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Kit Carruthers
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Kit Carruthers mostly favours the experimental. Ambient, post-rock, psychedelia, IDM, neoclassical, shoegaze, post-hardcore and "post-metal." He listens to a lot of music outside of this. His taste is very dark and he is the most pretentious of all of us.

Destroyalldreamers - À Coeur Léger Sommeil Sanglant (2004)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Post-Rock with underlying shoegaze-y feelings. Soft and ethereal.

Dont Look Back - Brighter (2006)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental and Non-Instrumental
It's been said they're scary they sound like a horror movie, and... I guess? I don't so much see it. They're dark and intense and dramatic.

Idiot Pilot - Strange We Should Meet Here (2004)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Hardcore
Non-Instrumental
Charming witty post-hardcore with underlying electronic music. "Spark Plug" is one of my favourite post-hardcore tracks.

Meanwhile, Back In Communist Russia... - My Elixir; My Poison (2003)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
Spoken word lyrics over post-rock. Give it a moment I don't really care for the opening track but it gets pretty stunningly beautiful. I'm going to use the word elegant again even though I hate myself a little every time I call a piece of music elegant.

Monolake - Polygon_Cities (2005)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Minimal Techno
Instrumental
The genius of this one didn't hit me until I listened to it really really loud. It also helped that way back then I had stereo speakers that would cone. An uncultured mind may hear this and go "Hehe it sounds like the kind of music a bald German guy would make" and yes it is.

Mono & World's End Girlfriend - Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Neoclassical
Instrumental
It's about as sad and bleak as A Silver Mt. Zion but more orchestral.

Bark Psychosis - Codename: Dustsucker (2004)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental and Non-Instrumental
Another pioneering post-rock band but I'm giving you something they made a little later because of "Shapeshifting." When the guitar solo at the middle end comes in it is going to challenge your conception of music for a moment. It's going to hit you and you're going to go "No! That's wrong!" Then you're going to hear the whole thing. Then you're going to go back and listen to it again and suddenly you have a new conception of what music is. To me it is one of the most breathtaking moments in music I almost cry every time.

iLiKETRAiNS - Progress•Reform (2006)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
On this one I'm afraid I am going to have to apologize for the lyrics on behalf of the band but the music is brilliant. Dark dramatic post-rock.

Bathyscaphe - -11034m (2004)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Dark driving post-rock with underlying electronic music.

dredg - Leitmotif (1998)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Progressive Metal
Non-Instrumental
Brilliant super angular edge-d progressive metal.

Cam Butler - See (Symphony No.1) (2006)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
A soundtrack to a movie that does not exist. And... A very stereotypical soundtrack to a movie that does not exist. But it is perfection. I can't get enough "Unlock My Door."

65daysofstatic - The Destruction of Small Ideas (2007)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
For whatever reason they lost a bit of the edge they had in "The Fall Of Math" and they obviously understand this as they labeled the opening track "When We Were Younger & Better." But then they developed a new and different edge in "We Were Exploding Anyway." And while yes "The Fall Of Math" is better and edgier they went to some different places with this one, got a lot more melodic and emotional. "Don't Go Down to Sorrow" is one of my favourite pieces of music, as far as emotional 65daysofstatic goes it's right behind "Radio Protector" from "One Time for All Time."

Godflesh - Streetcleaner (1989)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Industrial Metal
Non-Instrumental
It has some neat angular edge guitar moments and some traditional metally moments. Of course it only sounds like traditional modern metal because it was a very heavy influence on traditional modern metal. This is the Justin Broadrick aggressive harsh edge I warned you of when I talked about Jesu's "Silver."

World's End Girlfriend - Hurtbreak Wonderland (2007)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Neoclassical, IDM, Breakcore
Instrumental
This one is a hard one to put into sub-genres but I did my best. Pretty pretty genre defying organic music with a little darkness not a whole lot of darkness.

VNV Nation - Empires (1999)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Futurepop
Non-Instrumental
They do take themselves reasonably serious and that's all I ask but they are often criticized in the industrial community for not being dark and serious enough. I'm just going to go ahead and say it... When you take your gothic sad clown lyrics so totally serious it's fucking embarrassing. Obviously there can be a lot of beauty in it but it can be a little too much. But no this music isn't exactly "fun" but it is "fun." If you like synth-pop you also like futurepop. It's a more fun and pleasant evolution of the industrial EBM.

