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Spotify Playlist of the Week

Michael Quick

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“Halloweenie”
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Well, it’s everyone’s favorite spooky time of year so this week’s playlist is all about scare factor. Most people who listen to music want it to make them happy or sad and don’t really expect anything other than that. Sure, maybe you can throw in that token song about an ex to get the listener angry, but these emotions are aroused pretty easily.

Something that is not usually done by music alone is instill fear, which is a rather interesting concept. Maybe fear is more easily achieved through visual stimuli, but nonetheless, it can be done through auditory stimulation alone and this playlist sets out to do just that.

Though there are only seven songs, each piece calls for a rather weighty emotional response from the listener.

The first piece I wanted to share is “Streaker” by the American electronic artist Tobacco (the solo project of Thomas Fec, frontman of Black Moth Super Rainbow). The thing that really makes this piece terrifying is the over-modulated vocal that gets pounded into the listener’s head throughout the song.

The dark synthesizers and trashy drum kit are almost uncomfortable to listen to. And if you really want to lose some sleep, watch the music video for this song. And even though it was produced by comedian Eric Wareheim (of Tim & Eric fame), I can tell you there is nothing humorous about it. It’s disturbing.

Another piece that I felt was fitting for this playlist was “Lux Aererna” by Romanian composor György Ligeti. Some may know this piece from its most famous use in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. This piece, written for sixteen solo singers, is unique in the sense that it utilizes a contemporary classical music texture known as “micropolyphony,” developed by Ligeti himself.   This technique consists of incredibly dense harmonies that move in and out of one another slowly and irregularly, thus giving the piece an ambiguous rhythmic structure, again making the listener almost uncomfortable. While this piece isn’t necessarily disturbing in and of itself, it’s out there and I could easily see it being used in a horror movie.

Finally, there’s a piece by the drone metal band Sunn O))), “Big Church.” It would have been impossible to create a Halloween themed playlist without including something from this band’s catalogue. Drone metal is a musical style usually overlooked, featuring slow, loud, and heavy guitars playing seemingly endless long-tones. “Big Church” is interesting because it also incorporates a choir and concert chimes to accompany these low and distorted tones. And to top it all off, sprinkled throughout the song there are gravelly, monotone chants reciting something which appears to be in a different language. My friend from high school who introduced me to Sunn O))) instructed me to not listen to them before I went to sleep, and I would pass on the same warning to you.

1 Comment

One Response to “Spotify Playlist of the Week”

  1. Quickie Mart “Specializes In Everything” on October 28th, 2015 10:35 pm

    […] Spotify Playlist of the Week The first piece I wanted to share is “Streaker” by the American electronic artist Tobacco (the solo project of Thomas Fec, frontman of Black Moth Super Rainbow). The thing that &#8230. The dark synthesizers and trashy drum kit are almost uncomfortable to … Read more on Chargerbulletin […]

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Spotify Playlist of the Week