Soundtracks for snoozing
March 18, 2013 9:56 PM   Subscribe

I like taking naps, and find they're greatly improved by a certain style of ambient/drone music: long, repetitive, weird, and folky-chanty rather than overtly electronic. Examples within; further recommendations appreciated.

I'm going round in loops in the YT sidebar, LastFM and various other recommendation channels looking for new stuff. I'm hoping there are some hidden gems by artists who may not be known for this type of music, or some obscure sub-genre I'm missing entirely.

Some guidelines as to what I'm after:

- analog rather than digital; does not sound anything like Klaus Schulze, Mike Oldfield, Brian Eno, Biosphere, etc. The album art does not feature any dolphins, Native Americans or radio telescopes.
- minimal/no vocals; chanting or dialogue sampling are okay.
- ridiculous duration, like 20+ minutes, is good.
- preferably no sudden changes that might perturb with my delicate somnolence.
- Goes WAOOooAAAAAWWWWWOOaaAAaaAaaaaAAAWWWW at some point. Or better yet all the way through.


Six Organs of Admittance - River of Transfiguration

The Myrrors - Mother Of All Living

Barn Owl - She Swims in the Clouds

Pelt- True Vine

Elm - Nemcatacoa

posted by Kandarp Von Bontee to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
How about She's the One for Me - The Beta Band

Or something more ambient like Virgina Astley's album From Garden Where We Feel Secure, which doesn't contain any lyrics/voice work at all and can be listened to continuously?
posted by everydayanewday at 10:17 PM on March 18, 2013

First off, I'd recommend checking out minimalist composers such as Philip Glass, Moondog, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and La Monte Young. Here are a few examples:
Philip Glass - Music in Twelve Parts
Terry Riley - The Last Camel in Paris
La Monte Young - Raga for Ravi

If you're looking for something more folky, I'd suggest Peter Walker, Sandy Bull, John Fahey, and Robbie Basho.
posted by mtmont at 10:23 PM on March 18, 2013

Try Sleepbot. A bunch of the songs streamed the criteria you want (though you may need to give a little play to the analog/digital distinction).
posted by zer0render at 10:32 PM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I really like Chakra Chants and Chakra Chants II by Jonathan Goldman but the cover art is new agey
posted by amapolaroja at 11:01 PM on March 18, 2013

Windy & Carl. Their later stuff (like, from the last decade) has more longer pieces, earlier stuff tends to be shorter, but still generally between 5 and 10 minutes. Sometimes there's vocals, but they're usually quiet or breathy. Music is generally composed of overlaid and overdriven electric guitar.

Fainting in the Presence of the Lord, a more recent one.
Emerald, an older one.
Whisper, somewhere in between.
Venice, from the same album as Whisper.

Also, Stars of the Lid, although I don't think they approach the 20 minute mark.
Be Little With Me

Stuff like this generally falls under the "drone rock" category. For older stuff, you might look into some Spacemen 3, although the tracks they have that match what you're looking for are limited.
posted by LionIndex at 11:20 PM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sean McCann, generally.

Emeralds are somewhat electronic but have enough of a strange drone feel that I doubt you'd find them unpalatable.

-Possibly- Arvo Part. I just have a weird fondness for the spareness of this particular piece; a lot of his other stuff is very interestingly droney, but probably doesn't have the harsh edge you're looking for.

Oh. And Coil. Their other work is probably actually better for your purposes; but I won't profess familiarity with it.
posted by solarion at 12:28 AM on March 19, 2013

I listen to this stuff fairly regularly, but I’m not understanding the analog/digital divide here.

Besides Sleepbot, there’s also Cryosleep and Blue Mars, and Drone Zone might have some of what you’re looking for.

When I want something for sleeping I often just use the excellent Resonance. I’ve made my own perfect soundtracks with it.
posted by bongo_x at 12:28 AM on March 19, 2013

Seconding Stars of the Lid. They don't really have 20 min. songs but the songs on their albums blend together and I always end up falling asleep in the best way.
posted by saul wright at 12:30 AM on March 19, 2013

I think Amen Dunes fits the folk requirement and tend to be very dreamy.
posted by cellura p at 1:54 AM on March 19, 2013

You should check out Double Leopards.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 2:06 AM on March 19, 2013

Coincidentally, a piece that fits the bill was playing on my iPod as I read your question. Suiren, from the album Deep Listening by Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster and Panaiotis. Pretty much chanting from beginning to end, little to no variation.
posted by Koko at 4:28 AM on March 19, 2013

Geotic, whose entire catalog is free to download (don't be put off by the Angelfire link). There's singing on one record, I think, but the rest is instrumental.

Marcus Fischer/map~map - For Friends This Winter, Arctic/Antarctic, and Correspond (a collaboration with Devin Underwood) are all freely downloadable. The rest of his stuff is worth the money, especially At Frame ($1!), and On Shore ($5).

The Dead Texan is a slightly more active Stars of the Lid side project; still very droney.

You might like Transocean, by Moustache Mountain.

Riceboy Sleeps by Jónsi & Alex is quite good, and perfect for sleeping.
posted by god hates math at 4:43 AM on March 19, 2013

And here is The Magic of Healing Music. But I would downplay the Amazon testimonials.
posted by megatherium at 4:55 AM on March 19, 2013

Maybe something from Bohren & der Club of Gore like "Prowler" or "To a Dead Friend" by Eleni Kariandru. Conceivably raga music too like Raga Desi from Hariprisad Chaurasia.
posted by rongorongo at 5:44 AM on March 19, 2013

posted by matildaben at 6:42 AM on March 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I also love snoozy drone rock, and Earth's album The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull is my favorite and has some of the qualities you describe.

Not being an actual drone metal person, I'm told by a reliable source their other albums are much less, um, melodic. So maybe try Bees first and then check out the other stuff when you're not trying to nap.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:01 AM on March 19, 2013

Spiral Joy Band. It's many of the same members as Pelt, along with some other friends, and is very, very droney and entirely analog. Three of their albums are on iTunes. Lullabies for Jeff Dean has one track that's 40 minutes long, and another that's 25.
posted by duien at 8:36 AM on March 19, 2013

You may like this recording of a tamboura.
posted by Specklet at 10:16 AM on March 19, 2013

I used to enjoy napping to John Fahey's folk-guitar ragas
posted by silvergoat at 5:58 PM on March 19, 2013

I agree with suggestions for Steve Reich (try Music for 18 Musicians) and Jonsi & Alex's Riceboy Sleeps. Sigur Ros in general is pretty good, especially their earlier stuff. Some of their later stuff is a bit too upbeat :)

Riffing on the Scandinavian theme, Efterklang has its more trance-like moments too, especially their first album, Tripper. Example track: Swarming.

And finally, on a completely different theme, Peter Gabriel's Passion is awesome.
posted by Athanassiel at 9:07 PM on March 19, 2013

Don Cherry - Brown Rice - Malkauns
posted by johnny novak at 2:58 PM on March 22, 2013

You might like the two-track album Født til å Herske by Mortiis. It's absolutely nothing like his other stuff, and it's delightfully ambient and ignorable.
posted by meggan at 10:47 AM on March 23, 2013

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