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Music Recommendations (non OCR)

Less Ashamed Of Self

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...or y'know, songs that you really like for various reasons.

I figure Youtube links would be the best way here, and this would obviously be non ocr-related material since we all know where to find that. I'm not even specifically talking about VG music either, just songs that we like for reasons we can or cannot explain. Maybe we can help each other discover new artists we like.

I'll start with two songs that I like for very different reasons.

This is a ridiculously fun track. It reminds me of a lot of the Jet Grind Radio soundtrack. I'm a sucker for competitive mood, fast change-ups, bad ass drums and/or bass, building climaxes, and plenty of effects. This song does it all. I could do without some of the vocal samples, some are a little over the top, but a lot of them do a great job of setting the mood.

I've actually never played the game, and from what I saw of the game footage I don't think I'm going to like it too much. There's no way I'm gonna get into DJ Hero the same as I have with DDR or other more established rhythm games, I'm not keen on buying a lot of plastic instruments for my house. Regardless, it's one of the best songs on the soundtrack in my opinion.

A really somber electronic track with some awesome female vocals. Similar to Massive Attack or Bjork in character. Very textural and interesting to listen to.

The highlight of the song for me is 2:40 - 3:19 where the vocals sing one note, rising each bar, until it gets high enough that the strings give it ridiculous depth and then the woman's voice morphs seamlessly into digital tonal obscurity. The compression for the youtube upload doesn't do it justice. Just a really neat piece, I can't think of much like it.

Ok. There's mine for the moment. I could post a hundred of these without overlap.


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Cool choices, Less Ashamed. I too love a good upbeat track -while writing a paper I've been listening to Kirby Dreamland 3 music a lot :o

Second one is neat, but not entirely my cup of tea.

My picks from among a very different field:

Steve Reich's

Music for a Large Ensemble

Tehillim (part 2)

Reich's music always uplifts me, and he is THE reason why Minimalism ultimately became my favorite form of music, after going through a sever musical depression brought up by becoming aware of the works of composers post-Schoenberg. Everything is alive, moving, and modern, which is something some older pieces don't often inspire in me. It is the epitome of modern music in a way that few other composers have been able to achieve (though I think the work of John Adams comes close, and the EARLY Philip Glass stuff).

Music for a Large Ensemble is a song I've had half a mind to remix, because it sounds almost video-gamish in its structure. It's a pleasant listen for all of its delicious harmonic wanderings.

Tehillim makes me want to dance in its upbeat moments. Few songs actually make me want to do more than just accept and listen to them.

Gyorgy Ligeti's

Probably my favorite European composer, Gyorgy Ligeti's raw emotional power (invoked in Romanesc) and sheer innovation (seen in Lux Aeterna) strike me both as nostalgic and visionary. Here was a man that rejected Boulez, Liebowitz, Berio, and Adorno's incessant need to have atonality and the 12-tone method in every damn song. Ligeti wanted to be inclusive, not exclusive (this exclusive attitude is why I can't stand the aforementioned composers), and his music embraces everything from everywhere.

Romanesc is a piece I find incredibly moving, and invokes a deep sense of nostalgia in myself, personally. Memories of a happier time as a child- music rarely moves me to emotional responses tied with memories, specifically, but this does.

John Cage's


In a Landscape

Funnily enough, John Cage and his book Silence was a large part of the reason for my severe musical depression a few years ago. His ideas sounded "right" at least in that they could not be proven 'wrong', but they philisophically destroyed everything I had ever loved about music, and this sent me into a deeeep funk (and before I discovered Reich and the minimalists, all I had were people like Cage and on the other side, the Euro-freaks like Boulez and co.). That being said, I continue to have a love-hate relationship with the man. I think he's a genius and I hate just how much of a damn genius he was. I like some of his music, and appreciate nearly all of it, but I hate so much of what a lot of his songs stand for.

Maybe one day I'll get over the childishness of my odd fascination and loathing of this man. One day.

