I have Synesthesia (a disorder in which your senses cross over), in my case, I can see Music. It can appear as Colours or Shapes. Many people don’t know about it because it isn’t very common, but there are other types and if you’re interested, look it up yourself. Thought I would mention this, due to it being a huge part of how I experience Music.
1. Boards Of Canada | Kid For Today
This track... As lush as it is Hazy, always puts my brainwaves in a muffled sort of Comfort. No matter what, I always feel like I am dreaming when I listen to it. The very unique Drum pattern, executes specific algorithms in my mind that make me think of the sudden changes in frames of an old Slide Show. The most Radiant of these melodies being the background synth that playfully dances in a sort of Solace that cannot be described... It can only be heard to truly understand its being. The synths appear to me, in my Synesthesia, as shimmering circles or bubbles and as each note plays a new image takes shape in sync with it. (Try not to imagine it too literally because it’s almost impossible to explain with words.) These shapes move around me in a sort of Aura and with the beautiful melody of the track, brings me to a certain Sanctuary that I’ll always be in Love with. This track is something special... There is no other track that I know of that sounds like it.
2. Tycho | Coastal Brake
This one has its roots in me, I’m sure. The first time I heard it, I was luckily caught in a sudden downpour as it began playing on my Music player. Each raindrop complemented the moving harmonies of Colour, each resonating a new feeling of Peace and Youth. I remember the puddles built up so fast in the alleyway I was walking through. The droplets hit these puddles creating more vibrancies and synchronicities with the track. I remember feeling an intense Euphoria and I’ll never forget it either. I do often think back to that day when I hear the track. It is also a track that is more than just a couple colours. It’s a Rainbow track.
3. Boards Of Canada | In The Annexe
Alright... This is THE ONE. In The Annexe dawned on me two years ago, when I was well on my journey through the twisted roads of the Geogaddi album. It’s quite short, more of an Intermission, but noteworthy enough to be one of my favorites of All Time. Some say this track is quite disturbing, as most of the tracks were on this album. I disagree; I always feel a sense of Omnipotence and even Grace when I listen. My girlfriend, actually told me she was moved in an unsettling way by the track. She said it reminded her of being a small child and waking up from a nightmare. I was taken aback by this account, but also very interested in how different her experience was from my own. It is a Gloomy track, but not in a Negative sense. More of a morning fog kind of Gloom. Peaceful and necessary. The whole album would not be the same without this track. It’s a special moment and a powerful piece. The sounds I cannot really describe, but the way they hit me... It can be very intense.. I would go deeper into what this track means to me, but it is a very personal note and sadly, those things can be difficult to communicate without Misinterpretation. I can say that if you listen to it, you may just have a personal account of your own. A very special piece that will forever be in my heart.
4. Carbon Based Lifeforms | Abiogenesis
This is a more recent track in my life, I heard it when the first blossom of Spring dawned this year. When Life was beginning to return to the forest, near my home. I put it on and slowly made my way through the trees, now dressed with beautiful new leaves. The Sun glistened overhead and lit up the green and the melody began to go from a calm to a more upbeat scenario in which I became engaged in and began walking faster. I grew more eager to make my way through this strange world as I grew more fixated in my trance. A sort of perseverance in me that made me feel as if I was coming alive, and then suddenly it stopped into a calm phase in which a young women’s voice said the words Wake up. Uttering them repeatedly, until it triggered a break in the structure and I began soaring into quite possibly one of the most alluring compositions of Electronic Music I have ever heard (and seen). I was walking very fast now, even lightly jogging. It is very rare that a track can impress me enough where I’m involuntarily moving my body in specific fashions and extremes. The beauty of this piece is unprecedented. You will not be disappointed with this track.
5. Holy Fuck | Jungles
Yes, I listen to a band called Holy Fuck. They are a pretty awesome Post-Rock/Experimental group. Their mission was to make Electronic Music without any computers, substituting, guitar pedals, 9mms and even toys that make other strange sounds. Anything that they can get to give them that same effect. This is very respectable and shows the talent and creativity of the band, more so in this track specifically, I can see many different distortions in my Synesthesia that keep me pretty entertained. The band having a real drummer also helps. This is one of the most Creative Post Rock tracks I have ever heard as far as experimentations and flow go together and do they ever go together well.
6. Russian Circles | Malko
Ah, Russian Circles, these guys are phenomenal. If you haven’t heard their material, slap yourself and then begin with this track, because it is their best (in my opinion). The beat makes me just want to go flying through the Universe in all directions. The gorgeous colours of varying shapes echo on around me and give me that same feeling. Soon, the track becomes raw and distorted, which gives it a sense of progression. A Lifespan, so to speak... It’s kind of like the collapse of all things. Honestly, this is the impression I get when I hear it. It’s strange how different the track is when it does change, from where it began. I do enjoy this one quite a lot and whenever I hear it, I simply must Rock out until my neck gets sore.
