Last night I tried to practice yoga with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. It was a rainy day and I needed some energy. Instead it pushed me into listening mode, I just lay on the floor enjoying the album for a while, until I finally got up and practiced in silence.
So, today I decided to share my five fail-safe albums for yoga practice. I exclude kirtan from this list; if it’s any good it makes me want to sing to a distracting extent. In fact, anything with words is excluded. I like practice music to soothe and smooth any rough moods, and add an uplifting vibe. I’d call my favorite genre “symphonic electronic” — complex abstract music. These are albums you can play straight through without skipping a song.
- Ratatat, self-titled. My all-time favorite album, I have yet to get tired of this thing. Two guys, a million effects, gorgeous textures and rhythms. It made the rounds of all the coffee houses a few years ago, and is perfect for bright, focused energy. It makes me so happy.
- Brian Eno, Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks. The most famous ambient album? Apparently Eno was hit by a taxi, and couldn’t stand any music while recuperating in the hospital. So he invented ambient. This album is an opiate, and the track “An Ending (Ascent)” is pretty perfect. Quiet and soothing.
- Four Tet, Rounds. A beautiful album by Kieran Hebden from Fridge (another nice electronic group). Blissful and romantic; drum samples and heartbeats underlay enchanting melodies. Perfect mix tape fodder.
- Bibio, Fi. A quirky mix of finger-picking, reverb, and synths. The soundtrack to a flashback to childhood. Dreamy and gentle.
- Dub Specialists, Dub. This will have to represent the whole genre of reggae, the best morning music ever. It makes you want to move, without any stress. Classic and groovy, this album chills me ouuuuuuuut.
All these artists have more recent albums out, I have not kept up 100%. I also have to mention Beirut for sheer heart, if they would put out an instrumental album I would die.
Any favorite practice albums you want to share? Comment away!