Food is something we all need to energize and keep our bodies moving, but there is something else that can accomplish that: music. Music helps me focus on homework, alleviates the monotony of long car rides and ramps up my workout intensity. I enjoy many genres of music, from jazz and classical to rock and electronic. I’ve decided to take a short interlude to introduce this other aspect of my life. What’s your favorite kind of music and when do you listen to it?
Contrary to what most people think, electronic music is not just head-banging beats with no background music (although I’ll admit that a lot of it is junk). It may appear repetitive and annoying (see: Surfin’ Bird) to the casual listener but as with anything in life, the more you experience something the more you’re able to understand and appreciate it (like wine, chocolate, peanut butter). With electronic music, it’s the energy buildup and the ever-changing subtleties to the harmony and main beat that I most enjoy. For me, this type of music induces energetic feelings and keeps my mind moving even when my body isn’t, especially useful when doing work. Other than a cup of coffee and your morning oatmeal, what gets/keeps you moving?
One of my current favorite electronic artists is Matt Darey. His style of music is a blend of trance, house and rock. Every week he produces a 2-hour radio show called “Nocturnal”. The first hour is Matt Darey himself, mixing his favorite tunes from around the world. The second hour is a guest DJ who mixes his/her own blend of music. The mixes tend to have a great beat and some good vocals. I love listening to them on the long drive I make to San Francisco and back every other weekend, and many of the songs keep me energized at the gym. The mixes have also introduced me to many new musical artists.
I’ve provided links below to stream the mixes online, view the tracklists and download cue sheets. But more importantly, I’ve spent the better part of an afternoon compiling an easy-to-use list to download all of the mixes. For those of you that are new and lost among the ~300 mixes available, try streaming Hour 1 (Matt Darey Mixes) of Nocturnal 35 (trance), Nocturnal 38 (harder trance), Nocturnal 132 (house) or Nocturnal 108 (rock), they’re all great. Every week a new Nocturnal show is released and I’ll try to keep the download list updated.
* The above picture is from Sensation White 2008 in The Netherlands. Yup, everything, including their clothing, is white.
Downloads: To download any of the Matt Darey Nocturnal Radio Shows for offline (anytime) listening or to burn them onto a CD, choose from the following (in .mp3 format, ~55 MB each):
Streaming: To listen to any of the Nocturnal Mixes right now without downloading, check out the media player here: Nocturnal Media Player
Cue Sheets: To download .cue files (very small files), used for splitting the Nocturnal Mixes into their individual songs, go here: Nocturnal Cue Sheets. In addition, you will need a cue splitter program which will use the .cue file to chop the corresponding .mp3 file into pieces and rename the songs accordingly, I suggest Medieval CUE Splitter. This is a convenient tool so that you have around 10 regular-length songs instead of a single hour-long song.
Still hungry? Then here’s a quick recipe: Cut a crisp apple into 8-12 slices, arrange on a plate and douse with cinnamon. Place plate in the freezer for 20 minutes and serve.