music to fall asleep to

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I like to play my sprawling-yet-noisy experimental records late at night, when I'm winding down. But they're a bit too jarring to fall asleep to. I need something that can lull me off without being so interesting as to be distracting.

What do you recommend? (I'm not completely averse to new age, btw.)

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 14 November 2002 10:02 (eighteen years ago) link

Biosphere's recent record Shenzhou is really good for this. Tones and subtle orchestration looped and processed to feel like they are floating in a cerebral mid-consciousness level.

Honda (Honda), Thursday, 14 November 2002 10:09 (eighteen years ago) link

Either of Aphex Twin's "Selected Ambient Works" volumes will do nicely for this purpose. (with the added bonus of strange and disturbing dreams)

Andrew (enneff), Thursday, 14 November 2002 10:23 (eighteen years ago) link

Metal Machine Music turned down low is quite soothing.

James Ball (James Ball), Thursday, 14 November 2002 10:32 (eighteen years ago) link

(with the added bonus of strange and disturbing dreams)

Ah... that's what I'm trying to avoid!

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 14 November 2002 10:33 (eighteen years ago) link

I have a tape of rain storms that is good for falling asleep to.

gazza, Thursday, 14 November 2002 10:48 (eighteen years ago) link

I got a 30 minute ep by Landing that works perfectly.

tigerclawskank, Thursday, 14 November 2002 11:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The Astrobotnia records are doing that job quite nicely for me at the moment, although occasionally I find myself waking up during one of the more jarring or discordant moments, which just has the effect of fucking with my head and making me dislike said track forever after.

And Vespertine is a wonderful record to curl up to.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Thursday, 14 November 2002 11:07 (eighteen years ago) link

current 93- sleep has his house

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 14 November 2002 11:15 (eighteen years ago) link

jess's never fail sweepy weepy list:

gas - pop
aphex - saw ii
markus guentner - in moll
klf - chill out
stars of the lid - tired sounds of...
labradford - e luxo so
john fahey - america
v/a - pop ambient 2002
jan jelinek - loop finding jazz records

jess (dubplatestyle), Thursday, 14 November 2002 11:17 (eighteen years ago) link

Some afternoon nap favourites:

Windy and Carl
Lali Puna
Amon Dull II
Olivia Tremor Control
Buddha on the Moon

jel -- (jel), Thursday, 14 November 2002 11:19 (eighteen years ago) link

My old stand-bys - The Passion Soundtrack and Laughing Stock. oh and David Sylvian's Gone To Earth. (these are all also good for sick days and hangovers)

Kim (Kim), Thursday, 14 November 2002 11:39 (eighteen years ago) link

Portishead's self-titled second album does it for me, at least for a weekend daytime snooze. It's got just enough detail, invention and expression to be worth a close and careful listen on the way down (or during half-awake patches) - and indeed is a great album when fully conscious - but for some reason I find it fantastic to slip into sleep to.

jon (jon), Thursday, 14 November 2002 11:47 (eighteen years ago) link

i wouldn't like to fall asleep to that dettinger album

bob zemko (bob), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:01 (eighteen years ago) link

I like anything by Plaid or Boards of Canada; Mendellsohn (is that how you spell it?); Killing Joke is surprisingly restful, death metal eg Emperor played quietly enough sounds like rainfall.

I'd second Ves[pertine an Portishead too and add Nightmares on Wax

meirion john lewis (mei), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:13 (eighteen years ago) link

global communications' "76:14" is the one i always reach for. if i'm still awake at the end of "14:31" then i know i'm in trouble.

michael wells (michael w.), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:16 (eighteen years ago) link

Much as I don't like being told what to do, there was a compilation that came out almost a year ago called 'Music For Dreams'. It works. Very soothing. I particularly like World of Apples' 'The Cows At Jodrell Bank', which, as well as having one of the best song names ever, has warm waves of spacey sounds and odd snickets of dialogue.

Anna (Anna), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:32 (eighteen years ago) link

Music For Airports OWNS this thread. As does Discreet Music, Thursday Afternoon, etc...

