For DCs (& others): Musica para la oficina

OK, so I need to smile.  I’m really a much happier person in real life, even if you don’t believe me.  So that last post was a bit of a downer.  Here, let me make it up to you.

I painfully realized just how desperately we needed office music when a new patient came in to fill out paperwork.  It was awkward, only because the silence was deafening, a void I felt I had to force strained conversation to fill.

An appropriate soundscape can exponentially add ambiance and character to your atmosphere.  Some ask me what an office playlist should consist of, and the cop-out (but true) answer is that it’s going to be different for each office.  As our office is “very San Antonio”, we decided to play music true to us, and to SA itself.  I’ve listed some here, to give y’all some ideas.

Artist: Govi
No, you’re not imagining things; Govi topped our list of good massage therapy mood music from yesteryear, too.  His style is an acoustic, instrumental new flamenco, serving as the perfect intro for Whitebreads who haven’t heard of flamenco before.  Govi does for flamenco what Garth Brooks did for country music; he introduced a whole new population segment to a genre that has been around a while and has a whole lot more to offer where the segue artist came from.  You’re just as likely to find Govi among New Age collections.  I was introduced to Govi’s music by a lady massage client a few years older than I, whose husband was a DJ of sorts and she had several of his CDs.  Rock on.

Artist: Amir
So what if AllMusic doesn’t have anything on this guy?  We’ve got tons of his music on our playlist.  He’s also flamenco, and I believe his music is all instrumental as well.

Artist: Ottmar Liebert
Also new flamenco, I was introduced to him by a longtime massage client for whom I did housecalls.  Always the open-minded kinda guy, he’s into various cultures and he had a CD-R someone burned him that was half this guy and half Arabian pop music.  How cool is that.  I immediately took to Ottmar, with his precise fingerpicking and occasional soft, congruent vocals.

Artist: Benise
Among the newest kids on the block, Benise is also under the new flamenco style.  Very cool!  I sorta discovered them on my own when I stumbled across several new flamenco compilations in my quest for artists like Govi or Ottmar Liebert.

Artist: Gipsy Kings
These Latin American legends are near and dear to my own heart.  I sort of grew up with them, as my best friend is half Peruvian, her father being a first-generation immigrant (as an adult) to the US a couple decades before she was born.  In high school, she had GK records and we played them on weekends.

Artist: Julieta Venegas
A much-beloved Mexicana from Tijuana, she’s a present-day pop star, even getting airplay on US stations that play pop music sung in Spanish (which at times sounds remarkably similar to our own music, save for the language, but never identical; there is still always something different between domestic and imported music, although I can hardly ever pin it down).  Julieta is hip enough for the younger generation, and light (“lite”) enough for the older generation.  Singable and crafty, she knows how to write songs.

Artist: Incendio
Probably our newest flamenco discovery, Incendio certainly has some of the most variety of any flamenco artist we’ve ever come across.  Same as above, the instrumental is beautiful and the vocals are scarce.  Perfect for an office.

Artist: Armik
Also a flamenco artist with plenty of variety, we’ve known about this one for a while, but have only recently really come to appreciate him fully.

Artist: Waldeck
A nouveau-nostalgic jazzy lounge act with contemporary arrangements and a realistic 1910’s grammophone crackle, Waldeck showcases an incredible variety of style, really showing all that this genre is capable of.

Artist: Strunz & Farah
Also some kick-butt newcomers (to us) in new flamenco, these guys incorporate a bit more gypsy element into their music.  It’s a real nice fusion.

Artist: Zero 7
Perhaps the most unique contemporary lounge/downtempo chillout act, no two songs are alike; in fact, sometimes it’s tough to tell two anonymous Zero 7 songs compared back and forth that they are indeed both Zero 7.

We decided against Shakira and a few other otherwise-decent artists because she’s otherwise kind of racy, and I didn’t want to risk her cussing or talking about something sexy or risque in Spanish, me not realizing it, but a client who knows Spanish realizing it, and an awkward moment taking place that I didn’t even know about.

So there ya have it.  A kickbutt office soundtrack everyone can agree on.  Fun for the whole family.


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