amw (amw) wrote,

a guided tour through my "slow" playlist

Last night i got drunk on a school night. This is the trend, folks: the more i work, the more i consume mind-altering substances to make me wish that i wasn't working. I hate work, i hate it with every fiber of my being.

But, also, i am not oblivious to the wonders that being a pathetic, hopeless addict can bring, so allow me to share.

Last night i passed out after opening up MusicBee (my weird and wonderful and Way Fucking Better iTunes-a-like) and jumping into the middle of one of my dozens of smart playlists. It was the "slow" playlist, which is generated with the very simple criteria of ALL ELECTRONIC MUSIC UNDER 115 BPM.

The whole playlist right now consists of 311 tracks, with a play time of 1 day, 5 hours and 4 minutes.


You know.

I slept through like 6 hours of it.

The song i fell asleep to was Carbon Based Lifeforms - Proton/Electron. 82 bpm.

Carbon Based Lifeforms - Proton / Electron

The song i woke up to was François K - Road of Life (Quiet Village Dub). 98 bpm.

Fracois K- The road of life (quiet village unreleased dub)

I always wonder when i fall asleep listening to music: should i go through all the songs that played when i was asleep and update the playcount back down one? If a song plays in the forest and no bears are there to hear it, does it still count as a play? Am i going to continue mixing metaphors? Yes. Yes i am.

Anyway, i suspect none of you folks care enough about techno to want to know all 72 songs that got the rub while i was blacked out. Instead, i shall curate a playlist for you of one tune per bpm, under the lj-cut. Will there be entertaining commentary with each track? Possibly. You'll have to click to find out.

Coming in first at 83 bpm we have Señor Coconut And His Orchestra - La Vida Es Llena De Cables.

La Vida es Llena de Cables

This is one of the silliest songs of all time. Weird/pretentious German IDM superstar Uwe Schmidt (aka Atom™) moves to South America, like all Germans with something to hide do. But, instead of dodging the International Criminal Court, he starts making fucking Latin music, with a TB-303 in it. It's so stupid. I love it.

Wait, hang on. What the fuck is this? Adonis - No Way Back? At 84 bpm?

Adonis-No way back

This clearly is not an 84 bpm song. It's more like 125 bpm. This is what happens when you load all your songs into an AI-powered bpm detector, and some of the songs are from 1986, before they invented DJ-friendly production techniques that make all the bass drums louder than everything else. So, please enjoy some early Chicago house that never should've been in this playlist in the first place. This is one of the biggest hits of the era, still played by DJs today.

Coming in at 85 bpm we have Higher Intelligence Agency's Whirligig.

HIGHER INTELLIGENCE AGENCY - Whirligig, Interference Berlin

This is a track recorded from a live performance by some Brummie at the infamous Tresor club in Berlin way back in 1994. If you want to understand the rave scene of the 1990s, this is a perfect tune. In the main room(s) there was all manner of hard and fast techno like you might imagine if you think about the word "techno". But in the chillout room, where a lot of people spent their whole night, this is the music that was playing. This is one of my most formative tunes, bought when i was a teenager, going to exactly these sorts of parties.

86 bpm? It's Stéphane Picq with Undead Soul.

Undead Soul

Stéphane Picq is another incredibly formative artist for me. He is most well-known for being the French musician who did the soundtrack for Cryo's Dune game back in 1992, but he also did a few more games before disappearing to Madagascar where he still lives today as an expat superstar. Guess i have a bit of a thing for European expats, huh? Anyway, this song is from a game called Lost Eden that i literally only bought on Steam a year or two ago, and i've never completed. But i tracked down the soundtrack over a decade ago because Stéphane Picq is a fucking rockstar.

Coming in at 87 bpm, we have FSOL, aka the Future Sound Of London.

Future Sound of London - My Kingdom

This is one of the few tracks on this list that actually was somewhat of a mainstream success, in a different format. So, instead of sharing the 6 minute album version, i am sharing the (shorter) single version, which was an incredible music video featuring weird fucking CGI exploding all over London. If you do not give a shit about techno music, it's still worth playing this one because the video is great.

88 bpm? A fucking filler track. Sharam Jey - Comabeat.

Comabeat (Original Mix)

If you are looking for a beat to freestyle over, i suppose this is one you could use. This comes from back in the day when people like me bought entire albums, including the useless filler tracks that nobody ever listened to.

Fast-forward to 89 bpm and my favorite Boston-area synth band - Bionaut.

Bionaut - Au Naturel - full album electronic/space music

I share with you The Whole Goddamn Album because they're not mainstream enough to have an individual song on YouTube. This is some Underground As Fuck shit from 1990s-era Burning Man and the alt.rave newsgroup and Boston-ass, polo-wearing, clam-eating, non-rhotic speaking techno dudes. It is one of my favorite albums of all time, and opener Moby On Thursday is the best song.