Also: Selected Ambient Works II, Bola's Soup and pretty much anything by Isan (esp. Beautronics!)

mark p (Mark P), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:49 (eighteen years ago) link

Brian Eno, Ambient 1: Music for Airports
Gas, Köenigsforst
Charlemagne Palestine, Four Manifestations on Six Elements
Microstoria, _snd
Nick Drake, Five Leaves Left
Last two songs on Techno*Animal's Re-Entry
Third disc of the OHM box set
Anything in the Secret Museum of Mankind series.
Ned's Endless Drift comp.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:50 (eighteen years ago) link

And Monolake's Hong Kong. And I'd imagine Pantytec would be very good, if I had one of their albums.

Michael Daddino (epicharmus), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:56 (eighteen years ago) link

( )

Chris V. (Chris V), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:58 (eighteen years ago) link

Bola's Soup

Mark P. I have mentioned this album often on ilm expecting someone to take the bait. they never did. it's probably my favourite album evah. so, er, nice one!

michael wells (michael w.), Thursday, 14 November 2002 12:58 (eighteen years ago) link

tales from topographic oceans, by yes... works like a charm.

cecilia, Thursday, 14 November 2002 13:04 (eighteen years ago) link

Harold Budd(/Brian Eno) - Plateaux Of Mirror, The Pearl, White Arcades
Laraaji/Brian Eno - Day Of Radiance (side 2)
Brian Eno - On Land, Apollo, Thursday Afternoon, Neroli and a few others
Media Form - Beauty Reports

Paul (scifisoul), Thursday, 14 November 2002 13:43 (eighteen years ago) link

I can see how Apollo would work, and then you get to dream you're in space.

James Ball (James Ball), Thursday, 14 November 2002 13:52 (eighteen years ago) link

Peter Gabriel - Passion
Future Sound of London - just about any damn disc
Talvin Singh/Bill Laswell - some ambient CD, I don't know the title
(in fact, Bill Laswell's ambient stuff is generally great)
Buckethead - Electric Tears or Colma
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan/Michael Brook - Night Song
Sigur Ros - Von (I've had BEAUTIFUL dreams after falling asleep to it)

And on a slightly related note...

I have a really bad habit of playing my synths/drum machines late at night and getting into a big epic-sounding droney soundscape thing, and totally falling asleep right there with my fingers on the keys and the headphones on my head. Maybe I should start recording that stuff. :D

nickalicious, Thursday, 14 November 2002 14:02 (eighteen years ago) link

Galaxie 500. End of story.

Lynskey (Lynskey), Thursday, 14 November 2002 14:25 (eighteen years ago) link

Sigur Ros - Svefn-G-Englar/what ever the albums called
Leonard Cohen - Greatest Hits, timed perfectly so I nod off during Famous Blue Raincoat
GYBE - F# A# oo
Spacemen 3 - Perfect Perscription
Shalabi Effect - S/T disc 2.
Do Make Say Think - S/T.
Neil Young - Sleeps With Angels.

Mr Noodles (Mr Noodles), Thursday, 14 November 2002 14:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Susuma Yokota - Sakura
Low - Long Division
Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left
Black Box Recorder - The Facts of Life
Lemon Jelly - Lost Horizons
Sigur Ros - Agaetis Byjrun

I actually fell asleep listening to Acetone's "If you Only Knew" last night, so I guess it can be added to the list.

