Curating music discovery algorithms so you don’t have to
Our goal is to create a new project from scratch and record in one year’s time on the other side of the world. Along the way, we want to share the musical roadmap. Curated playlists may help communicate what we’re thinking and feeling through this process before we have an actual product to release. If you’re curious about the “loud, big and bold” style we’re going for, it might also be a good way to discover new music.
It feels like I’m listening to more music now than my teenage years learning to play the guitar when certain bands were my identity. That voraciousness is partly about seeking input into our creative machine; references to inspire reaction. A big factor though is the ease of and increasing satisfaction with music discovery products.
I’m currently subscribed to Apple Music because the Apple ecosystem is inescapably better when you’re all-in. With any such product, it improves with a good discipline of liking and disliking tracks to train the algorithm driven by listening behaviour. Overall, the experience can still be a bit hit-and-miss but is absolutely providing me a broader and deeper appreciation of diverse genres which would otherwise be harder to acquire.
While I still get good referrals from blogs and friends periodically, my weekly consumption is highlighted by:
- Apple Music New Music Mix and Spotify Release Radar, Fridays — winners flow into a General playlist which is like my pre-qualified casual listening station
- Apple Music Chill Mix, Sundays — occasional winners but the machine learning has been polluted by the sleep assistance ambient rain sounds I played for a while…
- Spotify Discover Weekly, Monday — can offer a little more diversity than Apple Music’s suggestions
- Apple Music Favourites Mix, Tuesdays— worth a quick review as inexplicably it tends to suggest similar tracks to your favourites or ones you might have breezed over but not fully considered
- An honourable mention for editorial products like the Bandcamp app or human-curated lists in Apple Music and Spotify which I use sometimes
The following tracks were mostly sourced from these channels. As a collection, they start to express something of our current musical direction.
Here’s the first playlist
#posthardcore #newprog #postmetal #alternativerock
- “Terrain,” pg.lost: I sent this track to Brendon having not talked to him in a while; the bass tone had the intended effect and pretty much led to the conversation about starting this band
- “Pharmakokinetic,” Exotic Animal Petting Zoo: Single-coil guitar tones articulate a melodic abrasiveness
- “Baby Teeth,” Whores: Strongest case for tuning your guitar to CGCFAd in an age; the asthmatic wheeze of the fuzz pedals in the opening is delightful
- “To Carry the Flame,” Old Man Gloom: Crushes with the weight of a tectonic shift
- “The Pressure Keeps Me Alive,” Kowloon Walled City: Love the space that hangs between the beats; the track feels like Shellac meets post-metal which is a very good thing
- “Smart,” Helmet: A reliably excellent sequence of subtly sophisticated chords juxtaposed with muscular riffs
- “Wonderful World,” Abraham: A cacophony slouching towards a satisfying release of tension at 1:57
- “Two Isolated Souls,” envy: A more recent release from this Japanese post-hardcore, post-rock archetype of high emotional content
- “Where Boys Fear to Tread,” Smashing Pumpkins: This riff trepans skulls
- “Symptom of Terminal Illness,” The Dillinger Escape Plan: A respite from their mathcore mania that delivers evocative, debilitating heaviness