Over the last few years, I have been unscientifically monitoring my listening habits while I work, and have observed a few trends.
One of the best parts of being a designer is the creative state I am always in. Not only do I get to spend the day playing with page layouts, mixing color combinations and experimenting with typography, but I also get paid for it.
Over the last few years, I have been unscientifically monitoring my listening habits while I work, and have observed a few trends. In general, when I am just designing at a regular pace, I like just about anything, from ambient/tribal stuff to New Wave to techno. Since my tastes are fairly eclectic, iTunes’ Party Shuffle can get pretty interesting. (Seriously, ever heard Cat Stevens fade into 16 Volt?)
However, when I am under the gun, nothing gets me going like fast electronic music—either drum’n’bass or progressive trance. Anything with a fast beat just makes me work faster.
When I am writing, I have to listen to instrumental music. Too often I found my inner narrative completely cross-wired with whatever words were being sung, and had to turn off the music or risk writing lyrics right into my article.
Over the past few weeks, I have been enjoying the following CDs:
- Tosca: Dehli 9. An amazing 2-disc set of downtempo. The first disc is mostly great beats with some minor vocals, the second is very classical-influenced ambient material. Good background cerebral stuff.
- Modest Mouse: Good News For People Who Love Bad News. One of the few contemporary rock albums I’ve enjoyed in some time. Bizarre songs and rambunctious instrumentation makes for some good creative music.
- Cake: Pressure Chief. I have loved this band since Motorcade of Generosity, and this album does not disappoint. Classic Cake songwriting, and slightly weirder than previous stuff.
Other discs of note include Kruder and Dorfmeister’s DJ Kicks (great downtempo mix) and Future Perfect, a drum’n’bass mix by DJ Dara. Yes, I do listen to a lot of electronic stuff, but those impressionable years of numbingly loud Frontline Assembly, Skinny Puppy and other techno-industrial bands still wield their influence.