Just to bore you all, i'm going to go back to Carbon Based Lifeforms for the big 90 bpm.

Carbon Based Lifeforms - Neurotransmitter

I love them so much. A couple of Swedes who came onto the scene after i left Europe, but carried the torch of all the chillout room stars of the early 90s with their old-fashioned TB-303 driven choons. Awesome.

Coming in at 91 bpm, i start to think bpm detectors might be racist.

Ananda Project* Feat. Heather Johnson -- Let Love Fly (Joe Claussell's Extended Dance Version)

Yes, it's Joe Claussell - legendary NYC house music DJ - remixing Atlanta's Chris Brann (aka Ananda Project, better known as Wamdue Project). You might know Brann as the guy who produced the "must be the reason why i'm king of the castle" song that somehow made it into the pop charts. I think Brann is white, but this track would be at home in any set full of The Black Kind of house music. Anyway, it is definitely not 91 bpm. More like 125. Re-tagged and ejected.

Let's bring something that isn't from the 1990s in to represent 92 bpm.

Chancha Via Circuito - Jardines ft. Lido Pimienta (Official video)

Yo, Chancha Vía Circuito - Jardines has a fucking video clip! With 2 million views! This song must've been way more popular than i thought. It nestles in the impressively broad genre of Slow Ass Fucking Music With Spanish Lyrics That Germans Like To Play At Sunrise During Music Festivals. But i imagine people in Latin America like it too.

93 bpm, here is another mainstream song.

Underworld - River of Bass

Off their 1994 magnum opus is Underworld's River Of Bass. It's far from the best track on dubnobasswithmyheadman, but the album is so fucking good that even this cooldown track between Cowgirl and the epic closer M.E. is pretty great.

Let's get back to game soundtracks for 94 bpm.

Deus Ex - NYC Streets

From my favorite game of all time Deus Ex, we have composer Alexander Brandon with his take on John Carpenter-style cyberpunk synthesizer music. NYC Streets doesn't beat the Hong Kong loop for sheer catchiness, but it is a very, very fucking good song, perhaps one of the last game musics that still came out with a tracker/demoscene influence.

There is a lot to choose from at 95 bpm, apparently the tempo at which 21st century Germans decide to start making chillout music. Let's go with David August.

David August - Watch Your Step

You guys. This song even has a guitar in it, as a special gift to my guitar-loving readers who made it this far down. It is squarely in the imaginary/jokey "bummelhouse" genre, which is to say... Slow As Fuck. For ravers who just woke up covered in glitter on a boat in the middle of some fucking place and don't want to stop partying.

I actually also wanted to share Divine's T-Shirts And Tight Blue Jeans, but instead of an embed i'll give you link:

Let's head back to TBK for 96 bpm.

Robert Owens - Tell Me (Robert Owens Live Mix)

Robert Owens is one of several incredibly melodramatic, overblown R&B singers who never got sucked into the mainstream hip-hop-influenced side of the genre, and instead hangs with the deep house guys. I feel like i've seen him live before, but that might just be wishful thinking. He is Absolutely Legendary in our scene, up there with Frankie Knuckles (RIP).

Closing us out at 97 bpm is Scooter. Yeah. No shit.

Scooter-Scooter del mar [HQ]

Scooter is most well-known for making what we in the 90s used to call "rave" music, which was different from happy hardcore because it came from Germany. (Real Hardcore could only be made in The Netherlands, you see.) In retrospect, they were basically the German reincarnation of The KLF in Timelords mode. They deliberately wrote the cheesiest, catchiest nonsense they could think of, ripping off every old-timey pop hit they could find in the process. "Serious" music fans hated them. I thought they were hilarious, because beneath all the shameless pandering to the mainstream, there was always a bit of rave scene truth behind it. HP Baxxter posing in front of the Berghain a few years ago caused a bunch of poser Berghainies to get butthurt, but actually it was exactly the kind of irreverent thumbing the nose at traditions and institutions that techno music was all about in the first place. Anyway, this is one of Scooter's album filler tracks where they let a bit of their Secretly Decent Musicians leak out from behind the cheeseball mask.

So, there you have it, a selection of songs from Very Fucking Slow to Slow As Fuck. I hardly ever use lj-cuts because they annoy me, but i hope y'all appreciated my restraint and gave me a click anyway.

If not, oh well. This was fun to do, so maybe one day i will write another one. Watch out. Like, comment, subscribe, bla bla, i need to fetch a White Claw to tend to this hangover.
Tags: alcoholism, music

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