35007 - Liquid (2002)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Space Rock, Psychedelia
Instrumental
Is a very good album overall but the highlight for me is "Voyage Automatique" it's all psychedelic trance post-rock with a perfect driving repeating base. You pronounce it "Loose" by the way. 35007 is "Loose" upside down on a calculator.

Amusement Parks On Fire - Amusement Parks On Fire (2004)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
Shoegaze with pop punk vibes. So if for whatever reason you ever feel like listening to pop punk but you still want to be pretentious this is your band. But don't worry if you hate pop punk it only has vibes it isn't really pop punk.

Can - Ege Bamyasi (1972)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Krautrock, Psychedelia
Non-Instrumental
This isn't Kraftwerk, krautrock isn't always Kraftwerk. Experimental psychedelic rock music, I picked a more accessible one for you but it is also maybe my favourite. It's possible you're familiar with "Vitamin C." I had to do Can next so I could call them krauts because that's another one. They like to eat sauerkraut so they ARE sauerkraut. We were not very clever as a people back then.

Maybeshewill - Not for Want of Trying (2008)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Another post-rock band that may be more palatable to you if you enjoy your pop metal.

The Orb - The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld (1991)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient House, Ambient Techno
Instrumental
One of the most important albums in artful electronic music, perhaps the most. Again, "Chillout." Sometimes it bounces and bubbles, sometimes it kinda sparkles. It's a bit of a mind warp. These days I'm a little more in the music so "Little Fluffy Clouds" can kinda spin me into delirium we'll see if you can do it too now that I've introduced you to the idea. The lady's all floaty "Little fluffy clouds... Little fluffy clouds... Little fluffy clouds... Lit lt lt lt ltltltltl..." bloopy bloopy bloop bloop bloop bloopet.

Eluvium - Talk Amongst The Trees (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient
Instrumental
This album is a little bit like flowers. Flowers and fog and wooden benches.

Pan•American - 360 Business / 360 Bypass (1999)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Downtempo, Ambient
Instrumental and Non-Instrumental
Ambient downtempo "chillout" which isn't even a sub-genre "chillout" isn't even a sub-genre. It has jazzy instruments in it.

Esmerine - If Only a Sweet Surrender to the Nights to Come Be True (2003)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
It has a very similar sound to the rest of the Montreal post-rock scene. Sorta. Obviously they are their own band they have a very unique sound but it still very much sounds like Montreal. I struggled for a long time trying to explain their sound... Elegant? Folksy? Antiquated? Let's go with... Antiquated.

Efterklang - Tripper (2004)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
I'm not sure if this is one of those times where I am the one who is weird for finding it weird but the vocals sometimes go a little weird. Very very pretty though. Ethereal and entrancing.

Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971)

Genre: Popular Music
Sub-Genres: Chanson Francaise
Non-Instrumental
This one is either going to feel like another too obvious to point out or something highly obscure. Chanson francaise, French vocal pop, and I'm declaring him king chanson francaise though some would disagree. I'm also really into the oldschool vocal pop vocal jazz but most of that does not need pointing out. Chanson francaise is my favourite of the oldschool vocal pop bunch of pretentious frogs. I don't get that one... Are they frogs because... They like to eat frogs legs? They eat frogs, so... They ARE frogs? Dumb. Dumb racial slur dumb.

Alessandro Cortini - Avanti (2017)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient
Instrumental
A perfect dreamy ambient album.

Sunn O))) - Black One (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Drone Metal
Instrumental and Non-Instrumental
I... Can't really put "Rock Music" can I, I have no choice but to put "Experimental Music." Metal heads... This may let you dip your toes in concept of ambient. If ambient is with guitars and scary banshee screaming maybe you will understand what ambient is trying to do. This album is horror erupting from a bubbly black marsh.

Harold Budd - Lovely Thunder (1986)

Genre: Classical Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient, Neoclassical, Minimalism
Instrumental
One of the most important figures in ambient music, a beautiful darkly ethereal album.

Dälek - Absence (2005)

Genre: Hip-Hop Music
Sub-Genres: Abstract Hip-Hop, Noise
Non-Instrumental
Hip-hop and noise? How could you have thought of that one? You must have been very angry. Which obviously you are and for good reason. It's brilliant hip-hop, after listening to it your pop sensibilities may even come to understand noise. Understand but not accept.

