Ever been hit by a website that came with a soundtrack? It’s not usually an exciting experience, more often than not you’re confronted with your browser spewing out unsavoury sounding music. I’ve found that soundtracks are usually related to festival websites. One of my all-time favourite festivals, Secret Garden Party is a massive culprit of this behaviour. Every time I visit the site to check out the latest on the line-up, I immediately hit mute on my computer and return to my Spotify mixes.
I’d never visited a website that’s soundtrack was met with anything but an immediately reaction of ‘why are you offending my ears with your horrible choice of music?’. Not to mention that music taste is like Marmite, what some love, others hate.
It also felt invasive. To interrupt my browsing experience with music is just rude, even Facebook and Instagram’s videos auto-play on mute; understanding that the user should be allowed to choose what they listen to, not have to work around it.
*Warning a NSFW link is coming up, so keep those Alt-Tab finger keys nimble*
But then I met, Arrestus’s Tumblr (the site is a bitch to load btw, so be patient). A dark, gothic world of beautifully curated images that all fit a certain aesthetic. A marriage of the organic and manmade, the colours are washed out, bright visuals are rare but striking when they do appear. I love finding these blogs, these mini-worlds presented in a certain visual style, that someone behind-the-scenes has lovingly crafted and presented. Like a marionette puppeteer pulling the semi-invisible strings to set the scene and and tell a tale.
As I said, I fell in love. I had hit “open in a new tab” on several images and had about three open when I was hit with this abstract and unusual series of sounds. Crucially it was unexpected, but not ill-fitting; It was better than that, it was perfect. The ideal accompaniment to the images I was looking at. Arrestus came with a soundtrack – and it worked!
But in my frenetic haste, I’d done something unexpected I’d layered up the soundtrack three times. I started messing around with the tabs, muting others but keeping some playing letting their the mix play amongst itself. Their soundtrack is around the hour mark, it starts with a couple of lines of vocal samples and then quickly gives way to an everpresent series of bass beats that begin to rise and crash.
This is the only site that I’ve visited that’s made music work for them. The soundtrack began to make my browsing experience that much more immersive and momentous, it was a brooding cinematic experience listening to the rolling, dark sounds of a blog that was literally crying out to be heard and that was perfectly set against the imagery I saw. The use of sound had created a new layer to my user-experience of the site, connecting with me on the auditory level. I thoroughly recommend checking out Arrestus on Tumblr, pop your ‘phones in, have some fun.