Music for Fans of the Twin Peaks Soundtrack
There is a lesser known genre called Doom Jazz existing in the world’s dark, dreamy corners and smokey shadows. Some of it is directly inspired out of the love of the ambient and epic Angelo Badalamenti composed soundtrack to David Lynch’s TV series and some of it has arrived near the same sonic space purely by chance. All of it is interesting and for fans of this eccentric, spacey, and slow soundtrack, it may be especially exciting.
Characterized by it’s epic slowness, it’s ambient vibes, and it’s lack of vocals, Doom Jazz shares many qualities with its Doom Metal cousin. One characteristic it typically doesn’t share is distortion. Where a Doom Metal band might use distortion and a voice, a Doom Jazz band is more likely to use reverb and a saxophone, creating a feeling somewhat like sitting in a smokey and somehow otherworldly jazz club in a slightly twisted David Lynch Universe. It’s an adventure for the ears and the mind.
Dale Cooper Quartet and the Dictaphones
France’s Dale Cooper Quartet and the Dictaphones were directly inspired by the dreamy slowness of the Twin Peaks soundtrack and the droney jazz of Bohren and Der Club of Gore, so they hold the first spot on this list. The name of their band is even named after a Twin Peaks character! Sure enough if you made a playlist with the Dictaphones and the Twin Peaks soundtrack you may have trouble know which is which if you weren’t looking. They started in 2002 and have 5 albums.
Bohren and Der Club of Gore
The German band Bohren and Der Club of Gore is, in the author’s opinion, the reigning kings of Drone Jazz. Having started playing together in the early 90’s, they’ve continued to get slower, loungier, and more doomy as time has gone on. New fans might find their discography a bit intimidating, so I recommend starting with their latest record, “Bohren for Beginners,” which lies somewhere between greatest hits and discography sampler and will definitely let you know if you love this band or not. For me, I love them and can listen to their entire discography from end to end without pause. They started in 1992 and have 10 albums and some EPs, with Black Earth being one of their best known and most quintessential album.
The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble
This Dutch band is also has a live, improvisational form called The Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation and they are pretty doomy. They have four albums and I recommend the earlier ones though they are all good. They have much more experimental tendencies than Bohren and they tend to use a lot more strings as opposed to keys and saxophone. They also use voice in some of their music. The group originally began because they wanted to make dark, cinematic jazz for silent films and couldn’t find any existing music that they liked so they decided to make it themselves. They started in 2000 and have four albums.
Technically, OM doesn’t belong on this list because they are definitely a Doom/Stoner Metal band, but I wanted to include them because they aren’t so far from a band like Bohren and Der Club of Gore. Epic, Slow, Ambient but with a growling and distorted edge to them and sparse, low vocals. Sometimes a duo and sometimes a trio, their discography has only gotten better over time, so I recommend working backwards starting with their latest record, Advaitic Songs. They started in 2005 and have 5 albums, plus EPs and live albums. They started after the demise of their previous band Sleep.
Robert Audrey Aiki Lowe’s music seems to live on the fringes of the Doom Metal scene though his music is anything but. His early works is what I’m looking at here, and it’s almost all completely composed by the voice of this one man. It’s ambient, dreamy, droney, mystical, and more. Sometimes a fuzzy guitar pops in to take his voice to higher levels, yet there are never any words. Lichens is not quite Doom Jazz or maybe he’s doing his own version of acapella Doom Jazz, like Frank Sinatra in a fever dream after a marathon of David Lynch movies. I highly recommend Tanith, ∞, and Omns. He started in 2004 and has released 8 albums, mostly handmade and self released.
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