Suicide - Suicide (1977)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: No Wave
Non-Instrumental
The coolest people in the 70s and that's obviously saying a lot. Played a big role in putting synthesizers into the mainstream, influenced the punk scene, influenced new wave, creating music that is in your face and difficult under an air of extreme casual coolness. Lyrical brilliance. It's rather minimalist and repetitive and subtlAAHH! Then there's a scream.

September Malevolence - Tomorrow We'll Wonder Where This Generation Gets Its Priorities From (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
They sound like a brown suede jacket. A really cool person wearing a brown suede jacket who may be carrying a pistol. Also there are flowers. It isn't strictly instrumental but the way in which they use the vocals I'm just gonna go ahead and call it instrumental.

Flying Saucer Attack - Further (1995)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Shoegaze, Space Rock
Non-Instrumental and Instrumental
One of the pioneers of post-rock. Ethereal and eerie.

Röyksopp - Melody A.M. (2001)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Downtempo
Instrumental and Non-Instrumental
Ethereal downtempo with grooves and sparkles. I had decided I am above the use of the word "grooves" but I don't know how else to describe it.

Spacemen 3 - Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To (1994)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Psychedelia
Non-Instrumental
You likely know of Spiritualized. This is J. Spaceman's band before Spiritualized. Is a little more simplistic, a little less accessible than Spiritulized but it carries a similar vibe.

Fennesz - Venice (2004)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Experimental Ambient
Instrumental
Glitchy and vaguely sparkly ambient.

Caspian - The Four Trees (2007)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
I'm afraid I'm going to have to call it relatively standard Explosions in the Sky-esque post-rock just as 80% of lesser known post-rock sounds like a not as good Explosions in the Sky over and over. They do have uniqueness of course, once you familiarize yourself with the genre you are more able to find uniqueness. Now while it does sound just like post-rock generally sounds it is pure perfection. They break out of soft flowery Explosions in the Sky-esque sounds for a moment in the middle of the album to explore loud highly aggressive feelings. Also overall while they are much like Explosions in the Sky they also have that angular edge I love.

Rosetta - The Galilean Satellites (2005)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Atmospheric Sludge, Post-Hardcore
Non-Instrumental
Dramatic and intense but spacey sludge metal.

Boards Of Canada - The Campfire Headphase (2005)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient Techno, Ambient Breakbeat, IDM
Instrumental
Shut up it's a good album you just need to look at it a little differently than you're used to looking at Boards of Canada. Remember Boards of Canada are not actually a true pure electronic act. They use broken instruments and tape manipulation as well so you really shouldn't find anything wrong with the fact that they decided to introduce a guitar.

Hammock - Raising Your Voice... Trying To Stop An Echo (2006)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient, Post-Rock
Instrumental
Ambient post-rock that sparkles.

Jesu - Silver (2006)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Atmospheric Sludge, Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
As pleasant as sludge metal will ever get. The wonderful Justin Broadrick does most certainly have an inner aggressive harsh edge but in this particular project it is mellowed and prettied up into shoegaze-esque sludge metal.

Sigur Rós - ( ) (2002)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
Is my favourite Sigur Rós for obvious reasons (it is their darkest.) Ethereal vocal post-rock singing their made up gobbledegook language I can only assume in order to emphasize that with post-rock vocals are an instrument and not the centre point of the music.

Rachel's - Selenography (1999)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Neoclassical
Instrumental
Beautiful post-rock that is almost full neoclassical.

Piano Magic - Low Birth Weight (1999)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Indie Rock
Non-Instrumental
Melancholic indie rock-y post-rock.

Love Spirals Downwards - Ardor (1994)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Ethereal, Dream Pop, Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
Surreal shoegaze-y ethereal. I'm not entirely sure but although they are not particularly high on my list overall the track "Sidhe" may well be my second favourite peice of music ever after Tim Hecker's "Dungeoneering." It is pretty different than the rest of the album but the rest of the album is excellent.

God Is an Astronaut - All Is Violent, All Is Bright (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
The sparkliest of sparkly post-rock that I have encountered.

Autechre - Amber (1994)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: IDM
Instrumental
A more challenging Autechre than the last one I had recommended, a more important Autechre than the last one I had recommended, possibly maybe the most important true IDM album. I call it "true IDM" because fine sure whatever call breakcore IDM but I call breakcore breakcore. It's more minimalist and atmospheric than EP7.