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Thursday, 14 November 2002 14:39 (eighteen years ago) link

there is at least one old thread somewhere on this subject worth looking at

top 5 fall 2002 choices at my house:
the necks - sex
js bach - musical offering
pauline oliveros, stuart dempster, panaiotis - deep listening
boards of canada - music has the right to children
miles davis - in a silent way

Josh (Josh), Thursday, 14 November 2002 14:50 (eighteen years ago) link

A couple of likely suspects who haven't been mentioned:

Rafael Toral (his latest is both stunning and lulling)
Thomas Koener

Lee G (Lee G), Thursday, 14 November 2002 14:50 (eighteen years ago) link

non-drum machine Cocteau Twins, like Victorialand and Twinlights
Pram: Sargasso Sea
Pieter Nooten and Michael Brook: Sleeps with the Fishes (other Michael Brook stuff, too)

Ernest P. (ernestp), Thursday, 14 November 2002 15:22 (eighteen years ago) link

I recently fell asleep listening to the first few cds of the Stax Boxset Vol 1. I had a terrifying dream which was like the Llorando scene in Mulholland Drive except it was set in a Wigan nightclub in the 70s. Never listened to it since.

But as regards the qu, what could be more pleasant than drifting off to some late 60s Francoise Hardy?

Ian SPACK (Ian SPACK), Thursday, 14 November 2002 15:24 (eighteen years ago) link

a catpower bootleg.
mixed up / the cure.
anything by black heart procession

kephm, Thursday, 14 November 2002 15:30 (eighteen years ago) link

Gas Pop is the ruler of this thread.

original bgm, Thursday, 14 November 2002 15:39 (eighteen years ago) link

I know it's my answer to everything but Milton Nascimento.

Daniel (dancity), Thursday, 14 November 2002 15:42 (eighteen years ago) link

gorecki - third symphony
susuma yokota - grinning cat
aphex twin - selected ambient works II

robin (robin), Thursday, 14 November 2002 16:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Ned's Endless Drift comp.

Aw, thanks!

Oddly enough, the other day I just wrote and sent in an article on this very subject for CTCL! Thank you, hivemind. ;-)

Favorites include the Cure's Faith, Lull's Cold Summer and most anything by Main.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 14 November 2002 16:15 (eighteen years ago) link

One or two beers and jazz standards are a perfect way to let the day die away. What I like about classical jazz is that it doesn't impose itself. It kind of murmurs in the background but structures the space in a way which prepares me for bed. I like to read something non-work related at the same time.

There was this test with flowers and music. Apparently the flowers tried to embrace the speakers when baroque music was playing, they moved away from them when rock music was playing and they happily stayed where they were for jazz.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Thursday, 14 November 2002 16:15 (eighteen years ago) link

I ended up falling asleep to Selected Ambient Works Vol. 2. Worked like a charm.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 14 November 2002 19:44 (eighteen years ago) link

Manuel Göttsching - E2-E4

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Thursday, 14 November 2002 19:47 (eighteen years ago) link

Kabuki Music, Chinese Zither, Oval.

christoff (christoff), Thursday, 14 November 2002 19:55 (eighteen years ago) link

low makes me fall asleep within three minutes, every time. dangerous when driving.

bucky wunderlick (bucky), Thursday, 14 November 2002 20:17 (eighteen years ago) link

"miles davis - in a silent way"

I've tried listening to this falling asleep, as it's one of my favorite super-mellow albums, and for some reason it gives me this weird wide-awake serenity, kinda like telling my body 'no you don't want to sleep, you'll miss this beautiful beautiful note that John McLaughlin is playing here..."

And then this...
"What I like about classical jazz is that it doesn't impose itself."

Unless of course it's played by Charlie Parker. :D

nickalicious, Thursday, 14 November 2002 20:56 (eighteen years ago) link

enya 'watermark'

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Thursday, 14 November 2002 23:41 (eighteen years ago) link

although it's been said, SAW 2 has to be the best sleep inducer although a few of the tracks give me nightmares. Even the phrase "CD2 Track 6" makes me shudder. *shudders*

dog latin (dog latin), Friday, 15 November 2002 00:33 (eighteen years ago) link

Cocteau Twins

brg30 (brg30), Friday, 15 November 2002 00:42 (eighteen years ago) link

I got a 30 minute ep by Landing that works perfectly.

Is that the Centrefuge EP? I listened to that one almost every night for about a month.

Other nighttime picks: Datacide's Flowerhead, Stars of the Lid's The Ballasted Orchestra, Labradford's Prazision, the Fine Arts LP of Mozart's Dissonant quartet, and an album of old 78s of Chinese music called Rain Dropping on the Banana Tree.

