I'm always looking to find new music and interested to know what fellow hackers are listening to?
Also, it's kind of contradictory since while this question is on the front page, lots of people upvote this tired-of-this-question-because-it-has-been-asked-already-10-times comment.
Or maybe people just like telling others what music they like and
aren't particularly interested in reading the same, I don't no.
To that end, the "Neotokyo" soundtrack by Ed Harrison http://www.neotokyohq.com/music.html is amazing. Whenever I put that on (all 2 hours of it) I get things done.
On a similar note, does anyone else have a favourite drink for late-night hacking? Again, Java is quite red-winey. Assembler is vodka and mixer. Electronics work demands a good ale.
Hello HN. delurk
1. Final Fantasy, Video Game soundtrack, OCRemix, or similar (current favorites: Kindgom Hearts, Capcom Music Generation Family Computer Soundtracks, both Jet Set Radio soundtracks)
2. Pandora, my Quick Mix, which is basically a radio station for every band I enjoy old and new (examples: Tom Petty, Spoon, Modest Mouse, The Killers, The Beatles, Tokyo Police Club, TV on the Radio, and many more). I'm tempting to purchase the annual subscription.
I found this recent discussion on Reddit as a good resource for music suggestions as well (many mentioned that I had forgotten about):
Make a station, use "Abakus" as the seed.
Upvote/downvote the next few dozen songs. (If a song has any words/lyrics in it at all, it gets an immediate downvote no matter if I like it).
There you go.
I've found that Abakus is just the right mix of continuously pumping music that keeps my brain flowing, without being too intense (like a lot of trance or goa can get). It ends up flowing into the background pretty smoothly and keeps me going. Before I know it, hours have passed. As a seed in Pandora I've found tons of other artists and music that flows in the same way.
* Chiptunes (I recommend maktone and dubmood)
* Daft Punk, Ratatat
* Anything I know by heart -- I won't be distracted by the lyrics. This also works if you don't understand the lyrics
Edit: also, yeah. I thought my combo was pretty rare.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble isn't strictly electronica but their music is really cool (no words too). http://vimeo.com/1418890
I have a Ratatat station and Justice station on Pandora which I've tuned individually over the past year.
I'm pretty much an omnivore when it comes to music... I'll listen to anything I like; there's hip-hop, movie/game scores, pop, rock, etc. in my playlists.
I couldn't describe my own standpoint on what music I like any better than he did. While there are many genres in which I dislike the vast majority of the content, I'll give anything a shot and won't let a silly label stand in the way of liking something. I'm glad to see so many people on here feel the same; it always makes me cry on the inside to see listeners box themselves in.
According to last.fm (username is the same as here, for those who want to befriend me), my big artists these days are: The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Sufjan Stevens, Rufus Wainwright, Machinae Supremacy, and Andrew Bird.
I also strongly recommend the 80-minute Demovibes mixes, if you dig demotunes: http://www.demovibes.org/dv_info.htm
- Godspeed You! Black Emperor
- Thee Silver Mt. Zion
- This Will Destroy You
- Do Make Say Think
- Explosions in the Sky
.. To name a few
Very melodic, quiet, soothing, but also explosive at times.
I will also add the following (much smaller) artists to the list:
I've been listening to both of them a lot lately - more so than I have the heavy-weights (as listed above)
You should give The American Dollar a listen; they're a really great postrock band from Queens. And Mercury Program, too, but they're in the heavyweights category, more or less.
Balmorhea sounds great, too!
Lvmen, Caspian, Kinski, Mogwai
Less explosive, in the post-rock realm: Epic45, The Album Leaf, Years.
Also like Lymbyc Systym, who occasionally sort of rock out.
- The Red Sparowes (their first 2 albums)
- The Redneck Manifesto
I hop around different radios, but probably too much EuroDance for most people's tastes, but it gets me into the zone
Explosions in the Sky
Do Make Say Think
Godspeed You Black Emperor
Broken Social Scene
I also enjoy Aphex Twin (all of the similar bands, like Boards of Canada and Autechre, not as much). I actually wrote one my of first web applications listening to "Selected Ambient Works 85-92". Ratatat is good. Finally, for some reason, I enjoy listening to the Conet Project ( http://www.archive.org/details/ird059 ) while coding.
In general though, I prefer to be in a spot where I don't have to use music to compensate for obnoxious background noise.
Dark Ambient: Lustmord, Gustaf Hildebrand, Robert Rich
"IDM": Aphex Twin(anything choosen from what I have) and Autechre
Metal: Burzum(filosofem), Xasthur, and mostly atmospheric BM
Industrial: Suicide Commando, VNV Nation, SPK
(Fin)NRG: Alek Szahala and Nomic
Classical: Bach, Handel, Liszt and Chopin
Demoscene music: Bitfellas radio
I will generally create a mix of from the above styles in a playlist and listen to it, when it begins to bother me (after some hours) I'll just change music style.