Blind Mr. Jones - Stereo Musicale (1994)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
Shoegaze with a flute.

Blueneck - The Outpost (2016)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock, Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
Is a little different than the last Blueneck I recommended. A little less lo-fi, a little less washed in reverb, a little more traditional rock-y but still very sad and dramatic.

Auburn Lull - Cast From The Platform (2004)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Shoegaze, Ambient
Non-Instrumental
I put ambient even though I can disagree with what people consider ambient but okay fine ambient. Atmospheric ethereal subtle shoegaze.

Bardo Pond - Amanita (1996)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Psychedelia
Non-Instrumental
This is Bardo Pond when Bardo Pond was basically just crunchy guitars before they had truly evolved, but it is crunchy guitar perfection. It may take a lot of marijuana for you to truly understand why crunchy guitars are so important. You will notice the vocalist is clearly always on heroin or something.

2814 - Lost Fragments (2019)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient
Instrumental
Vaporwave ambient that sounds like Tokyo at night.

Loop - A Gilded Eternity (1990)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Psychedelia, Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
Dark and edgy psychedelic shoegaze.

DJ Shadow - Endtroducing..... (1996)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Turntablism
Instrumental
I... Probably don't really need to point this one out but I suppose some of you are in fact such philistines you don't even know DJ Shadow. And if you are in fact such a philistine: This is instrumental hip-hop, you know those sounds behind what the rappers are saying? That's what this is. It's chill and cool and vaguely dark.

Explosions in the Sky - Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever (2001)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
My favourite Explosions in the Sky, I prefer the darker side of post-rock. If you want a "happier" post-rock you want "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place." They are one of the most popular post-rock bands for a reason, they're palatable and highly brilliant.

Jóhann Jóhannsson - Englabörn (2002)

Genre: Classical Music
Sub-Genres: Neoclassical, Ambient
Instrumental
Vaguely ambient ethereal neoclassical. Another classical artist who gently used synthesizers in his work.

Seachange - Lay Of The Land (2004)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock, Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
Fairly dark angular edge indie rock with a post-rock feeling. I can't help but think they hate drugs but fine whatever I'll let you be stupid if you make good music.

Crippled Black Phoenix - A Love Of Shared Disasters (2007)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Progressive Rock
Non-Instrumental and Instrumental
A mix of instrumental post-rock and indie rock-esque singy songs. It has a bit of a European folk influence. On this release I prefer the non-instrumental portions to the instrumental portions. They are a post-rock slash doom metal stoner metal supergroup doing non doom metal stoner metal music.

Gregor Samsa - 55:12 (2006)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Slowcore
Non-Instrumental
Slowcore post-rock. Generally very gentle but every now and then there is a certain restrained passion.

Mono - You Are There (2006)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Another of the champions of post-rock. They are quite dark. It is mostly guitar based but every now and then they bring out a violin.

Aereogramme - Seclusion (2004)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock
Non-Instrumental
Obviously the darkest Aereogramme is my favourite Aereogramme. If you want palatable you're probably better off starting with the album "My Heart Has a Wish That You Would Not Go" but if you want to be just like me start here.

MGR - Nova Lux (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Dark Ambient
Instrumental
Maybe if somebody puts guitars over dark ambient you may realize it's neat. Another simple subtle post-rock, this one does not get epic like most post-rock. Very very bleak.

Starflyer 59 - Leave Here a Stranger (2001)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock, Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
More palatable shoegaze for those of you used to regular normal music. Melancholic and I'm going to say vaguely folky. I forgive you for being Christian, Jason.

Laura - Radio Swan is Down (2006)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
My favourite is "It's Kind of Like the Innocent Smiles You Get at the Start of a Relationship Before You Fuck Everything Up" it has a piano I like piano.

The Album Leaf - In A Safe Place (2004)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental and Non-Instrumental
This album is drinking warm tea looking out a wood framed window at a fluffy gentle snowfall in early early winter when you can still see a little green. Also there's a kitty on your lap. On top of a thin blanket. Maybe there's also a fireplace. Oh and slippers you're also wearing slippers.

Shellac - 1000 Hurts (2000)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Noise-Rock, Math Rock
Non-Instrumental
It's gritty and angry. Because they were squirrels. REAL SQUIRRELS! And there were thousands... This isn't some kind of metaphor! Goddamn, this is real!

