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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 http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​z​B​c​6hU – 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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