Good "Hack Music"?

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I work in an office with four other people. This is a good thing when it comes to communicating and working together. However it can be a bit detrimental when it comes to entering into "The Zone".

To combat this, I've been listening to music through headphones... There is a bit of a problem with the solution I have noticed, not all music is conducive to entering "the zone".

Here's a list of artists whom I've decided are great for "Hack Music". Artists whose music is great for reducing ambient noise, while not distracting you too much.

  • Muse
  • Blue Man Group
  • Thievery Corporation
  • MC 900ft Jesus
  • Daft Punk
  • Basement Jaxx

What is your favorite "hack music"? Post a comment and we'll make a big list for everyone's enjoyment.

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8 Comments

Excellent post. Good "Zone" music is very important to me getting anything at all done. :-)

I find 99% of everything the radio station Groove Salad plays to be very conducive to programming.

My current list of "hack music" includes Editors, Maps, Film School, The National and Radiohead to name a few.

Personally, I listen to foreign music (mostly Spanish and Italian pop) to get in "the zone". I find that my brain doesn't try to bother with translating or even understanding the words. (And I know I'm not in the zone when my brain *is* translating the words.) Anyhoo, that's what works for me.

DJ Bolivia. His "Music to Code By" series is especially good.

Okay boys... "The Zone" can constitute any sort of "Zone" not just "hacking tunes." I'd agree with Jared with music that calms the mind, without noticing the lyrics (Andrea Bucelli is a favorite, an italian love song artist) is always a plus.

  • William Orbit
  • Orbital
  • Chemical Brothers
  • Yann Tiersen
  • Paul Van Dyk
  • Juno Reactor
  • Most any Classical
  • Good soundtracks (Jurassic park, 300, etc)
  • Adiemus

I like rave mixes by John Digweed and Sasha. Older Porcupine Tree is very zoney and ambient as well. Future Sound Of London, The Orb, Banco De Gaia, and Electric Skychurch.


I like listening to Pandora because it has a lot of variety. My previous hacking music mode was to buy 100 or so songs from various promising-sounding "mixes" on iTunes and then play that in a loop. Favorite pandora channels: They Might Be Giants, Desmond Dekker, Mountain Goats, Robert Pollard