Ah, electronic dance music. The youngest and most misunderstood of all the workout music genres. Magical yet mystifying. You sometimes like it (when you hear it), but you don’t always know where to FIND it (or even how to identify it). I mean, you hear a super hot beat that you like- maybe in a movie, or on a commercial, the background of the Jersey Shore, sometimes even on the radio – how do you even go about Googling that particular blend of sounds (and words you can’t understand)? Confounding.
Sidenote: I’m aware that some of you out there know way more than I do about beats and dubstep and whatever comes after dubstep that makes dubstep not cool anymore. If you’re a clubber or a DJ or you regularly take ecstacy- this blog is probably not for you. It might amuse you. That’s about all.
On the other hand- if you’re an exerciser who appreciates solid music for your workouts, but you’re having trouble getting into the whole “world” of electronic music, I am here to help. Consider this post Electronic Music 101, in which I break down and help you access 3 of the most popular (and worthwhile) electronic artists for your workout mix.
Electronic music newbies: Here’s a name you should know! If you’re just breaking into the techno scene, Chromeo is a fantastic gateway, because they blend traditional funk sounds with electronic beats. The result often sounds like an updated version of all your favorite 80′s dance hits. Even your dad would probably like their sound- it’s too fun to resist. Check out the video for their song “Night By Night”
Awesome, right? There isn’t much more to say. Chromeo is a great choice for your first electronic-dance album experience. Although they have a lot of material to choose from, I recommend getting the Deluxe Version of their album “Fancy Footwork” (here), because it includes lots of fun remixes. I also recommend the album Business Casual, which you can buy here.
Perhaps you noticed this name last month in the press surrounding a little awards ceremony known as the Grammy’s. He was nominated for a total of 5, including Best New Artist, and won 3. So hot right now.
Now: do I think that Skrillex should have been nominated for Best New Artist? No. I’m not even sure he’s the best new electronic music artist out there. The music is pretty much what you think of when you hear the word “techno.” But within that constraint his beats are upbeat and enjoyable, and for the most part pretty accessible (not too hardcore). Some are slower, some are faster, some are more old-school and some are really different- so his albums serve as a good introduction if you’ve never listened to an electronic dance album in it’s entirety before.
His EP “My Name Is Skrillex” is available for FREE (legal) download here: http://www.bloodcompany.net/skrillexep/
His grammy-nominated album “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” is available for purchase for $7.99 on iTunes.
Affordable, motivating, fun, danceable, moveable: Music Monday says, “do it.”
Saved the best for last. Pretty Lights is the stage name for a guy named Derek Vincent Smith, and he is by far my favorite of the 3 artists that I am highlighting this week. Pretty Lights is hugely popular on the electronic scene right now and has been featured at festivals from Bonnaroo to Coachella.
Pretty Lights is NOT your standard thumping baselines and techno untz untz untz stuff. His music is MUCH more mellow and ethereal than Skrillex or Chromeo. Especially when it comes to purposes such as skiing, running or any other long endurance type of activity, this style is more up my alley. You might even call it trance-like (although if you’re heavily into trance music, you might disagree).
Check out the song and cool video for We Must Go On:
Best of all? You can download all of his music for free at http://www.prettylightsmusic.com.
And there you have it- yet another Music Monday, complete with free music and stellar recommendations from me to you. You’re welcome
Now go exercise!