That being said, these two piano pieces by Cage I find particularly delightful and entrancing- as I said, he was a genius, especially of the piano (the likes of which I am not sure if the world has produced yet). While these pieces are not so indicative of his innovation, they are soothing, formless, like Satie pieces, and offer a lush harmonic atmosphere that is usually lacking amongst contemporary piano pieces. They allow you to sit back and enjoy the ambience of a piano wandering melodically across the keyboard. They are some of my favorite pieces of his (his Sonatas and Interludes are also great stuff), and are heartily recommended to lovers of ambient music.

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Maggot Brain, or From The Bottom Of My Heart for similar reasons. I don't really care about and of the legends associated with it, but the incredibly emotive power of the guitar work has brought me back to listening to Maggot Brain for years. There are a lot of songs with great guitar work, and sometimes I feel like the lack of expression from the other elements of the band is both a negative and a positive. I love Parliment-Funkadelic, and they express themselves in a lot of ways though.

is a proper expression of the funky groove factor that they have that I love.

is one of my favorite Soundgarden songs. It has some of the heavier riffs and a nice beat, the vocals and lyrics don't particularly stand out to me. I'm not totally sure why I enjoy it more than a lot of other songs, but I'm drawn to this one. In fact, I almost feel like it just sounds like a comfortable median between other songs.

is a really pretty doo-wop song that I don't think does very much that's particularly original or inventive, but I like it. I also first encountered it in
's rework/cover of it, and that's just a great film. So I laugh, because I can't take the song seriously.

@ Less Ashamed - I like the track from Tipper more than from DJ Hero. L.E.D. Down reminds me of Portishead. The DJ Hero track is familiar to me, and I agree that the vocal samples are a bit over the top (though the voice is awesome). It has great beats and everything, but maybe I can't get out of the "this is the tutorial song" feeling that I had while playing the game.

@ Charlemagne - I like all of the pieces, there's a lot of intense ambiance going on here. And Tehillim is just a lot of fun all around. I lack the musical background to feel like I'm really getting much of the more subtle parts of the pieces - but I did listen to and enjoy most of it, so it was put to good use. I think that Reich is something that my mother would enjoy and I'm considering something from him as a possible gift.

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Lint, it DOES depend on if you're mom is into this type of stuff-

I played Reich for most of my family and now they won't let me play any of my music, because my brother, sister, and dad all pretty much did not like it in the slightest (and my older brother in particular thinks I'm an artsy faggot when it comes to my music tastes).

But if you have a really progressive liberal artsy mom, nearly anything Reichian is good. Music for a Large Ensemble, Tehillim, Music for 18 Musicians, and his latest good stuff,

Daniel Variations


Double Sextet

The last two particularly feel like modern, almost pop-ish in their style. 2x5 is made with two pianos, two drum sets, two e-basses, and two e-guitars. Good good stuff.

But Daniel Variations has a lot of emotional power and beuatiful harmonies to go with it.

Their really great 'post-Minimalist' offerings from Reich, and shows that he still damn knows what he's doing, even if his most "famous" pieces were from 40 years ago.

Also, you're right, Lint, because sometimes we need a song and group to laugh at. And with.

Like ICP.


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I recently got into EDM. Of course you've gotta like Armin Van Buuren and deadmau5, but there's something different about the songs on the Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep labels that really stands out. Above & Beyond does all of the A&R for them. I've got Anjunabeats Volumes Six, Seven, and Eight. Telling ya. You can listen to these volumes over and over and over.

Some selections: (YouTube quality isn't that great)

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John Cage's


In a Landscape

I definitely would've mentioned In a Landscape, that song is the second most played in my library. The closest video game arrangement to that sort of piano work is this in my opinion. I actually feel the one thing that's holding that back is the fact that it has to be a video game arrangement. It has a lot of very powerful flowing depth where the notes on the piano seem to blend together to create a feeling.

I listen to a lot of movie soundtracks as well and I find that some less than stellar movies can have fantastic soundtracks. The two movie soundtracks that jump out me the most are Breach and The Bourne Supremacy. Breach absolutely nails simple and engaging piano work along with some dark boding stings. The few tracks in the soundtrack that incorporate electronic elements are also very well done, particularly the beginning of Double or Nothing. The Bourne Supremacy is just generally a good soundtrack for being very well driven rhythmically while still maintaining some very strong melody and harmony, usually something I find is hard to do in an action movie. Also, Luke Wieting is worth looking at.

