Psychedelic trance forum Psynews recently ran a poll where they asked their 10,000+ users to vote for the best uptempo (psytrance) and best downtempo (psybient) albums on the noughties. Here are the albums that topped the poll, with Spotify links!
I have my HTC Desire wired up to listen to in the car when I’m commuting to and from work each day. I’m often not in the mood for music until later on in the day, so to keep me entertained I subscribed to a selection of podcasts (a podcast is a kind of radio show you can subscribe and listen to whenever you want). I was initially overwhelmed at the sheer volume, variety, and quality of podcasts out there: most bad, some good, and a few essential selections. After checking out many different podcasts over the past few months, I’ve whittled it down to what I think are the very best technology, media, science, comedy and sci-fi podcasts around. Read on for my pick of the Top 10 Best Podcasts!
If you read this blog then chances are you love music. Music has inspired me throughout my life: in fact according to my mum, when I was a toddler I pointed my chubby little baby finger at the family record player and spoke my very first word: “ec-cord!” I’ve listened to a lot of records since then. And cassette tapes. And CDs. And MP3s. And Spotify streams. I’ve been to hundreds of gigs, sat through recording sessions, manned the merch stalls and dreamed of being a pop star too. But I always failed completely to learn any musical instrument or write any songs; I’ve learned the hard way that it’s best to leave that to the professionals. So here then are my Top 10 favourite tracks by a few of those talented people. Each one is a song that instils a sense of awe and wonder in me, and a delight that gives me goosebumps and pleasure like only music can. I hope you like them.
Last month, I asked about 60 bands and music folk I admire to send me a list of their Top 10 favourite songs, with a few words to say why that song was especially important to them. I said it was for a feature I had planned for my Spotify-injected music blog. Twenty-four of those musical maestros sent in their lists with commentary that was at turns enlightening, amusing, heart-warming, and above all inspiring.
It really has been a pleasure and honour to feature these guys: I want to thank you all for taking the time to respond and for coming up with such excellent and varied lists. You’ve opened my eyes (and hopefully a few reader’s eyes too) to the range and depth of musical inspiration and admiration behind some of my favourite artists around today. Respect!
Spotibot is the Spotify-powered music-discovery service that took the Best Overall trophy in this year’s Spotify Community Site Awards. From its early days as a URL and Twitter tool for Spotify, Spotibot has grown into a suite of services for all Spotify users, most notably the Playlist Generator is the ideal resource when you’re looking for something new to listen to.
I asked Spotibot developer Andy Smith to tell us about his Top 10 favourite songs. With picks including The Flaming Lips, Belle and Sebastian, and Captain Kirk (!), Andy’s list is clearly a labour of love and his passion for music shines through in the track comments. Check it out below!
Parralox are the multi-talented John von Ahlen and Amii, two antipodean popsters who blend chart-friendly dance music with synthpop and Hi-NRG to produce a unique contemporary sound. I love these guys, I think they’ve produced some of the very best music to come out in the past few year. I reviewed their Isn’t It Strange single back in March and was honestly impressed: it’s chock-full of brilliant mixes and other exclusive tracks. With single Supermagicdue out to coincide with their much-anticipated appearance at the Infest festival at the end of the month, and with 3rd album Metropolis planned for release in November, Parralox are a band whose prolific output is a delightful reward for their fans.
I got in touch with John and asked him to let us know his Top 10 favourite songs. With typical attention to detail, he replied with ten songs but then tweaked and changed his list several times before deciding on twelve songs with a plea to make it a Top 50 next time 😉 Here then are John’s chosen tracks!
Freezepop are an American electropop band who released their first album Freezepop Forever in 2000. They’ve since released two more albums and a slew of excellent EPs, remix albums and singles. Freezepop’s tech-savvyness and geek-friendly attitude has resulted in many of their songs being featured in videogames like Frequency, Amplitude, Guitar Hero and Rock Band. I’ve been a huge fan of these guys since the beginning: their quirky fun sound and East-coast cyberchic is the perfect antidote for Scotland’s bland indie guitar bands and dreary weather. After a slight personnel shuffle Freezepop are now finishing off their shiny new album called Imaginary Friends, planned for release in November. I asked singer-songwriter and founder member Liz Enthusiasm for a list of her Top 10 favorite songs. You might be surprised by some of her choices: check it out below!
Electronically Yours is one of the longest-running synth-pop websites. Originally a Human League fansite, EY has since grown to encompass all-things synthpop and electropop, focusing on both established acts as well as up-and-coming bands. Site owner and editor Orac is ably assisted by his team of contributors, chief of whom is the enigmatic Babooshka. As well as running the website, Orac masterminds the Electronically Yours record label which has put out some fantastic releases, including the superb compilation Electronically Yours Volume 1. Gorgeously packaged, this 2x CD features the very best of current female-fronted analogue electro.
I asked EY for a list of their Top 10 current favourite tracks. Orac and Babooshka provided five picks each along with some excellent commentary. Check it out below!
Tenek are Geoff Pinckney and Pete Steer, a UK-based synth band with a sound that features shades of classic electronica fused with a contemporary twist: synthpop with futurepop leanings. Debut album Stateless was one of my favourite albums of 2009 and I recently reviewed (and loved!) their new single. Tenek’s highly-anticipated follow-up album On The Wire will be released next month; you can pre-order it here. I asked Pete for a list of his Top 10 favourite tracks: check it out below, with inspired picks from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, White Lies, and Ultravox!
Vision Talk are a Swedish electro band who recently released their second album Elevation. I instantly liked it: it took their earlier italo disco sound and evolved it into a Scandinavian synthpop vibe. It’s a fun pop album that’d I’d recommend to anyone into electropop or futurepop, especially fans of S.P.O.C.K. and Apoptygma Berzerk. Unfortunately this may be the final album from Vision Talk, as they are thinking of moving on to other projects. That’d be a shame, but at least they’ve left us with two great albums (both on Spotify). I asked the band what their 10 favourite tracks were. Songwriter Krister Petersson replied with his list: read on to find out more!