This is the most cohesive collection of all of the biggest, loudest, and most melodic tracks that have been inspiring me this year. And on a personal level, this is proof that I can fully manage a three deck CDJ setup.
Track list is a bit mixed cuz it’s not suuuper clear when something becomes “a mashup” and when it’s “here are two songs playing at the same time for several minutes”. I’ll generally call something a mashup if I start with one song, bring in another, and then take it back out and “finish” with the original song. But if it’s just 1, 1+2, 2, that’s just a long blend?
this is a loud, noisy, possibly too distracting to be a work music playlist work music playlist. like you need to have more focus today than you’d get from pulling up youtube, but you also don’t exactly need to tackle new problems for that matter. the nightmare youngest sibling of agdqlike and I Hide Down In My Corner Because I Like My Corner. the playlist that made me add hyperpop and drone to the categories list. the playlist version of a speedrun of metroid prime that you immediately had to hit pause on because you got too busy and then had three cups of coffee. a day where you feel like you’re drowning in email and the only way out is through and you need to be enveloped in music mirroring this frenzy and the frenzy may or may not be real. is the game cursed is the speedrun cursed are you cursed these are not the important questions just vibe for a bit.
some work music tunes for having no attention span, not checking twitter, daydreaming of starting a new drunk no pants 1 point to intellect playthrough, not checking twitter
i started writing a Thing here about the loss of the preservation as a possibility and the complications that poses for curation but sammie suggested that most people probably just accept ephemerality as the internet so nvm this is a playlist for getting back into your groove when you’ve been distracted by something unfixable
(title is based on a joke made by Kreal on twitter that I can’t find because it’s been like 3 years anyway you should watch Kreal Tube it’s good)
seeking to fill the void left in the wake of another completed SGDQ? great news: trash garbage is here to provide! this one is a semi-high-energy background noise featuring words that don’t make much sense, just like GDQ speedruns.
this is the more chaotic sister playlist of our twitch streams playlist. a similar concept of work music characterized by the presence of human voices throughout (but not vocals, mostly), but rowdier and less polished. if i can’t really get into twitch streams is the analogue of half-watching a stranger play video games, agdqlike is the analogue of half-watching a crowd watch a stranger play video games. it’s not a video game music playlist, that shit’d be unlistenable.
Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel My Year of Rest and Relaxation depicts a character who decides what she really needs, at the deepest levels in her soul of souls, is to just take a nap for a year. Her early attempts at the medication experiments required to do so leave her in intermittent and disorienting states of consciousness, begrudgingly awake, waiting for sleep to return in an emotional cocoon of old movies, animal crackers, and, paradoxically, shitty coffee from the bodega downstairs. It’s a hell of a mood. I truly can’t decide if I’ve had afternoons that felt more like this in the office before the pandemic or working from home during it. (It is not after the pandemic. It is still a pandemic.) (I sort of assume that sentence will always be accurate. It will never not be the pandemic now.)
A hazy playlist blend of work music, sometimes instrumental, sometimes incomprehensible. Ranges from the experimental free jazz of Harriet Tubman to the experimental noise pop of Sleigh Bells. Ranges from the soothing wisps of Grizzly Bear to soothing shoegaze of Broken Social Scene. There are two Grimes songs, and I’m sorry.
In the early 2000s, there was this feeling – which has been well documented by many peoplemuch smarter than me – that the technological changes of the 90s would result in us all rapidly ascending into some sort of world slightly better than our own. (ed. note: hilarious)
This also informed a visual and audio aesthetic that particularly permeated games and tech ads of the time, of which (at the risk of sounding like an Ernest Cline protagonist) I was a voracious consumer. Once you’ve played as much beatmania IIDX as I have, there’s a certain kind of sound that just feels instantly comfy and familiar. Luckily, because it’s 2021, there are plenty of people who’ve grown up in the exact same boat as me, except they’re also musically gifted.
