot when I'm at work.

Samuel
I agree that when writing I have to have something instrumental, as singing is a distraction. Anything by Steve Reich or Arvo Part is ideal. Though funkier stuff like Can or Miles Davis also works. One of my favourites is the first Neu! album, as its mix of propulsion and beautiful ambience is perfect for motivation and concentration. Electronica is also good: Boards of Canada, Two Lone Swordsmen, or Mouse on Mars’ Glam record are all favourites. Or if absolute concentration is required, maybe something even less eventful, like Brian Eno’s On Land.

almostcool
I will separate this question into two parts, because this past week had good portions of each...

When I'm outside working in the yard, I like to listen to slightly louder (but not too heavy) stuff with lyrics that I can sometimes sing along to. Just about any Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds will do, as will Fugazi. Some other stuff that works is some Broken Social Scene and Caribou.

When I'm working on detailed computer stuff (coding mainly), I have to have something instrumental and preferrably minimal. In these cases, Steve Reich ("Music For 18 Musicians" and "Drumming") can't be beat, as well as both the Heroes and Low Symphonies from Philip Glass. Or, if I need things to be a little more banging, I move on over to Richie Hawtin's "Decks, EFX, and a 909," "DE:9 Closer to the Edit," or Michael Mayer's Fabric mix.