Gas - Zauberberg (1998)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient
Instrumental
Though it does have a beat I am making the executive decision not to call it ambient techno and just call it ambient based on the particular way it operates. Rhythmic ambient. The atmosphere and texture held together by the beat. The gentle constrained chaos in track 4 is what pushes this into my number one Gas slot.

Coil - The Ape of Naples (2016)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Experimental Industrial
Non-Instrumental
The last Coil album before John Balance go dead. He... Lost his balance I'm sorry. I'm sorry dark pun I'm sorry. One of the driving forces of experimental industrial going back to pretty near the very beginnings of industrial. This one is pretty ambient but not exactly ambient. It is quite emotionally disturbed and some would suggest the lyrical content implies John Balance knew his death was coming and it wraps this whole album in darkness and legend and mystery.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor - 'Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend! (2012)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Godspeed You! Black Emperor returned from their hiatus with my favourite. The kings of post-rock. They win post-rock they own post-rock. A lot of dissonance and chaos and darkness.

Fbcfabric & Reindeer - It's Not Who You Know, It's Whom You Know (2005)

Genre: Hip-Hop Music
Sub-Genres: Abstract Hip-Hop
Non-Instrumental
Artful hip-hop with intelligent lyrics. Beats designed by a man who clearly knows a thing about artful electronic music.

Grails - Burning Off Impurities (2007)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Psychedelia
Instrumental
In this album Grails explores world music and obviously if it is on this list it is brilliant.

Hope of the States - The Lost Riots (2004)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock, Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
Highly emotional folky indie rock with a bit of a post-rock feeling.

Magyar Posse - Random Avenger (2006)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Their melodies are very very on the nose but luckily they deserve the right to make melodies so on the nose as they are masters. It has a discomforting edge with an ethereal overlay. It is an experience.

The Samuel Jackson Five - Easily Misunderstood (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
They're perfect, they do it perfect. It isn't so much my sound and style but you know how much I admire perfection and they are perfection. Don't be frightened by the broken saxophone on "Person Most Likely To Enjoy The Taste Of Human Flesh" you'll get it eventually.

The Black Heart Procession - 2 (1999)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock
Non-Instrumental
They have a piano so I have to make a point of The Black Heart Procession, The Black Heart Procession have a piano. "It's A Crime I Never Told You About The Diamonds In Your Eyes" is one of my favouritest songs ever.

Saxon Shore - The Exquisite Death Of Saxon Shore (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
It isn't the best Saxon Shore but it is the one closest to my heart, the one where I realized they were brilliant. Also one of the best album titles ever. Post-rock with an electronic ambient music underlay. The whole album sparkles. This album really sparkles.

Jean-Jacques Perrey - Prelude au Sommeil (1958)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Electroacoustic
Instrumental
A bit of a history lesson on electronic music that doubles as a way to emphasize my pretentiousness. Don't worry it is very pretty though it's worth a listen. I'll be honest listening to a lot of other electronic music from the '50s to me kinda... feels... gross. But not this one. This one pretty.

Yndi Halda - Enjoy Eternal Bliss (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Pretty and passionate. Not overly dark post-rock with vaguely dark moments.

Oceansize - Frames (2007)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock
Non-Instrumental
I'm calling it Oceansize's best, one of their darkest. They catch a lot of flack from music reviewers, they're all "Geez stick to one genre you're all over the place." Dumb. It's a good place to dip your feet in with interesting music if you're used to music that goes bippity bop.

The Cooper Temple Clause - Kick Up The Fire, And Let The Flames Break Loose (2003)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Alternative Rock
Non-Instrumental
Another good place to start with interesting music if you're used to music that goes bippity bop. Palatable alternative rock with a bit of a post-rock sensibility. It has the angular edge that you see in the bulk of my taste but it is very non-threatening.

Logh - North (2007)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock
Non-Instrumental
Pretty pretty palatable poppy indie rock with a hint of post-rock. You may have to give it a few tracks before the brilliance of it sets in and then go back and understand the brilliance of the opening track that may at first hit you as a little standard.

Alison's Halo - Eyedazzler 1992-1996 (1998)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
A long forgotten and overlooked shoegaze. Pretty pretty pretty.

Burial - Untrue (2007)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Dubstep, Ambient
Instrumental
Dark ambient atmospheric dubstep. Not the dubstep you're used to it's much more sophisticated and pretentious. Again, good music to chill out to but fish slap if you only listen to music to relax.

