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Music On Drugs

By John Clarke

Everyone knows that music sounds better on drugs, right? Right. Sure, some drugs make music sound better than others, and some music is better suited to particular drugs. I can’t imagine a heroin user sitting back, shooting up and slapping on the latest happy hardcore vinyl, for example, but in general, music and drugs are regarded as an excellent combination.

Here’s what everybody’s hero, Carl Sagan had to say about cannabis and music:

A very similar improvement in my appreciation of music [compared with art] has occurred with cannabis. For the first time I have been able to hear the separate parts of a three-part harmony and the richness of the counterpoint. I have since discovered that professional musicians can quite easily keep many separate parts going simultaneously in their heads, but this was the first time for me. Again, the learning experience when high has at least to some extent carried over when I’m down.

Music Is The Drug
Since there’s such an obvious synergy between good music and good drugs, I thought I’d put together a littler series of posts reviewing some music that I reckon is essential to listen to while high. I’m not sure yet how it’s going to work – it might be single album recommendation, the odd collection of awesome tracks or focusing on one particular genre. I’m also not sure how frequent posts in this series will be. I’ll try to keep them pretty regular, but other more important stuff might crop up. I’ve created a new Music On Drugs category for these posts though, so they’ll all be in there.

This is the first post in that series, but today I’m not going to be suggesting any music – there’s a lot of preparation work to do before that!

Getting Your Shit Together

Before you can get the most out of your music, you’re going to need to spend a bit of money. Your auditorium (bedroom) needs to not only sound good, but also be comfortable and look great too. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a fortune to really improve the atmosphere.


This is important – you can’t get stoned sitting on a bar stool, so get yourself some kind of massive bean bag or reclining chair if your bed isn’t suitable. You’ll want to be lying down so you can just focus on what you’re listening to.

Excellent Aesthetics

If the only lighting options in your room are having a harsh energy saving bulb either on or off, then consider getting some other lighting before we begin. You can spend hundreds on amazing lighting technology, or you can get yourself a red light bulb for a couple of quid. Here are a tonne of options roughly ordered by price:

Salt Rock Lamp

If you play music through your computer, you might want to get yourself some great visualisations for whatever media player your using. I’d recommend G-Force.

Awesome Audio

You can NOT listen to any of the music I’ll be reviewing through shitty little PC speakers or built-in laptop speakers. You might think that they’re fine because you can hear all the words to your favourite Afroman song, but you are wrong. Luckily, you can get some adequate speakers for under £50. So long as you’ve got a subwoofer (or sub; a giant speaker who’s job is to pump out the kind of bass that’s inaudible through laptop speakers), you’ll be OK. I’d recommend these Logitech X-230 speakers, which will plug straight into your PC or laptop.

Logitech X-230 Speakers

Great, so you’ve got some speakers. Now you need to arrange them so they sound good. First pick out where you’ll be sitting to listen to your music, then arrange the left and right speakers symmetrically in front of you. Next, put your sub on top of a blanket or something. This will stop vibrations from the sub travelling through your walls or floor. Not only will this make the bass sound better, but it also won’t piss off the neighbours anywhere near as much, so you can turn it up even louder. Finally, make sure your speakers aren’t buried away at the back of your desk behind a load of crap. If sound waves have to navigate past old crisp packets, unpaid bills and ounces of weed, then the sound quality won’t be as good. If you’re going to spend the money on decent speakers, I’d also recommend actually buying (or at least illegally downloading) the music talked about. YouTube quality will not do it justice.

You’ve got at least a week to get yo’ shit together. In the mean time, here’s some more from Carl Sagan:


15 Responses to Music On Drugs

  1. YangombiUmpakati says:

    agree with the idea, looking forward to articles.. but wait, what? with the speakers, you are joking right? 😀

  2. Synchronium says:

    Well, ideally, we’d all spend £20,000 on speakers, but settling for a £50 set means you’ve got £19,950 to spend on weed and enough fidelity to get 99% of the music. 🙂

  3. YangombiUmpakati says:

    okay 🙂 still, its really strong phrase to recommend logitech (or any similar) speakers lol.. anyway have a nice day 🙂 really curious about your musical tips

  4. Synchronium says:

    I’d really like to recommend some of these! So, what speakers have you got? What would you recommend?

  5. Kris says:

    This will be cool I think, I enjoy your blog and love having more music to explore.

    One thing I’d reccomend is paying a little more for the 5.1 version of those speakers, I’ve had them for years now and they’re still going strong. Having the music coming from all around is an amazing experience, only improved through being high. Some bands/artists put 5.1 mixes out there as well, which are even better but it improves regular stereo tracks a great deal as well.

    I’m sure a true audiophile would laugh in the face of my speakers but they sound good to me and they are a huuge upgrade on regular PC speakers.

    Looking forward to the future posts.

  6. YangombiUmpakati says:

    i have dali ikon 2 with nad c355bee linked by monster cable.. it has fine sound for reasonable price, that is my recommendation.. 🙂 dali sounds well with nad.. btw play eat static when high–4fw

  7. Doobz says:

    This could well be counter-productive and possibly very time consuming and expensive – but it is worth it, I promise.
    Find some speakers and an amp that make your mp3 collection sound like the deficient crud it truly is, and then go about re-ripping your music collection to a lossless audio format (FLAC), or better still, replacing all of them for vinyl.
    You know it makes sense… 😉

  8. Slicedmind says:

    Personally, I won’t listen to ANYTHING unless it’s played through a pair of these…

  9. owsley says:

    heh…tuned tesla coils, son et lumiere…wonderful ; )

  10. john says:

    I play my music through a Bose cd player I got handed down when the radio function stopped working on it, a loft bed and some pillows. k it’s nowhere near my uncle’s setup, but i don’t care. i’ve at least got a salt rock lamp. best lamp ever.
    good music for when you’re stoned, for me, can’t beat pink floyd. wish you were here comes tops, closely followed by obscured by clouds. meddle in third.
    if you’re tripping on something, listen to several species of small furry animals gathered together in a cave and grooving with a pict, off ummagumma studio album.

  11. Glenn says:

    If you spend some time on winamp and it’s free downloadable visualizations you can find a bunch of really cool ones.
    Just make yourself a favourites list and you’re good to go.

    I saw some that are really amazing when stoned :p

  12. Jack says:

    This makes brilliant reading! The end is as follows…

    In Summary:

    Marijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug that poses significant health threats to users.

    Marijuana has no medical value that can’t be met more effectively by legal drugs.

    Marijuana users are far more likely to use other drugs like cocaine and heroin than non-marijuana users.

    Drug legalizers use “medical marijuana” as red herring in effort to advocate broader legalization of drug use.

  13. John says:

    Thanks Jack. Opened the link and almost immediately raged at the one-sided propaganda therein.
    Bit edgy tonight. Nothing weed and pink floyd can’t sort out though.

  14. Chris says:

    If you get some good headphones, with good bass of course like Sennheiser or Bose, that can be comparable to having a subwoofer and bass system. The music is also right there in your ears. Amazing.

  15. Ted Kim says:

    I’ve actually made a site DEDICATED to drug inspired music.

    Basically, choose your drug and mood, and it’ll create a playlist for you! Kinda late for this post, but in case anyone is interested, there it is lol!

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