(A bad choice for weird dreams: Trance Resonance by Magical Power Mako.)

Phil (phil), Friday, 15 November 2002 00:45 (eighteen years ago) link

(Oddly enough, I can fall asleep to nearly anything during the daytime -- most recently, to Charlemagne Palestine's Schlongo!!!!daLUVdrone, which I guess isn't that surprising.)

Phil (phil), Friday, 15 November 2002 00:50 (eighteen years ago) link

i fell asleep to madlib's reggae mix last night, 'blunted in the bomb shelter' - lovely low slow heartbeat pulse like mother's womb.

minna (minna), Friday, 15 November 2002 01:48 (eighteen years ago) link

ten years pass...

I've been listening to the same old mix of 90s ambient and Kompakt Pop Ambient era stuff to sleep to for a long time now, and have been trying to put together a compilation of a different style of music to drift off too. I am sensitive to anything that is sad or bleak, and my wife hates any kind of high pitched noises in music. I've been thinking about going a more comforting organic-sounding route; soft piano, guitars, minimal drums (if any). I'm OK with soft singing. Right now I am digging around in the catalogs of Grouper, Calexico, various Robin Guthrie collabs, Mirroring, Barn Owl/Jon Porras, and Rameses III. Anyone have any recommendations along these lines?

Even if not, I liked this thread and thought it would be fun to bump. I'm especially interested in newer musicians who have made music that falls into this category.

beard papa, Monday, 14 January 2013 02:57 (eight years ago) link

I don't usually listen to music while I'm falling asleep. Too distracting. But for something that puts me in a more relaxed frame of mind, I like the FM3 Buddha Machine (original) .

o. nate, Monday, 14 January 2013 03:30 (eight years ago) link

laurie spiegel - the expanding universe (the 28 minute title track)
i almost never am awake to hear the end of yo la tengo's "night falls on hoboken"

Z S, Monday, 14 January 2013 03:44 (eight years ago) link

Going back a couple of years Jesse Sykes is great. I'm partial to Reckless Burning and Oh, My Girl.

that's not my post, Monday, 14 January 2013 04:01 (eight years ago) link

See, I think I would find the expanding universe to be a little abrasive for bedtime listening, but I've never really tried it at a low volume so that may be worth a shot.

beard papa, Monday, 14 January 2013 04:04 (eight years ago) link

SomaFM - Drone Zone and Stillstream Internet radio stations are pretty good. I keep my phone next to my bed with those playing at low volumes most nights and they work well.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 14 January 2013 04:22 (eight years ago) link

yo la tengo's "night falls on hoboken"

this album was my falling asleep music for a long time, but then something happened to the cd so that night falls on hoboken turned into a high-frequency high-volume machine gun assault halfway through. not so good from that point on.

Bill Goldberg Variations (Merdeyeux), Monday, 14 January 2013 04:31 (eight years ago) link

if you like to fall asleep with your tv on:

messiahwannabe, Monday, 14 January 2013 04:37 (eight years ago) link

in college my go-to going to sleep record was grey larsen & malcolm dalglish - banish misfortune

buzza, Monday, 14 January 2013 04:43 (eight years ago) link

for some reason i find orbvs terrarvm utterly comforting late at night

music for 18 musicians makes for a great listening experience when you're kinda groggy lying in bed with the lights out

cock chirea, Monday, 14 January 2013 04:56 (eight years ago) link

windy and carl- the Dreamhouse

dsb, Monday, 14 January 2013 04:58 (eight years ago) link

wim mertens - stratégie de la rupture

cock chirea, Monday, 14 January 2013 04:59 (eight years ago) link

i usually find naps really disorienting and unpleasant to wake up from, but yesterday i fell asleep to/woke up to lee hazlewood and it was the best sleep, and i thought, i CAN rejoin the world. if you avoid the records with nancy sinatra or any of the other girls there aren't high-pitched noises; and a lot of his stuff i think is only bleak/sad if you are already sad. it's not my favorite album but i think listening to "trouble is a lonesome town" is a great one to fall asleep to because there are lots of parts where it's just a comforting rumbly voice saying cowboy stuff in a soothing way.

