Line Out Music & the City at Night

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Writing Music

Posted by on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 5:09 PM

Okay, Line Out smarties, I once again need your help.

I listen to music when I write. This music must be close to word-free, and maintain a steady-ish sound/vibe.

Previous champions of the writing music genre that I have subsequently played into the ground and back: Gas' Pop, My Bloody Valentine's Loveless, The Essential Fripp & Eno, assorted Boards of Canada, assorted Steve Reich, J. Dilla's Donuts, Four Tet's Rounds.

(Records that you think might fit the bill but don't: Burial (too jumpy and attention-grabbing in its jumpiness), various beloved African records (just because the words aren't in English doesn't mean they're not distracting), Tom Ze (both previous reasons apply).)

But really: Pop, Loveless, and Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians are the pinnacles of the genre as I know it so far, and I NEED MORE.

Thank you for your help.


Comments (28) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Anything Terry Riley did in the '60s and '70s.
Aphex Twin's two Selected Ambient Works albums.
Edward Larry Gordon's Celestial Vibration.
Anything by Jon Hassell, including his collab with Brian Eno, Possible Musics.

More later.
Posted by Dave Segal on July 20, 2011 at 5:20 PM · Report this
Grant Brissey, Emeritus 2
Fuck Buttons, Tarot Sport
CAVE, Neverendless

Those are the two getting the job done for me most recently.
Posted by Grant Brissey, Emeritus on July 20, 2011 at 5:25 PM · Report this
The Alps - III
The Album Leaf - One Day I'll Be on Time
Helios - Eingya
Mountains - Choral
Pantha du Prince - Black Noise
Posted by djres on July 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM · Report this
DavidG 4
Pelt - Ayahuasca
COIL - Time Machines
Terry Riley - Shri Camel, Rainbow in Curved Air
Can/Tago Mago - YMMV
Cluster & Eno, Harmonia & Eno
Popol Vuh
Posted by DavidG on July 20, 2011 at 5:57 PM · Report this
danhowes 5
Any album by Ratatat

Nick Cave's score from The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Fever Ray
Posted by danhowes on July 20, 2011 at 6:02 PM · Report this
matt 6
Try instrumental versions of Dan The Automator albums, like Dr. Octagon - Instrumentalyst; 2K7 Instrumentals; Lovage - Music To Make Love To Your Old Lady By (Instrumental Version).
Posted by matt on July 20, 2011 at 6:09 PM · Report this
Estey 7
Wow, I was just listening to "Donuts" while writing. Cosmic!

Here's some of mine:

Philip Jeck and William Basinski, "Vinyl Requiem"
Lounge Lizards, "Voice Of Chunk"
Gong, "Camembert Electrique"
Gavin Bryars, "The Sinking Of The Titanic"
Rip, Rig, & Panic, "God"
Steinski: "What Does It All Mean?"

Posted by Estey on July 20, 2011 at 6:09 PM · Report this
cosby 8
Anything from Eno's Ambient series would be good. I think I like the least regarded albums in the series, 'The Plateaux Of Mirror' and 'Day Of Radiance', most but they are all great. You should get the Gas boxed set if you like 'Pop', all four albums are uniformly good in my opinion. Future Sound of London's 'ISDN' and 'Lifeforms' (album, not maxi-single) are both amazing.

I've been listening to a lot of Sun Ra recently and that's been a soothing listen to me - I don't think other people would describe it that way.

