Smart electronic music to sweat to
January 22, 2014 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Need music to keep me going at the gym. The caveat is that it isn't mindless pop music, but something with some complexity.

I am interested in broadening my horizons. I hear a lot about Chvrches and other groups. I am looking for something that isn't "too hipstery" but also something that isn't the same beat for 5 minutes straight. Something with vocals would be preferable.

I have lots of stuff like Boards of Canada and such that is too ambient.

I'd prefer an album to random tracks. Here are some examples of what I am looking for

How to Destroy Angels - 2nd album
The Knife track "full of fire" (much of the knife and fever ray aren't uptempo enough)
Radiohead - ideoteque

I am aware of all of the spinoffs of the above bands/members

I am very sensitive to mindless pop music and would like something with some depth.

Thanks in advance
posted by kbbbo to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
I like listening to DJ Fleep's club mixes during exercise and/or runs. Might be a little too chill at times for you, but they're definitely involving and listenable without being poppy.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:17 AM on January 22, 2014

Daphni - "Yes I Know"
Four Tet - "Pinnacles", "A Joy"
Todd Terje - "Q", "Inspector Norse", "Ragysh" (might be a little on the house-y side but it's worth it)
posted by ripley_ at 8:20 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Florence and the Machine, any of their albums.
posted by bleep at 8:21 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Elliott Smith - Figure 8
posted by unreasonable at 8:27 AM on January 22, 2014

As crazy as it might be in the modern era, let me suggest that you buy a DJ Mix CD or two. If Radiohead's your thing, try Shackleton's Fabric Mix. If you like Four Tet, try his Fabriclive set. If you can find yourself a copy of Cold Cut's 70 Minutes of Madness you might be in good shape, though it's a little dated. I consider Juan Maclean's DJ KiCKs mix the pinnacle of good workout house, but it's probably a bit too four-on-the-floor for your purposes. But of course, plenty of artists do free mixes for podcasts. (e.g. Actress's recent set for XLR8R.) Free and often good quality.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:30 AM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Some of Grimes fits the bill.

Probably her most famous track [studio version starts at about 1:10] from Visions, discussed here previously.
posted by oflinkey at 8:30 AM on January 22, 2014

Above & Beyond. Try the album Group Therapy.
posted by theraflu at 8:32 AM on January 22, 2014

Jazzanova - "Mixing".
posted by 4midori at 8:50 AM on January 22, 2014

Oh! From last year: Nguzunguzu's The Perfect Lullaby mix.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:01 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Laurel Halo's 2012 album Quarantine was pretty vocal heavy. Highly recommend her whole catalogue.
posted by wearethemillwards at 9:05 AM on January 22, 2014

Everything Everything came to mind - their most recent two albums are full of intelligent, ludicrously well-played, driving tunes. Try Cough Cough for starters :)
posted by greenish at 9:11 AM on January 22, 2014

Maybe the most recent Haujobb or Architect albums? For something a bit more uptempo than those, the new Pet Shop Boys record is actually amazing.
posted by Jairus at 9:52 AM on January 22, 2014

Max Vangeli's weekly podcast is a go-to for me.
posted by liquado at 10:02 AM on January 22, 2014

posted by Kafkaesque at 10:14 AM on January 22, 2014

I have a friend of similar bent who listens to a lot of Squarepusher on the ellipticals.
posted by Sublimity at 10:18 AM on January 22, 2014

Anything John Talabot: his Fact mix, his Boiler Room set, other random mixes, and particularly his newly released, costs-actual-money mix for DJ Kicks is excellent.
posted by kaspen at 10:50 AM on January 22, 2014

Morris Cowan - either the tech house record, Circa, from a year or two ago or the 2013 release, Six Degrees (more downtempo portions, but stunning artistic development). No vocals, but so good I recommend it despite only meeting a few of your criteria.
posted by alexandermatheson at 11:30 AM on January 22, 2014

Smart electronic musicians off the top of my head which weren't mentioned:

Burial (really can't recommend him enough)
Amon Tobin
Joy Orbison
Special Request
Flying Lotus (might be a bit slow?)
Aphex Twin
posted by Erberus at 2:17 PM on January 22, 2014

Gestaffelstein - Aleph. Fantastic album for a run.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 4:24 PM on January 22, 2014

I've been enjoying MNDR and Dragonette at the gym recently.

This is an awesome tool for discovering music similar to artists you enjoy:

The Kitsune Maison compilations are good for finding wonky pop with a good beat.
posted by Ness at 8:20 AM on January 23, 2014

LCD Soundsystem. Start with Yeah (Crass Version).
posted by Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific at 1:23 PM on January 23, 2014

(Actually, LCD Soundsystem made a workout mix for Nike. Not sure how good it is.)
posted by Going To Maine at 2:06 PM on January 23, 2014

I just discovered Bjork to be really good to run to, if you like her--right now I'm listening to Debut and Homogenic, and Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (2009). But I'm just starting a playlist myself. (Spotify is good for this.)
posted by theNeutral at 6:25 PM on January 23, 2014

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