Soma space sounds

I can’t overstate the importance of some decent background tunes when I’m working – they just help me tune out the distractions that bit more and generally oil the gears of whatever I’m up to.

Over the last year or two my go-to for new sounds has become Soma FM, who offer commercial free, completely listener-supported playlists spread across a plethora of genres and tastes. The website has become as important a tool as my laptop when it comes to writing, and I thought I’d pick out a few gems I’ve heard in the past few days here.

Soma are basically ambient and space-music specialists, too – very important when you no longer get on with ‘proper’ vocals when concentrating, like me – and about half the available playlists are pure sci-fi fodder. My own standard for working is Groove Salad or Groove Salad Classic, and here’s a couple of picks from the playlist at the moment.

Pretty Lights – Understand Me Now (Making Up A Changing Mind)

An evolution of what would have once been called glitch-hop, this is a premium pound of phat, and is absolutely the sort of thing Vonya from The Kassini Division chills out to after a sortie for me. The breakdown ’boards are sublime.

Gold Lounge – Open Your Mind

A bit more of a chilled affair than the previous, and I could listen to the bass on a loop for hours. It reminds me a tiny bit of that hit from The Beloved in the 90s, just about 1,000x better, and who doesn’t love a sparsely placed vocoded vocal?

Edge Of The UniverseThe Synthetics

Great title, even better song – this is the best of the bunch for today, it starts off a monster and uses dynamics incredibly well. It wouldn’t be out of place in the Stellaris soundtrack and the big, Numan-esque arpeggiator at 1:26 reminds me, dare I say it, of Shadowfire on the C64. But then, I’m a sucker for those 8-bit sounds.

That’s it for my roundup, other than to say that if you’re an avid late-night Elite Dangerous CMDR like me, I also highly recommend turning the in-game music off and replacing it with the Deep Space One or Drone Zone stations. There isn’t much that can heighten the feeling of flying deep space in Elite Dangerous, but these two playlists always manage it.

Remember to go and support Soma FM if you like what you hear too, as I do – they rely on listener donations to stay on the air.

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