For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working almost every night on a new project at work. Yes, it’s heavy JavaScript. Yes, it’s taking advantage of more and more that Atlas has to offer. It’s embracing all that the Enterprise Library Jan 2006 release has to offer and extending it to take advantage of some of our existing systems features. The server side is all based on web services and .NET 2.0. And it is designed to work in multiple browsers while still taking advantage of all the latest JavaScript application design paradigms (async everything).

But tonight, I just gotta have a break. Of course, I’ve said that several times over the past few days and always end up digging into something only to tweak and object, streamline a page component or somehow improve things in a way that doesn’t normally get addressed in the 9-5 timeline. It’s all for the good in the end, and since a lot of this stuff is a continuous iteration from one day to the next, it’s cool to see it all coming together.

So, on that note, new topic.

I listen to a lot of electronic music. I really get into artists like Shpongle, Ott, Entheogenic, Hallucinogen, Celtic Cross, and several others in the same genre. You can add Shulman to the list, and a few compilation discs. When I first got into electronic music, it was a long mix on that got me hooked. An arrangement (oops, sorry, REMIX) by Morlack called “Ott Times” and it consisted of a number of Ott and Shpongle tracks, with a few other things mixed into the fold. It was awesome and I scrambled to setup a streaming recorder to catch it again. Over the next two weeks, I captured the entire Chillout channel until I managed to snag it and listen to it again. From that point on, mainstream music was not in my playlist.

After a lot more research, I hooked up with PsyShop and ordered a stack of discs to start listening. I found myself really enjoying the music and the ability to enjoy it at work without being distracted. I bought more and more and built up a pretty decent collection. I also started to realize that I really liked the sound and style of Shpongle more than the others. I began to immediately discount trance-style as annoying, dance style as not for me, and a variety of other noisy and distorted tracks as a waste of space on my computer. Yes, my computer. But more on that later.

I think my first experience with electronica was Kraftwerk in the 80’s. My best friend’s girlfriend got me hooked on it (Sparrow, you still alive?) and I quickly snatched up all the albums I could find. Yes, albums. I’ve recently completed my collection of Kraftwerk on CD through some eBay purchases and have the discs of those I find memorable. I also was a big fan of Styx, Thomas Dolby, and most of the synth bands of the 80’s. Bring on the late 90’s (I gave most of the mid 90’s to bands like Collective Soul, Pearl Jam, and a laundry list of others) and Crystal Method hit the scene. A solid electronic outfit with a hard driving rock sound. Electronic music was back with power and I was in it for the long haul.

So since probably late 2001 I’ve been mostly listening to electronica of the psytrance/chillout/ambient style. It’s great to enjoy at work and even in the car if you select from the more powerful stuff. The real enjoyment of personal music began in early 2002 when I got into building custom headphone amplifiers for high-end headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT880. I got a lot of enjoyment out of that set of cans before moving down to a pair of Shure e4c (and now the e500 is my daily setup driven by a 30G iPod photo).

Which brings me back to today and I’m starting to wonder what other good music in the style of Shpongle is available today. It’s hard to keep up with all the new releases and hearing something new on got to be a very rare thing. In fact, I setup the streamer a couple of months ago and there was hardly anything new to be found. A real disappointment as I’m hoping to add a few new discs to my collection of great stuff. I still listen to a huge variety of music at times, but for heads-down coding a solid Shulman or Entheogenic album wins every time. Heck, today I even dug out the Fight Club soundtrack for some variety (those good old Dust Brothers).

So, if you happen to pick this up on a Google search or something, and can relate to the distinct lack of new material on your playlist, feel free to suggest a new disc (with a link to a preview if possible)!