I have a very ecclectic and general interest in music, from jazz to rap metal and from synthwave to cuban folk music.
For Coding and Concentrating
One of my favourite tracks from the SimCity 4 soundtrack is EpiCenter by The Humble Brothers which is not available on the official soundtrack via spotify but various bootleg versions of it can be found on youtube.
The Last Dinner Party - 2020s, Modern Rock
an all female rock band who made big waves in 2023. I first encountered their breakout hit Nothing Matters via spotify's AI dj and I'm glad I did, they are probably the most exciting modern band that I've encountered in about 10 years (the last being Haim whose debut album was the sound of my 2013). Every song they've released so far (at the time of writing - Dec 2023) has been absolute gold. I think My Lady of Mercy and Sinner are in tight contention for second and third favourite.
Funk and Soul
Jungle - 2010s and 2020s, neo-soul, pop
Although Jungle are probably tangential to mainstream at this point, they've been around for a while and you've more than likely heard their music in adverts or as background in restaurants. I've been following Jungle since a friend shared them on instagram around 2014. I am a huge fan of their blend of modern dancy sound with a funk/soul influence.As an entrypoint I highly recommend Keep Moving (if you don't do slow intros, skip to 1m30s in the youtube link) which has a very clear disco funk influence. When I saw them in Brighton in 2022 they even gave a nod to their disco influence by playing a couple of choruses of the Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive" during an extended jam. I would also recommend their first album in its entirety but, if pressed, Time is an excellent runner up point for getting into this band.
Dirty Loops - Swedish Funk Outfit
Dirty Loops are a trio of incredibly talented musicians who take leaves out of the books of funk, disco and pop greats. In particular, I have to recommend their Follow the Light album which they recorded in collaboration with Vulfpecker and funk guitar extraordinaire, Cory Wong. The titular song on the album is uplifting and fun and funky and Jonah channels Michael Jackson in the best way possible. In fact, in a nod to his sound-a-like, Jonah leads the vocals on an excellent cover of Thriller later on that album. Henrik's bass-lines are cool and crisp
Jazz and Jazz Fusion
Carpenter Brut - Synthwave, 80s Horror Aesthetic
One of the more mainstream Synthwave acts but one of the first acts that really lured me into the genre. I remember listening to Roller Mobster off the EPII album and being captivated by the wall of sound that hit me. It was like someone took the backing tracks to films from my childhood and turned them up to 11. I think it is the unique blend of 80s style with modern sound engineering techniques that gives it that effect. (NB: EPI, EPII and EPIII have since been re-released as "The Trilogy"). CB's subsequent albums have also been pretty solid offerings. I'm a big fan of Beware The Beast with Mat McNerney's vocals adding a certain je nais se quois to the whole track.
Jonny Fallout - Synthwave, Cyberpunk
I found Jonny Fallout by chance on Mastodon - he was giving away free downloads for one of his albums on bandcamp. He tends to mix his sound up - managing to land somewhere between between gentle chilled music "Night Drive" music and more aggressive fast-paced melodies that you could run or jog to. The titular track on "Awake in a Garden of Stars" is a great example of this kind of fusion.