The Most Terrifying Musical Works To Wake Up To

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  1. Suicide - Frankie Teardrop (The screaming present in this track appears out of nowhere and is much louder than the rest of it and most other tracks. There is probably a gap between this and Meet The Residents; how I forgot it originally, I am unsure.)
  2. The Residents - Meet The Residents (This was the album that prompted me to make this list and I would say there is a reasonable gap after it)
  3. Nico - The Marble Index
  4. Autechre - Bine
  5. Silver Apples - The Velvet Cave
  6. Meridith Monk - Dolmen Music
  7. Klaus Schulze - Satz Ebene
  8. Shit & Shine - Jealous Of Shit & Shine (There is another sizeable gap after this also)
  9. Igor Stravinsky - The Rite Of Spring
  10. Faust - Faust (This could even be around Meet The Residents when I was listening to it for the first time but after 50+ listens its scariness has worn off somewhat. It was a long time ago but I seem to remember putting this album on for the first time when going to bed! That may have some reason it shot straight into my top 5 albums even back then.)
  11. Nathan Fake - Outhouse (Fluffy Mix & Original Mix)


  12. Some others I've never slept to:
  13. Clint Mansell - Requiem For A Dream (The winter section of this in particular could put it near Meet The Residents)
  14. Royal Trux - Twin Infinitives
  15. Li Jianhong - San Sheng Shi
  16. Messiaen - Quator Pour Le Fin Du Temps
  17. Detritus - Equilibrium


  18. And two more which I think would be impossible to fall asleep to:
  19. Peter Brotzman - Machine Gun
  20. Borbertomagus - Barbed Wire Maggots
Author Comments: 

This is based on the fact that I often end up falling asleep when listening to music. Waking up disorientated is fine with most albums but some enhance this sense of disorientation. These are not albums I do not like, in fact most of them are amoung my very favourite. They just sometimes seem a little terrifying to hear when half asleep. Also, I find it quite interesting that this is only the case with certain albums by artists, even when others are relatively similar.

The Messiaen? Are you listening to the same peice of music I am? I find that really relaxing, and it's helped me get to sleep quite frequently. Especially the Abîme des oiseaux. I definatley agree with the rest though. Especially Irrlicht. On the face of it, it would seem like the pefect candidate for sleeping music. Droning, ambient sounds, imagery of floating in space. Yet it scares the shit out of me in the dark, and it always keeps me wide awake in attentive bliss.

The ones I've never been able to fall asleep to (ignoring obvious ones genres like Metal, Industrial, Punk etc)

Diamanda Galas - The Litanies Of Satan (Find me a creepier album and I'll be very surprised, and impressed)
Anthony Braxton - Saxophone Improvisations Series F
Trout Mask Replica
John Coltrane - Acension
Albert Ayler - Spiritual Unity
Mark Stewart - Learning To Cope With Cowardice
Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance (David Thomas' voice would freak me out)
Red House Painters - Down Colourfull Hill (Most. Depressing. Dream. Ever)

Ha, the Abime des oiseaux is probably the most terrifying for me. Perhaps not outright terror but there is a definate sense of unease that is unsettling. I'm yet to listen to Litanies of Satan, Ascension, Spiritual Unity, or Cowardice. Metal does not neccessarily keep me awake actually funnily enough. I probably fall asleep faster listening to the soothing lullaby of Ladybird at full volume than anything else. Frances the Mute might get on here lower down though, I'll have to consider it. Braxton I strongly considered for the impossible to fall asleep to category but didn't put it there because the other two seem in a league of their own. How did I forget Trout Mask Replica, that will be on their but last most likely for the same reason as Faust. I don't think it would have ever been number one like Faust was though. Bear in mind that Faust was the first Scaruffian album I got and I listened to it first time in bed. Modern Dance and Down Colourful Hill I have never listened to in bed but I will consider them.

Is there a track scarier than "Frankie Teardrop"? You're right about that screaming coming out of nowhere. I try to train myself to remember when, and then the suspense of waiting for it makes me jolt every time it comes!

Indeed, the last scream especially is very scary!

ummm, i wake up, and fall asleep to (almost) everything mentioned on this page so far, on purpose, hmmmmm...what does that say about me????

i love Autechre, i have not heard Bine will look into that immediately.