I would be stuck listening to basically everything my early friends listened to (mostly mainstream rock) if not for OCR. Musically, this site has saved my life.

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I would be stuck listening to basically everything my early friends listened to (mostly mainstream rock) if not for OCR. Musically, this site has saved my life.

I can definitely relate to that statement. Gahh. I'm so glad I never got into NSync and the various modern pop. Instead I listen to djpretzel's Hillbilly Rodeo :pretzel:

Jokes aside, this site really does accomplish its mission of expanding one's musical horizons. I never would have gotten into Electronica, EDM, and Ambient music were it not for OCR.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi all,

I've been listening almost entirely to game music and remixes since I was a kid, and I'm looking to branch out. Got any non-OCR music suggestions? I generally go for music with lots of layers and an interesting structure (i.e. not too much verse-chorus-verse-chorus kind of stuff). I'm more into non-vocal music, but not exclusively. No preference for acoustic vs. electronic.

Here's some of my favourite OCR tracks, for reference:

Mucho Dollar: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01289/

Pachelbel's Ganon: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR00753/

That's What You Get: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01729/

Cross Examination (Sudden Interjection): http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01846/

Serenity: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01685/

Short Skirts: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01617/

Dark Wind Rising: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01453/

Lore of the Ancients: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02092/

Path of Deception: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02238/

Dirt Devil: http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR01685/

Much appreciated, thanks.


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I have only a few bands/artists that i listen to anymore so i will suggest giving them a go

First off would be Rush:

Second band would have to be Dream theater: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH_9lJxeiXg

next are some 2 french guys the world knows as daft punk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjli3hj0ZkM

Annnd finally is joe satriani:

Wish i could provide more piano and electronic style music but i'm a die hard rock fan.

if you wish to go all electronica/house music on everyone i'd suggest giving deadmau5 a go too:

Hope you give my bands a look and find something to fit your tastes.

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Got a few rock suggestions for ya!

Dream Theater - Popular Progressive Metal band with some killer instrumental skills and very off the wall arrangements - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LH_9lJxeiXg

Eric Johnson - Guitarist who is mostly known for instrumental works (cliffs of dover) but also dabbles in singing, has a unique blend of rock, jazz and blues. Probably has the best melodic sense of any guitarist out there -

Focus - Mostly instrumental 70's Rock group. Highly progressive in nature, and have some fantastic ideas that puts them a few steps ahead of their peers 0

Genesis - Had a very progressive 70's era with peter gaberiel out fronting the band with a more popular music driven 80's era with phil collins, altho were still pretty creative at the time -

Joe Satriani - The "alien" of the guitar. Gotta be heard to be believed, mostly instrumental work -

Journey (pre-steve perry era) - Don't be fooled, i'm not talking about don't stop believing. Some fantastic arrangements and instrumental work on display -

Rush - Progressive rock band who just only just managed to escape the public eye due to a rather acquired taste. However, any fan will name Rush their favourite band. I've got a friend who likes rush. They are his favourite band :P - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nmOMo4OPi4

Steve Vai - Joe satriani's more experimental student. Takes guitar and instrumental works to new heights - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2shY13oK8

Vince Dicola - Progressive Synth/Rock Movie Soundtrack Composer, and one of my biggest inspirations -

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Devin Townsend - Ocean Machine Biomech - If you're a rock fan this one might blow you away. Been listening to it for three weeks and still addicted to it. Lots of electronic elements so it wouldn't seem out of place here

...and I would like to add that this guy's song structures are light years ahead of most musicians out there. You never know what comes next yet it stays catchy

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Infected Mushroom (Psytrance/Tight Electro), Hybrid (Ambient/Organic Electro), and Blue Stahli (New Metal/Electro, Flexstyle recommended this to me and you can PM him for more of this style) are pretty good for their own genres, which are unique in a way.

Non-electronic, Peter White is pretty good Contemporary Jazz music. It's not as "free flowing" as some other jazz styles and has really nice grooves.

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