Also sometimes I just get some game CD and listen to the tracks, usually I choose Total Annihilation.
The Killers / Linkin Park / Muse in a different mood.
Mighty Mighty Bosstones / Boo! for a third mood
I've got a 100 Greatest Guitar Solo's album which also serves me well.
As for trance, I'd recommend listening to something from a few years ago.
A friend of mine (registered here actually), advised me to listen to Tiesto's In Concert 2003.
On his words, it's one of those sets that once you start listening, you just can't stop.
PS: Also, Tiesto's In Search Of Sunrise 6 has a beginning that I just love: the sound of sea slowly transitioning to trance.
You can listen to it on youtube, on a video with the first two tracks from ISOS6.
I usually just listen to chillout or minimal
Also, it's well established that speech and singing are handled by different brain areas, so do not necessarily conflict.
I certainly recommend trying it before going with the Provigil (http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1524757)
Possibly related: Jonah Lehrer responded to the Provigil article; below is a comment posted by Joe Shelby on Lehrer's response post (http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2008/05/the_hidden_cost_of_sm...):
Not "drug" related, but a similar study I once read about (I think it was cited in Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister's Peopleware) was about geeks and their listening to music while working. They were given a simple programming task, one easily done in "300 lines" using what we call brute force programming (follow the specified requirements to the letter).
The test was originally designed to see if listening to music while working affected accuracy, with the idea that musical distractions might lead to more bugs in code.
The programmers were allowed to work exactly as they would have worked in real life (this was back before easy internet connections made "cheating" more possible)), so some had headphones full of their favorite music, others worked in silence.
What they found was that both groups (those with music, those without) completed the task with equal accuracy - music didn't affect that precision.
However, they also discovered that some programmers found a secret in the proposed algorithm they were implementing. With a little cleverness, you could implement the algorithm in only 50 lines instead of the full 300, and be done in half the time. Of those that discovered the shorter implementation, most were from the programming in silence group.
An interesting exception is in cafés, where I'm fine to hack away as long as the music isn't too loud.
One other point about music while programming is that it leads programmers to put headphones on, which I sometimes find detracts from collaboration.
At the moment listening to the new soilwork album a fair bit, something I've been mixing it up with recently is the music from X-Ray Dog, all epic orchestra style music from films.
I listen to soma.fm "drone zone", mellow film scores such as revolutionary road, american beauty, monster. Or tycho "past is prologue" is also played a lot...
a discussion on stackoverflow:
My current favorites: loads of ETN.fm and evolved.fm, a good deal of bassdrive.com, with a bit of UnitedBreaks.fm for variety.
The Aphex Twin:
Analogue Bubble Bath
Analogue Bubble Bath 2
Analogue Bubble Bath 3
Analogue Bubble Bath 3.1
Analogue Bubble Bath 4
Analogue Bubble Bath 5
Selected Ambient Works
Tanquery Tom's Clean Up your Room mix - http://www.modularpeople.com/modcast/55-tanqueray-tom-clean-...
Resident Advisor set from Johnno Burgess - http://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast-episode.aspx?id=131
RA set from Greg Wilson - http://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast-episode.aspx?id=119
RA set from Discobloodbath - http://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast-episode.aspx?id=139
It's a pretty big mix, with everything from Zero 7 to MF Doom to David Bowie to Gravity Kills to Johnny Cash, Oasis, Dr. Octagon, Lemon Jelly, Hole, and a ton more.
Quite a lot of layers to concentrate on, but for some reason it also just works to get me in the zone.
* YMCK / FAMILY GENESIS
* Parliament / Mothership Connection
* Anything I know inside and out and can sing along with without thinking
Listener supported radio with an eclectic mix of music, Pink Floyd to Beethovan, Portishead to Cab Calloway, and plenty of indie music I'd otherwise never have heard. DJ Bill Goldsmith mixes his playlists so they almost never interrupt my train of thought. When the music does, my concentration was usually dragging anyway and then I take a 3 min break to check the playlist page and set a rating so I don't forget to pickup the cd next time I'm on a spree.
Bill and his wife Rebecca have a nice community going and it's pretty obvious they're passionate about what they are doing.
Other than that it's occasionally nice to put on some 60's and 70's rock, the grungy kind of stuff (from Pink Floyd to Led Zeppelin to Metallica) that the forefathers of programming languages and personal computing listened to while they worked. There's got to be a relationship (either aesthetically or culturally) between the workflow that they created for us and the music they used to keep them going.