Hood - Outside Closer (2005)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Indie Rock
Non-Instrumental
I haven't exactly been all over their early stuff but from my understanding it's pretty standard post-rock. Here they decided to go somewhere a little different. I say no weird noises will be recommended by me but every now and then this album kinda sorta touches on weird kinda sorta. Weird but most certainly not stupid. Very pretty album, though.

Bowery Electric - Lushlife (2000)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Shoegaze, Trip-Hop
Non-Instrumental
Shoegaze meets trip-hop is a wonderful idea and this album pulls it off perfectly. Dark, entrancing, ethereal.

Clogs - Stick Music (2004)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental and Non-Instrumental
I enjoy the instrumental portions of this album more than the non-instrumental portions. Dark and I suppose... "Folky." "Pitasi" may be my favourite or possibly "Beating Stick."

Biosphere - Angel's Flight (2021)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient
Instrumental
Another ambient meets classical album coming at you from me. This one is quite ethereal.

Envy - Insomniac Doze (2006)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Hardcore
Non-Instrumental
Very artful... "Screamo" for those of you I mock in my head but most certainly never out loud or in writing. It's where post-rock meets hardcore. It has a tinge of shoegaze as well if shoegaze were more aggressive.

65daysofstatic - We Were Exploding Anyway (2010)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
I promise I'll only give you the same band twice when the album is very different. It's a tough call for me which is my favourite between this and The Fall of Math. Here they merge post-rock with dance music more than they merge with breakcore. It's a little more pretty and a little less aggressive than The Fall of Math. It still has that hint of accessible post-rock that you may enjoy if you like your pop metal, particularly a band like Linkin Park.

Guitaro - Futura Black (2002)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
A rather obscure shoegaze release, one of my favourite shoegazes. It can be a little dark but not overly so.

Kim Hiorthøy - Hei (2000)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: IDM, Downtempo
Instrumental
I'm going to call this a very laid back and cool approach to IDM. I may even go as far as to say it has a hint of cute and kitschy. A hint. Chill, cool, cute and kitschy.

M83 - Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts (2003)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Electronic, Shoegaze
Instrumental
Shoegaze invading electronic music. Some heavy overwhelming noises made very very pretty.

Vladislav Delay - Whistleblower (2007)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Experimental Ambient
Instrumental
Glitchy and a little chaotic made very pretty. Vaguely dark. I kinda sorta want to say that every now and then he kind of makes a noise that could maybe be interpreted as a little weird maybe possibly. But not really. And not stupid just weird.

Bethany Curve - Gold (1998)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
You will see that in my shoegaze I kinda sorta favour the darker. This isn't exactly the best representation of shoegaze, it is often more pretty. Well, here, dark shoegaze.

Love - Forever Changes (1967)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Psychedelic Pop
Non-Instrumental
I'm all over 60s psychedelic pop, but you know 60s psychedelic pop. This one, however, you probably don't. The front man wrote all of the lyrics thinking he was going to die soon but oops nope. But it makes for an interesting album. Pretty cheerful considering he was a dead man. Pretty pop rock, perfect pop rock, interesting lyrics. In indie circles it is marveled as one of the pinnacles of 60s psychedelic pop however the majority of you have no idea. For some reason. It's perfectly palatable and perfectly brilliant.

65daysofstatic - The Fall Of Math (2004)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Math Rock
Instrumental
Dark, easy to swallow post-rock with a breaks edge. People have said they like their post-rock with the ambient build ups and this one kinda sorta skips that. It's true, it kinda sorta does, but not exactly. They do indeed do quiet and they do indeed do quiet very very pretty, but they do not give you enough time to soak it in. It's okay, though, it is still the perfect album, you just need to look at it a little differently than you would most other post-rock. If you like your pop metal this is probably the place for you to start with post-rock.

A Silver Mt. Zion - He Has Left Us Alone, but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corner of Our Rooms... (2000)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
The darkest, saddest thing you will ever listen to that is still music. When the lady wrote the track about her dead dog and the guy in the background says "We're so sad" or something and everybody busts out laughing. Yeah. Yeah they are over the top sad. Very very pretty.

1 Mile North - Glass Wars (2001)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
The beauty of simplicity. They always sounds like their album covers. A little model city looking city photographed ever so slightly blurry. They can get epic, but it is very very subtle. I wouldn't really say it's their best album but "Evil Architecture" makes it winner.

Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Alatt Született (2005)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Breakcore
Instrumental
A fellow Winnipegger. This is another classical music meets electronic music. This is another one of those ones that may frighten you. I won't exactly say angry, but it most certainly has an edge. It is palatable but difficult.

Plastikman - Consumed (2000)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Minimal Techno
Instrumental
Probably not a good place to start until you get an understanding and appreciation of subtlety. You will need to let repeating baselines and atmosphere wash over you. Things do develop but they develop very slowly. This one requires patience.

Murcof - Remembranza (2005)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Minimal Techno
Instrumental
Perfect beats and baselines meets perfect classical instrumentation. As with most everything I listen to it is quite bleak and dark.

Kashiwa Daisuke - Program Music I (2007)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Downtempo, Post-Rock
Instrumental
I guess you can make post-rock without guitars, neat. This is most certainly that. It is glitchy, pretty electronic music made very very epic. This is probably not a place you will want to start, you will first want to familiarize yourself with post-rock and with experimental electronic music before you watch them combine forces. But yes it is very very pretty. By the way the crescendo on "Write Once, Run Melos" is all I want to do with music. All I ever want to do is make different versions of that crescendo over and over and over.

Jetone - Ultramarin (2001)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Dub Techno, Minimal Techno
Instrumental
Tim Hecker had not yet found his perfect tones and textures but he was always a master of sound. If you like dubby beats you will like it. It is good music to chill out to. Yes yes all of this music is very relaxing but I swear to god if you listen to it, or anything, only to relax I will slap you in the face with a fish.

Bola - Gnayse (2004)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: IDM
Instrumental
I like it when people put classical instruments into electronic music if you haven't noticed. It is very dark. This one may be a little hard for you to swallow if you are new to pretentious electronic music.

Autechre - EP7 (1999)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: IDM
Instrumental
This is not the most important Autechre album but it is probably going to be the easiest for you to get into. I swear I can understand what the guy is saying in "Ccec" when I'm on a psychedelic. This is a good place to start getting into IDM if it frightens you.

Arovane - Atol Scrap (1999)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: IDM
Instrumental
A perfect use of tones. Pretty. Perfect, rather easy to swallow IDM.

Aufgang - Turbulences (2016)

Genre: Popular Music
Sub-Genres: Electro, Neoclassical
Non-Instrumental
This is a classical band but here they decided to do something different. They made pop music with a classical music overlay.

Max Richter - The Blue Notebooks (2004)

Genre: Classical Music
Sub-Genres: Neoclassical
Instrumental
A perfect neoclassical album. I would have my doubts that he was the first man to realize this, but yes you can use a synthesizer in a classical setting and make pretty little noises without it cheapening your music. Also you've heard this so many God damned times in film and television soundtracks.

Steve Reich - Music For 18 Musicians (1978)

Genre: Classical Music
Sub-Genres: Minimalism
Instrumental
It pulsates.

Talk Talk - Laughing Stock (1991)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Pop Rock, Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
We wouldn't have post-rock without Talk Talk. I don't usually like to give you albums just because they're influential, I like to focus solely on sounds that I like, but this is a perfect album. If you are frightened of post-rock and just want to listen to pretty little pop music this is probably the place for you to start.

Sweek - The Unbelievable Cinematic Crash (2006)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
I... Can't do happy. But I can do this happy. This is as happy as I can get. Grand post-rock with all sorts of horns and woodwinds. Like with most post-rock it sounds like it's album art. It sounds like a pretty pink flower.

Surface of Eceyon - The King Beneath the Mountain (2001)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock, Psychedelia, Space Rock
Instrumental and Non-Instrumental
When the first tones of "The Open Sea" are hitting is when you should be taking a toke. Perfect psychedelic post-rock.

The Evpatoria Report - Golevka (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Perfect post-rock with a classical tinge, they worked with the Orchestra of Ribaupierre and the Union Choral society of Vevey. Very cinematic. Using the last transmission of the space shuttle Columbia as a sample was a stroke of brilliance. Steve Buscemi talking about the state of film, eh, nothing wrong with it but it isn't peak brilliance like the last transmission of the space shuttle Columbia or "With one man climbing the tree to feed the birds" from Maar. You guyses choice in vocal snippets is usually at the top of post-rock, and in many other ways you have your moments that are at the top of post-rock.

