Tim Dowling: Can druggy MP3s get you high?

We all know that music can be mood-altering, but so can the weather, or a tax demand. But can a CD actually make you high? This is the bold claim of the people at I-Doser.com, whose Recreational Simulations CDs are said to "synchronise your brainwaves to achieve a simulated state of mind". Each track contains "advanced binaural beats" mixed with a "carrier tone of white noise and ambient soundscapes", producing in the listener a range of altered states including "mood lift, euphoria, sedation and hallucination".

Somewhat apprehensively, I purchased the MP3 version of Recreation Simulations 1. It costs £9.34 and contains four tracks - "Marijuana", "Cocaine", "Opium" and "Peyote" - which, taken together, represent a veritably lethal cocktail of sound. It didn't seem wise to try to listen to them one after the other, especially in the car. I found a quiet place, put on some headphones, and awaited oblivion.

So are these tracks really an effective simulation of the four title substances? Without a full understanding of precisely how the process works, or the time to conduct exhaustive blind tests with the relevant drugs, I can only say this: no. I've never actually taken peyote before, but I'm pretty sure it's not meant to leave you bored and irritable. In among the soundscape is the noise of someone sliding their fingers along guitar strings, with just a hint of a helicopter in the distance.

"Marijuana" sounds like a combination of tape hiss and a dishwasher kicking into its rinse cycle, exactly the sort of ambient nonsense that is usually aimed at people who are already on something quite strong. "Cocaine" failed to fill me with an uncontrollable desire to go to a wine bar and tell everyone how I kicked ass in that morning's marketing meeting over and over again, although I did get quite edgy waiting for the file to download.

Then, towards the very end of "Opium", I began to zone out unpleasantly while trying to write an email. My eyes went like saucers, and my conscious mind slipped its moorings and wandered off. I looked at the clock: 11.30am. Funny how it happens at the same time every day.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.