Aug 22, 2009

Interactive Music on the Web: Part One - Ishkur's Guide to Electronic Music

I'm updating my resources about interactive music on the web, and thought I'd devote a post or two to the subject from time-to-time. Many of the links I've collected over the years no longer exist, so I thought I'd start from the beginning of my quest:

In 1998?, I was taking a kickboxing class and couldn't stand the electronic dance music that blasted us through our moves. I knew there had to be something better, but I wasn't sure exactly how to find it.

As working mom, living in suburbia, I wasn't living a lifestyle that was suited to clubbing until dawn. I knew about Air, Boards of Canada, Moby, and older groups such as Tangerine Dream, but that was about it.

What to do? I searched the Web, and stumbled upon
Ishtur's Guide to Electronic Music.

I was overwhelmed at the complexity reflected in the guide. Ishkur provides a sample of the roots of today's electronic music, with examples of Musique Concrete and the avant-garde music of the 50's. Some of the music is...awful, but if you search around, you might find some gems.

If you visit Ishtur's Guide, visit the tutorial first.

Be forewarned that this guide is NOT scholarly. Ishkur has strong opinions, and uses strong language that corresponds to his views... often tongue-in-cheek.

(To put Ishkur's Guide in perspective, read "The Truth Behind Ishkur's Guide : "
For those who like epic/anthem and uplifting trance, don’t be misled by what Ishkur has to say. Again, he states his own bias– his word is not fact. Don’t be afraid to form your own opinion on things, based on what you observe.")

Below are a couple screenshots from his guide:



If you click a node, it will play an example of the music, and the description of the sub-genre displays in the text box, along with a few other examples, in a row of numbers at the bottom of the text box:

Ishtur's Guide to Electronic Music will keep you entertained and amused for hours, if you have them to spare. Even if you don't like electronic music!


Version 3 is coming soon. For a video-montage preview, with music, take a look at

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