New music

A few weeks ago, when I saw that horrible dreadful stupid list of 200 essential albums produced by a recording industry association, I swore I would, instead of purchasing a single record on the list, go out and find entirely new music on an independent label. So I did.

First I followed a few trails on iTMS and Amazon for "people who bought [Ulrich Schnauss|Jon Hopkins] also bought blah", which lead me to Xela (didn't like), and to Jens Buchert (bland).

Then I followed links Carbon Based Lifeforms, which I liked. Which lead me to Solar Fields. Which lead me to Ultimae, a French record label specializing in ambient and chillout stuff. Strong overlap with Robert Rich, if you're into him. Electronic textures, rhythms influenced by the dance music of the last two decades, no singing (though sometimes vocal samples). Ambient, but not recent-Eno-boring.

If you want a better list of 200 conventional rock albums to own, the Rolling Stone list is solid. All you need to know is that the Velvet Underground appears on the Rolling Stone list, and not on the manufacturer's association list. And Shania Twain is the opposite. Lord help me.

I am also enjoying Love, the Beatles mix/mash done by George Martin & son Giles as a soundtrack for a Cirque du Soleil show.
  • Current Music: Elevator Sunshine Girl : Solar Fields : Blue Moon Station
Ok, I read both the first list and the last list and since there's quite a bit of overlap on both lists, I have to admit I don't see why the first one is "dreadful" and the second one is acceptable.

I await your wise teachings on the matter.
1) The omission of the Velvet Underground from the bad list. This is inexcusable.
2) Also missing: Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, the Kinks, Cream, the Pretenders, Roxy Music, and others.
3) Present on the crappy list: the Footloose soundtrack. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Also present are albums by mediocre country singers like Faith Hill.

There's an awful lot of hiphop on the list that hasn't yet survived enough time to be ranked next to "Exile on Main Street". The Rolling Stone list includes stuff I don't love deeply, but I respect it all. Dunno that I think BoyzIIMen is something I can respect, ya know?
Ahh, sin of omission, mostly. Yeah, don't really feel that the Footloose soundtrack is must-have.

I don't own any country albums, however, I own songs by both Faith Hill and Shania Twain and am unashamed of this fact, but I'm not sure that their presence on the list is correct.

As for BoyzIIMen....I might include them on that list, if for no other reason than they can actually sing and that I grew up listening to their music...even if I don't own anything by them, either.

I would NOT include Michael Jackson on any such list. I know he was influential, but I have a hard time giving props to a child molester that keeps evading the law....that and I hated him even when I was a kid, lol.

All in all, looks like a list comprised of Grammy winners. And really, the Grammy winners don't always impress me...much like the inductees to the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame.
I'd put Thriller on a list of any essential rock albums. It's not exactly rock, but it crosses over, and it was huge, and it's good. If I started knocking items off the list because their musicians were batshit or horrible people, I'd end up with a pretty thin list. Take James Brown!
So now I'm left wondering what 200 albums you would put on a list! lol

How does one choose? Is it about influence or staying power or just being a good tune? Obviously, the first list was generated because they wanted to sell more CDs, so I guess the Rolling Stones list is the one to go by, in any case.
Owing thousands of albums and cds of which only a handful are on either list...I'm often surprised by the thought that out there, somewhere, someone own and actually listens to the majority of that stuff.


I'm with you - use it as a guideline of what to avoid - move between the spaces and find what suits you. Nice job tracking some ambient sounds.
I counted and was surprised to find that I owned only 14 of the albums on the NARM list, despite owning an embarrassing number of CDs. (That's the thing about being over 40: have been listening to music for more than 20 years now, and it adds up.) I have more overlap with the Rolling Stone list. And if I were looking for 200 records to start a rock collection, the RS list is pretty good.

What I do have in my collection is a whole bunch of electronic music from the 90s and on, with a heavy representation of the San Francisco ambient scene.
Yes, yes, quite definitely - now that we're *ahem* old we can look back over DECADES of listening and thumb through god awful stax of discs....and see how the general...outline of a list such as the RS one can stand in as the primer...and's frustrating how it's still...bereft. In many ways.

Luckily, many of the artists I began listening to on that glorious cusp of 79-80 are still CREATING and I get to reap the benefits - Cave, Gira, Bargeld...and they have, in their turn, inspired some artists whom I count amongst my personal Important list as well as still paying homage to those who rightfully slotted in before.

What are some of the SF ambient musicians you listen to? I hadn't realized there was an electronic scene there.

I don't follow electornica or ambient as for me - it's all about lyrical turns of phrase.