These songs are reminiscent of this time, this feeling, and this pre-rapid ascendance. Enjoy our slightly better world!
songs for staring at your computer in deep focus on something you can sink your teeth into but aren’t exactly enthusiastic about and you know it’s gonna take all afternoon so you need to put your headphones on and sink in
songs for maybe you’re also kinda angry or bummed out or hell even fired up you do you babe
songs to serve as a conduit for your wallowing into productivity shit yeah it’s time for the hustle grind
songs for deep dark white noise
not a mountain goats playlist, although the lyrics of “Amy AKA Spent Gladiator 1” could basically have been copy/pasted here and it would have evoked the same mood that i’m trying to capture here for this 3-hour, post-metal, dub techno, noise pop work playlist
So, my all-time favorite album is the soundtrack to SimCity 3000.
This sounds like a joke and I have no way to assure you it is not. So instead, I’m going to talk about what I like about it and what I tried to do with this playlist. Also, I think I might talk about Trash Garbage a little, because it’s my blog and I get to put whatever I want here until Matthew removes it during copyediting.
The reason I want to talk about Trash Garbage a bit is that when I sat down to earnestly talk about why I had picked songs out for this playlist I had a fleeting thought of “wow, how unlike this blog this is”. Which is true, but it doesn’t mean that this is out of place. What I liked about Trash Garbage from the inception is that Matthew and I really never had any intention of what this should be. The bulk of our conversations about this blog essentially boil down to one of us saying “this feels pretty Trash Garbage” and the other going “I agree, post it”. It’s that sort of creative freedom that’s actually enabled me to try doing some of this, which I would not have considered otherwise.
Bringing us back to the soundtrack to SimCity 3000, AKA my favorite album. Last year, I went through some personal hardships and needed something that didn’t sound like anything else I was already listening to. I discovered this soundtrack. I’m not really sure how; I think I had listened to other game soundtracks and this came up as related. (ed note but still fuck algorithms don’t forget this.) I didn’t know anything about SimCity (a thing that came up today, when I mentioned that I would post this, was Matthew saying “the description should be like an in-game SimCity notification or something!” to which I responded “I’ve never actually played SimCity”), but somehow found myself charmed by a very optimistic and charming album full of music that I think perfectly matches the idea of what some people endeavor to achieve with ambient music, creating songs that are fundamentally interesting to focus on, but completely capable of blending into the background. I became fascinated with this album, and it started to score every workday, and then eventually started to become the soundtrack to the time I was spending at home.
But obviously at some point you just listen to an album enough that you crave a little variety, and I found myself in the strange position of wanting to listen not to the SimCity 3000 soundtrack, but to music that sounded like the SimCity 3000soundtrack. Upset I couldn’t find those albums readily existing, I started to pull tracks that reminded me of it into a small playlist. Not only does this playlist contain music that simply sounds like SimCity’s soundtrack (“The Sheriff”, “The Mirage”) it also contains works that simply remind me of the plastic utopia of the Sims universe (all the James Ferraro that made it on here) and, finally, songs that the original composer, Jerry Martin, mentioned inspired him when he was composing this soundtrack (“Zombie”, “A Remark You Made”)
It’s obvious that I recommend listening to the original soundtrack as well, but I also feel obligated to point out that Jerry Martin runs his own website where he occasionally makes high-quality downloads of this music available for free. So maybe check that out, if this is your kinda thing.
sounds like: chill work vibes, a lightly chatty friend you can just put in the corner of your screen and not really pay attention to, a parasocial relationship
my romantic notion of a twitch stream may be more simply just a virtual approximation of a coffee shop (remember those? oh, covid), of working or reading while surrounded by the light conversation and arbitrary behavior of strangers. it doesn’t appear that this is what twitch actually is (since in practice lots of streamers do talk “with” you, reading and reacting to the chat), but this playlist is a musical adaptation of the atmosphere i was hoping for. one of the more literal playlists, the thesis here is slower/chiller work music characterized by the presence of human voices throughout. not vocals (with one or two exceptions), but exploring other ways that voices are used as instruments and woven into music.
pairs well with work that’s going to take a minute, watching someone not totally know where they’re going in dark souls, tuesdays