For newer stuff, I quite like Echospace, Monolake ('Hongkong'! Wow!), Shackleton, Clubroot, and Vaccine. Andrea Parker's 'Kiss My Arp' from the late 90s is one of the best Mo Wax albums no one ever heard in my opinion. If you look around, you can find an instrumental version of the album that was released to the Japanese market (the US version on Beggars Banquet only has a few vocal cuts).
Posted by cosby on July 20, 2011 at 6:12 PM · Report this
levide 9
Posted by levide on July 20, 2011 at 6:52 PM · Report this
Segal 10
I will second mentions of Mountains, Pelt, Echospace, and William Basinski.
I would add Ariel Kalma's Osmose and anything by Zomes (solo project of Asa Osborne, ex-guitarist of Lungfish).
Posted by Segal on July 20, 2011 at 7:46 PM · Report this
It's on the mellow side, but you might try The Sight Below's album: Glider. Might improve your writing too.
Posted by nightlifejitters on July 20, 2011 at 8:21 PM · Report this
blip 12
Holy Fuck 'LP' [might be a little distracting, but probably no more so than 'Loveless']
Tino 'Tino's Breaks Vol. 1&2' [downtempo dubby breaks with some scattered vocal snippets]
Various 'Eleven Phases - Detroit Compilation' [a couple not-so-great tracks with vocals but the rest is instrumental hip hop by Detroit techno producers]
Posted by blip on July 20, 2011 at 9:51 PM · Report this
Ill second Coil's Time Machines. Also thirding the Echospace/ Rod Modell/ Intrusion CV313 (basically you are looking for what calls Dub Techno or any Basic Channel rip-offs) and for ambient totally try Basinski. And then move on to some of the recent stuff on Taylor Duprees 12k label.

I would then politely add Deadbeat. Another ambient/Dub Techno producer form Montreal who has truly been knocking it out of the park recently. If you wanted more local you could try Loscill from Vancover, or of course our very own The Sight Below.

Good Motorik Kkrautrok is also great to work to. Lately I have been really rocking Jonas Reinhardt.
Posted by mtallen on July 20, 2011 at 10:06 PM · Report this
Rodrigo y Gabriela is my go-to for writing.
Posted by Quetzal on July 20, 2011 at 10:30 PM · Report this
Mogwai, anything by Mogwai, but especially their latest live album "Special Moves". Christian Scott's "Yesterday You Said Tomorrow", Robert Glasper's "In My Element", and Esperanza Spaulding's "Chamber Music Society".
Posted by Relax And Aspire on July 20, 2011 at 10:35 PM · Report this
Mount Analog
NIN, Ghosts
Brad Dunn has some great instrumentals
Some stuff I've done.
Posted by paulus on July 20, 2011 at 11:50 PM · Report this
Posted by 07wsf on July 20, 2011 at 11:53 PM · Report this
Celer, Jeff Greinke, yes on Monolake. On the droney side of things are Phill Niblock, Eliane Radigue, Aidan Baker. Fennesz & Sakamoto collaborations. Rapoon, O Yuki Conjugate...
Posted by damon creed on July 20, 2011 at 11:56 PM · Report this
Also, don't know when you're doing this writing, but if it's between 9pm and 6am monday-thursday nights, KVCU from Boulder has endless ambient music streaming. It sometimes veers toward some other genres (techno, glitch, dub, etc) but always finds its way back to washes of ambience.
Posted by paulus on July 21, 2011 at 12:07 AM · Report this
Everything Gas has ever made!
All the Twin Peaks soundtracks.
Posted by the shape on July 21, 2011 at 12:41 AM · Report this
EricD 21
Saycet. All day, every day.
Posted by EricD on July 21, 2011 at 7:21 AM · Report this
I rely on the Do Make Say Think catalog for this type of thing.
Posted by Angry Sam on July 21, 2011 at 8:31 AM · Report this
Gas - self-titled is one I listen to over and over.

Brian Eno - Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks.

LCD Soundsystem - 45:33 is great, not much singing.
Posted by ambient_lover on July 21, 2011 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Geotic: Mend
Geotic: Hearth
beautifully peaceful. And melodically/harmonically interesting Re: reich, gas etc.
Posted by Tonight Sky on July 21, 2011 at 10:27 AM · Report this
Posted by ohbalto on July 21, 2011 at 11:26 AM · Report this
Eluvium's entire catalog on shuffle.
Posted by Grease Wizard on July 21, 2011 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Has no one mentioned Eyvind Kang yet?

I have one record called Virginal Coordinates which is great ambient stuff, and one he did with Tucker Martine that's a little more structured and melodic. Both great reading/writing music.
Posted by cb on July 22, 2011 at 4:56 PM · Report this
'Loveless' is far from word-free.
Posted by legacy builder on July 23, 2011 at 6:12 PM · Report this

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