ehkarl, Monday, 14 January 2013 05:10 (eight years ago) link

i can't believe i used to listen to music every night to fall asleep when i was in jr high/ high school, i never even think to do it now. i guess not being able to choose when you go to bed when you're young has something to do with it. my old stereo just broke but i can't bring myself to throw away the remote; i had carved all of the buttons up in various ways with scissors so i could feel which one was play or pause or repeat in the dark. i have no idea how i fell asleep to stupid pop punk cds for years.

ehkarl, Monday, 14 January 2013 05:18 (eight years ago) link

First time i heard VU's "Loaded" i fell asleep during the 2nd side. And it was the middle of the day and i was completely sober.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 14 January 2013 05:29 (eight years ago) link

Oh yeah, some Flying Saucer Attack is nice to fall asleep to.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Monday, 14 January 2013 05:31 (eight years ago) link

SomaFM - Drone Zone and Stillstream Internet radio stations are pretty good. I keep my phone next to my bed with those playing at low volumes most nights and they work well.

― brotherlovesdub

I love Drone Zone and that type of stuff for reading at night, but DZ never fails to wake me up with some tense sounding shit when I fall asleep to it.

Some good suggestions here to check out. Any who aren't bothered by sad sounding stuff; The Dead Texan is an all-time classic sleep album.

beard papa, Monday, 14 January 2013 06:31 (eight years ago) link

I set a 2hr timer. Generally I'll never hear the music stop but I have encountered some jarring changes in sound before on DZ and Stillstream. I was going to suggest Space Station Soma because I love hearing ambient music with the sounds of astronauts talking but it's not the best for sleeping.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 14 January 2013 06:38 (eight years ago) link

big audio dynamite ii's 'kool-aid' ep is basically a sleeping tablet

das ist not einer 不必 (Autumn Almanac), Monday, 14 January 2013 09:54 (eight years ago) link

Brian Eno's Bloom, Trope, and Scape apps are my go-to sources for going-to-sleep music lately.

FunkyTonk, Monday, 14 January 2013 17:20 (eight years ago) link

I went through a stage a couple weeks ago listening to Henry Mancini's The Versatile Henry Mancini every night. Quite Dreamy.

mmmm, Monday, 14 January 2013 17:50 (eight years ago) link

i luuurve those brian eno apps. wish they'd play in the background when you swicth to other apps like messaging and stanza and so on though!

messiahwannabe, Monday, 21 January 2013 04:22 (eight years ago) link

Brian Eno
Mazzy Star
Chet Baker
Cocteau Twins
Nick Drake

didn't work for me
Boards of Canada

Shin Oliva Suzuki, Monday, 21 January 2013 11:52 (eight years ago) link

I used to listen to the second disc of Miles Davis's Pangaea to fall asleep years ago. I would think Sunn O))) at low volume would work, too, but have never actually tried that. These days, I have a noise machine in my bedroom that I have set to play traffic sounds. Amazingly relaxing.

誤訳侮辱, Monday, 21 January 2013 12:16 (eight years ago) link

e/tape t/12

suare, Monday, 21 January 2013 14:02 (eight years ago) link

i luuurve those brian eno apps. wish they'd play in the background when you swicth to other apps like messaging and stanza and so on though!

On the iPhone, at least, you can set it to do exactly that. Not sure about on the iPad.

Funk/Tonk (FunkyTonk), Monday, 21 January 2013 16:20 (eight years ago) link

terry riley, persian surgery dervishes. have prob spun that one hundreds of times while drifting off to sleep.

original bgm, Monday, 21 January 2013 16:39 (eight years ago) link

Motion Sickness of Time Travel

a la recherche du tempbans perdu (NickB), Monday, 21 January 2013 16:44 (eight years ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.