"Practicing To Be A Doctor" is GREAT to fall asleep to, as is Twin Infinitives, and the humanity (or satirical lack there of) in Meet The Residents gets me to sleep easier than most...again, maybe i am divulging too much....

the worst/best experience i have ever had falling asleep to music was actually listening to "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" off of The Allman Brothers At Filmore East album - i was tripping hard (NO DRUGS, NEVER), but i tried and tried again and could never replicate that feeling with that song or any other; i guess it was just the right mix of fatigue, hunger, etc.

Ha, well I'm pretty much the same. I've probably listened to Faust more when going to sleep than when fully awake. Probably because there are no distractions (msn, facebook, listology etc) and everything sounds better in the dark ;) Actually falling asleep to these works usually isn't particularly terrifying at all. I'm actually referring to the semi-conscious state you're in when you half wake up and the music is still playing from when you'd turned it on earlier.

Autechre are indeed awesome, they remain one of my favourite electronic artists (probably behind Orbital; I notice you haven't checked them out yet on your album log so I would recommend Orbital II (The Brown Album) as a starting point). Which Autechre albums have you heard? From your album log I can see you enjoyed Chiastic Slide. My favourite release of theirs is the Gantz Graf EP, which is also from their later stuff. Others from their later career worth a look at are Confield and Draft 7.30. Specific track favourites include Bine from Confield; Surripere from Draft 7.30; and Nuane from Chiastic Slide. I also recommend Amber and Tri Repetae from their early career which is less complex and more ambient, with the track Further being their masterpiece from this era. If you're really feeling up for an electronic music fest you could also get hold of Air Liquide's Increased Difficulty of Concentration.

Practicing To Be a Doctor is easily the least terrifying song on that album to wake up to and in fact acts more like Ladybird which is a lullaby for me. I'm thinking specifically of the first four songs really.

i got a few Orbital albums now, and liked Tri Repetae a lot, but not as much as Chiastic Slide. i have a few other Autechre albums that i can listen to now that school is out for a few weeks, though i plan on spending every moment i can on reading and composing music and literature. i will fit in 50-100 albums, and those you mentioned are on that list; it may have to wait until next year.

the rest of Jealous is just noise; i am off of $&$. they have some good stuff, but are vastly overrated by scaruffi - there really is no one else who talks about them, nor should they: people don't buy noise, they by image. i have a friend in Netherlands and he has been to some of their concerts and says maybe 20-30 people show up to each and every one he has been to, and they are primarily a European band.

i love listening to my favorite albums going to sleep regardless of sounds.

Good to hear about the Orbital/Autechre albums! Yeah Tri Repetae isn't as good as Chiastic Slide but still an enjoyable listen. Its most memorable track is Dael, the first one. Amber is definately the best album of the early sound though Chiastic Slide is probably the best entire album of their career and like I said Gantz Graf EP is their best release.

I agree, they are easily the most overrated band of Scaruffi of the 00s. Quite surprising really as Scaruffi tends to be harsher to albums that fall the wrong side of the 00 barrier. You get the feeling Ys would have been an 8.5 had it been released in 1996 for example. Ladybird and Practicing To Be A Doctor are good (7ish range) but drag on for too long. Ironically those first 4 songs are the worst on Jealous. The last song which is obviously a bit of a parody is better than any of them. Hot Vodka is the only one of their short noise tracks I actually like. I would take Jealous off the list as I like it a lot less than all others listed but hey, it fulfills the requirement of being terrifying to wake to so I guess it stays. Unrelated but I'll take the opportunity to state I couldn't be bothered to listen through to the end of a single track on Cherry and it got 6.5 from Scaruffi, the same as Portishead - Third and Mars Volta - Deloused In The Comatorium. Absolutely laughable.

Yeah, you notice more things as you're solely focused on the music. Listening to them when going to sleep helped me originally crack some of the less accessible albums that have become firm favourites.

didn't like Oribital's Brown album - too mechanical, 1 dimensional. and i BOUGHT Cherry, on vinyl, and i was pissed when i when i was going through it - it is a 5 at best.

yes really! I find this attempt at breaking from the accepted forms very successful, there is depth in between each of those daft sounds... and so refreshing to hear and see something that's not even trying to be serious or not...

heard a lot of meredith monk, and still find it unbeatable :)