Ambient and slow electronics but transparent ones which don't seem too psychedelic or w/ hard feelings, as they easy distract and 'sell' you their emotional setting when you really need to focus instead. So I'd exclude things like Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin, while including artists like Biosphere, Carbon Life Forms, early Orb.
If you're into harder tones I really appreciate stuff like ACDC and Iron Maiden while working - they're quite energetic but not overwhelming like harder metal.
Silence is also very good, esp. if you can hear sound of the trees, waves or whatever nature is outside.
If I do feel I need some help to zone in, hip hop works best for me (Eminem's 8 mile album is my fav). I can't listen to classical music and concentrate on something else. Impossible. .. and songs with good lyrics are equally distracting .. but since English isn't my first language, I can only cursorily follow hip hop lyrics and so I quickly fall into listening to the words as sounds without meaning .. and the beat goes on.
Surprisingly, another piece of music that's great to listen to is the soundtrack from the movie Mr. Brooks with Kevin Costner. It's great for coding.
This guy did the soundtrack: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramin_Djawadi
Fuck Buttons (especially Tarot Sport)
I used to listen to digitally imported but now I find most of the stuff they play (even on the psytracne/goa station) annoyingly repetitive.
Explosions in the Sky
RJD2 is one of my favorite as well but I end up singing along the songs most of the times :)
I use ephiphany radio (http://www.epiphanyradio.org/) and Joey Fehrenbach radio on Pandora. They are what tells my brain it's coding time.
Back in college, I'd often listen to classical music while working on math. But I occasionally found it distracting (especially Bach, I'd concentrate on the sequence of notes rather than the problem at hand).
For casual browsing I use Spotify and just look around a bit for something I like, the artist radio has found me quite a couple of gems.
I can't listen to anything with words.
sorry thesixtyone... we used to spend a lot of time together, till the UI change ... =(
Thanks!! You just made the end (technically start) of my day!
That and having a ASK HN submission that got wonderfully great feedback.
I am thankful for HackerNews. I bet we'd all get along reasonably well offline which is a very very unbelievable thing to say relating to anything involving the internet.
Thanks a lot, have a good day!
But it is better than the new UI
"Combustication" by Medeski, Martin & Wood is another great one for sustained productivity. For me, anything that grooves is helpful. Stuff with lyrics tends to be too distracting.
Also, Uyama Hiroto, Nujabes, The Dead Texan, Oceanlab, Antoine Dufour, BT, Dosh, Juno Reactor, Lusine and Lusine ICL, Pacific UV, RJD2, Shugo Tokumaru, The Cinematic Orchestra and The Six Parts Seven. Most of it has no lyrics, most of it is rhythmic and soothing to some degree.
Swallow The Sun "New Moon", "Hope" or "The Morning Never Came".
Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova "The Swell Season".
Deftones "White Pony".
The music has to be (at least for me) the slower kind. For some reason, fast-paced or brutal-sounding music tends to distract me from doing the work (and I'll just enjoy the music instead).
Movie and Video Game OSTs radio station with a HUGE rotation. Usually get in the zone quite fast when listening to it, but I could see it being a bit distracting for other people. YMMV.
I find this less distracting that listening to a radio station or a long playlist.
I generally pick the song in the morning depending on my mood.
YouTube Repeater (http://www.youtuberepeater.com) is super useful if you're like me and listen to most of your stuff online.
Also, to answer the main question: Enter Shikari.
But I will still provide you with my favorite collection of 8-bit (well 16 bit technically) music: http://flotate.com/?p=12352-Phantasy-Star-2-Soundtrack
Here's what I'm listening to http://wearehunted.com/by/stevelindstrom/
HN equivalence of subculture musics radio, very diverse. My favorite is the sunday afternoon program "Minimal Wave Electronics"
The site suggest you playlist depending what you are doing !
Stop looking at me like that >_>
And yea background music keeps me focused.
But you must know a balance and time when to turn it off.
Try Japanese traditional music for relaxation.
- Pink Floyd
- Daft Punk
- Thievery Corporation
- Manu Chao
just to name a few
-(early) Against Me!
-Andrew Jackson Jihad
-Wingut Dishwashers Union
-This Bike is a Pipe Bomb
Some free sources of D&B are BassDrive.com (live djs), Pandora and Last.fm. After you know what you like there's plenty available (used & cheap) on Amazon.com
Also a lot of techno, Vivaldi and Bach
hah, naw - my favorite is music without lyrics. Seems to make me more productive.
I usually go between post rock, noise, grindcore, techgrind, chillout and lounge.