Category Archives: music

Zoë Keating – Into the Trees

Ever since I’d stumbled upon her live performance of Escape Artist for Wired, I’ve been looking forward to be able to actually buy the song. Now the album it’s on, called “Into the Trees”, is out. =)
It’s full of instrumental cello music, layered very deeply using things like loop-pedals (a bit like DubFX for example) and other techno-thingamajigs.
Nice mixtures of sweeping arrangements with rhythms and staccato / picked sequences, reminds me of the music used in Braid in places.

Highly recommended. Listen / buy here.

Regina Spektor – Far (+misc)

Piano-pop music (a bit similar to Ben Folds). Really like the album, but the incessant repetition of some of the lyrics goes on my nerves, as do the Hallelujahs.
Stand-outs: Dance Anthem of the 80’s, Eet, The Calculation.

Other music I’ve recently picked up:
65daysofstatic – The Fall of Math
The Tings Tings – We Started Nothing
Anna Ternheim – Seperation Road
Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim

Music for 2007

While coding during the last month I’ve been listening to a lot of music via Pandora (a music recommendation service / internet radio station). I’m listing some of the stand-out tracks / artists I’ve enjoyed here

  • Röyksopp – The Understanding (Norwegian, kinda groovy, kinda poppy)
  • Amos Lee – Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight (relaxed)
  • UNKLE – Reign (electronic strings + big beats)
  • Crooked Fingers – Dignity and Shame (piano with slightly odd vocals)
  • Cat Power – I Found a Reason (via V for Vendetta)
  • The Prodigy – Voodoo People (Pendulum Remix) (more aggressive and faster than the original)
  • Kasabian – Club Foot (from Tony Hawk’s Project 8 trailer)
  • Frou Frou – Details (pop-rock with nice female vocals, now part of Imogen Heap)
  • M83 – Teen Angst (from the A Scanner Darkly trailer)
  • Alpinestars – Carbon Kid (from the Test Drive Unlimited soundtrack, sounds like guest vocals from Placebo)
  • Rosie Thomas – When We Were Small (Farewell, Wedding Day, Bicycle Tricycle)
  • Ryan Star – Songs from the Eye of an Elephant (piano ballads)
  • Beazley Phillips Band – Shooting Ghosts (see above)
  • Camera Obscura – Pen and Notebook (female vocals + piano)
  • Apparat – Komponent (supposedly intelligent dance music (IDM), reminded me a lot of The Notwist)
  • Apparat & Ellen Allien – Orchestra of Bubbles (this actually is IDM, song tip: Rotary)
  • Statistics – Leave Your Name & Often Lie (alternative rock with some electronica, try A Number, Not a Name or Nobody Knows Your Name)

Pandora (and other music)

I’ve accidentally stumbled onto Pandora, a twisted combination of a subscription-paid custom-playlist radio station and music discovery service. You enter an artist or song name and it starts playing “similar” music; you can have several of these stations to which you can add more and more interests. The first 10 hours are free, and after that it’s either $12/quarter or $36/year, which IMO is rather fair. You can pause and skip tracks (skipping is limited to a certain number of songs per hour). On the technical side, it just needs flash player 7 and streams in 128kpbs.
Onto a few recommendations. For a few songs I’ve bothered adding iTunes Music Store links simply for convenience:

What’s new…

A bit of product placement:
The new Ben Folds album “Songs for Silverman” is out (in the iTunes Music Store as well — I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought a physical CD), the same goes for Trackmania Sunrise (at least in the UK, Germany is due this Friday, US some-when in May), a fast-paced puzzle/racing game only available for PC; well worth it in any case (EuroGamer review).
Also out this Friday is Apple’s new iteration of MacOS X, Tiger; whether that’s worth paying for is up to each individual; I plan on trying out the overhauled developer tools to finally port my wavelet-toolkit…

TaQ – Electro Tuned

Over the past few days I’ve taken a liking to TaQ – Electro Tuned in Dancing Stage Unleashed (on Easy ;)). It’s a song I had positively hated before, but now that I “get” squeaky bits (3 notes / steps in a slightly off-beat fashion), it has become immensely enjoyable. It also does not hurt that the song reminds me of the P.N.03 soundtrack. 😀

iTunes Music Store

I had an extended romp through the newly opened (in England, France and Germany that is — not really an “European” launch) iTunes music store. It is now obvious to me why there is quite a bit of buzz about it. The prices (and more importantly the terms of use) are fair, the selection is decent (by far not perfect — especially the omission of independent labels hurts. Also some artists only seem to feature a subsets of their albums); but what is IMO most important is the ease of use and the excellent integration with iTunes: It is actually fun to buy music. To proove the point, I ended up buying Natalie Merchant’s “Ophelia” album (which I found via the “Thick as Thieves” track in my library)…

He’ll be my Hero

Nintendo / Sega ought to get their asses in gear and publish an F-Zero GX soundtrack, the music is awesome! Until that happens, you can get some very nice game-rips here. FilePlanet needed a bit of convincing to give me all the files, but after circumventing their subscription / bandwidth-limitation system (which blatantly tells you that the requested files cannot be found although they are there!) with a bit of URL-fiddling, all is good.