The Antarcticans - Teach Children: Fear All Teachings Of Eternity, The Doom Of Self & Nature (2006)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
Taking psychedelics late at night and gradually building yourself into a rage at society. It has a certain crunchy psychedelic edge that really builds into what I can only describe as dark psychedelic spaz fest.

Susumu Yokota - Sakura (2000)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient
Instrumental
While the entire album is brilliant my favourite parts are always "Azukiiro no Kaori" and "Kodomotachi." They sound like looking over an urban Japan from high atop your luxury condo late at night.

Deaf Center - Pale Ravine (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient
Instrumental
Waves of drone and classical music wash over you. The brilliance of this album first hit me when waiting for the bus looking over an empty Portage Avenue in the rain.

Christopher Bissonnette - Periphery (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient
Instrumental
It isn't exactly the most unique of ambient but it is in fact perfection. It is mastery of sound. It is very very pretty.

Philip Jeck - 7 (2003)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Experimental Ambient
Instrumental
Philip Jeck had himself some of the best textures you can find. "Museum" is so very bleak and lonely, "Wholesome" so pretty and sparkly, and when everything just bends on "Bush Hum" it blows my mind.

Daturah - Daturah (2005)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
I find this album to be the epitome of the dark crunchy psychedelic guitar tones. Also the intro to "Shoal" is just the greatest thing ever. Or at least it would be the greatest thing ever if it weren't for the lonely screeching guitar tone on the crescendo of "Lovelight."

Redjetson - New General Catalogue (2005)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock, Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
Post-Rock Interpol.

Jakob - Sines

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Post-Rock
Instrumental
It isn't exactly my favourite Jakob, that goes to "Solace," however the guitar tones on "Resolve" are what push this onto my list. Jakob is a darker post-rock, possibly a more palatable post-rock as they get the job done in five or six minutes, and they also have those crunchy psychedelic tones I crave. They will occasionally go quite noisy in their crescendos but it always remains musical.

Blueneck - Scars Of The Midwest (2006)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock, Post-Rock
Non-Instrumental
Very very sad and dramatic with a lot of close attention to sound. I want to call them a bleaker, grittier, more dramatic Radiohead that at this point is a little more lo-fi. The vocals are a little more washed in reverb than Radiohead as well.

Jessamine - Don't Stay Too Long (1998)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Psychedelia, Space Rock, Shoegaze
Non-Instrumental
Dark, melancholy psychedelia with a certain groove. Very very pretty vocals and a lot of dissonance.

Swans - To Be Kind (2014)

Genre: Rock Music
Sub-Genres: Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock
Non-Instrumental
A circus from hell. A certain derangement. It is a surreal experience. "I'm just a little boy!" followed by a laugh track. Strange and surreal. It is in your face with it's edge but it is not overly frightening. You can do it it almost sounds like normal music but with a certain edge.

Deathprod - Morals and Dogma (2004)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Dark Ambient
Instrumental
We are now getting to the music that the fact that I enjoy it may frighten you but I assure you I can be much more frightening. This here is as bleak and lonely as you can get. To listen to this you will need to be able to fully embrace your darkness and just sit in it. Just sit there and let it wash over you. Dark Ambient can in fact get a little darker but then it becomes less musical, this is dark ambient but more musical.

Boards of Canada - Geogaddi (2002)

Genre: Electronic Music
Sub-Genres: Ambient Techno, Ambient Breakbeat, IDM
Instrumental
Again, not their most famous or important album but my favourite. I'm afraid to grasp Boards of Canada you may have had to grow up in Canada during the 80s or 90s with the "National Film Board of Canada" documentaries. It takes our nostalgic feelings and it puts them on psychedelics. They master sound, everything is done the most perfect way it could be done. It isn't all synthesizers, they do a lot of playing with broken instruments and tape manipulation. It is far more organic than you would expect electronic music to sound.

Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country (2009)

Genre: Experimental Music
Sub-Genres: Experimental Ambient
Instrumental
It isn't the most important Tim Hecker and it isn't the one I claim the most influence from, but those first few notes of "100 Years Ago" just melt my heart like nothing else can. Tim Hecker is a bleak and pretty examination of our glitchy distorted musical culture. It takes the tones and sounds we've been making for generations and extracts the most beauty from them that he possibly can. It is the epitome of analyzation of distortion.