7. The Smashing Pumpkins | Zero
Well, we all know these guys. The band is pretty much split and the only one left is Corgan. Smashing Pumpkins is a bit of an Evangelist in the midst of all the acts that tried to rip them off but couldn’t. The vocals are wonderfully dreadful and the lyrics suiting to their cause. The Grimy, dirty, mashed up guitar has a presence that makes you perk up in its majesty. The percussions and bass compliment it by being equally awesome, but more in the conventional kind of way. That is why this song is as good as it is. It’s horribly ugly, but has a structure that is beautifully crafted. I like the angst in the vocals, because it gives this song and the rest of their Music a Mystique that just can’t be emulated. You have got to hear this one. It’s a milestone.
8. A Perfect Circle | Pet
APC is my personal favorite of Maynard’s Musical outlets. This song in particular has a certain point of view that couldn’t be more relevant and important. The lyrics tell the story of a mother and child. The Child being the 99 Percent of the population also dubbed The Consumers or The Sleepers, as I like to call them and the Mother, being the Government or The Illuminati, Private Bankers, Bilderberg, Masons - in other words The evil corporate humans that have been controlling the way Society is going and where it will ultimately end. The Child is waking up from a dream (probably a bad one) to the sounds of War coming from just outside their window, they want to get out of their bed and go see for themselves (in other words, they want to know what is happening on the outside of their Ignorance) but the Mother tells the Child that it is nothing and that they should just go back to the comforts of their dreams (thereby disengaging them from finding out what is going on and disconnecting them from the World events going on just outside of their window). The song is an adept metaphor for our current World events, in which we care more about Conventional and Materialistic affairs, usually Celebrity Gossip and Tabloids. Who cheated on whom? or even how the News is regulated to propagandize or mislead us. It can be overwhelming to think this and usually people are quick to dismiss it, so they can return to the Comforting Sleep - just like in the song. In this World we live in, selected, processed, Misinformation is constantly thrown at you, and because it is so readily available and prevalent, you’ll hear it even when you don’t wish to or care to (like me). The ones in Control want to choose what goes into the realms of your mind. They want you to know what they want you to know. It’s an endearing song, the guitars are very driven and the vocals have a class of Frustration and Anger, which gives it a good Rise up against the Power kind of feel. More people need to hear this song and they need to understand it.
9. Beck | Broken Drum (Boards Of Canada Remix)
BOC is known for their uncanny skill in Electronic Music, but also for their abilities to remix. This one in question has to be one of their greatest canvases. The original artist even said that they made it better. I would agree, while the original is quite insightful, Boards Of Canada took this track to some Ethereal places. Everywhere you listen, you hear swirling melodies that collide with complicated beat structures (which were completely remade by them from the original’s bleak percussion notes). They chose some very interesting synthetics for this track, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything like them either. I usually listen to this song at night, as the Sun sets and the streetlights come on. It gives the track’s atmosphere an added relevance. The vocals have a Ghostly effect within the remix as well, which is noteworthy due totherenot being many BOC pieces with song vocals. Around 2:40, the track has a breakdown and somewhat of an Interlude, that I just can’t help but quiver in Guilty-Pleasured Melancholy... And then a key change of lush synths and Falsetto Vocals roll in together to create my favorite part of the track onwards. This is usually when I feel my hair stand on end (but in a positive way). I just think the Emotion of this song is very powerful... It’s Sad and Happy at the same time... Complex and Outspoken in its entirety. Unique even when compared to the original. Hear it and you won’t forget it, because you will keep listening to it.
10. Animals As Leaders | Song Of Solomon
I had to choose something in the Progressive Metal category... This track... Is unbelievable... I’ll never forget the first time I heard it. It’s fast-paced and intense. It WILL blow your mind. I always get powerful visions of Synesthesia when I hear it. Also I go insane and start involuntarily head banging to the beat. Tosin Abasi, the artist, is one of the greatest guitarists I have ever had the pleasures of hearing and I am very glad that he has chosen to make Instrumental focus with the guitar. He really does take this apparatus to new levels and heights. Complicated arpeggios and Fluid shredding skills are his specialty and are very resident in this track. If I could choose one Progressive Metal track, it’d be this one.
Other favorite bands/Musical acts that I couldn’t fit, that are worth mentioning... Fair To Midland, Porcupine Tree, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, 10 Years, God Is An Astronaut, Odd Nosdam, Lone, Tool, System Of A Down, If These Trees Could Talk, Prefuse73, Bonobo, Autechre, Hammock, Helios, Freescha, Explosions In The Sky, Depeche Mode, Matthew Good, Alexisonfire, Born Of Osiris.