A Tour of the Senses
What these fellows do here is fascinating: using sounds that appear rudimentary, yet are highly developed and modified, the two establish an atmosphere around the listener that is designed — better yet, engineered — to tap into the psyche of the audience. But don’t think it intrusive. The purpose of this is to hook. It draws you in close so you can hear what it has to say.
The progressions are meant to bring out the positive and the melancholy. A lot of you listening will likely recall some memories, some good, even great, others tough or lonely or gritty. There’s a very bittersweet vibe that comes with the music, it seems like it remembers the same things you do. Artists who can puppeteer this sort of attribute are undoubtedly talented, but more to the point, they probably experienced some of the same kinds of memories while they were producing that you’re delving into as you sit here and read.
Look at you two! You’d get along just dandy.
Simplicity at the Heart of Complexity
One of the first and most noticeable things about the track is the naturally gentle tone and levitating feel. The ambient melody notes don’t simply skip from one to the next; the progression is gradual and there’s a transitional gradient between each note that gives the song a slow, drifty pacing. If you happen to be listening through speakers with a higher frequency range (e.g. computer speakers), one thing you may notice after the intro dissipates is a sort of rhythmic pressure sensation in your ears. If you listen to the track via headphones, you’ll notice that this is where the kick jumps in, you just couldn’t hear it without the bass. The reason you experience that aural pressure effect is courtesy of a little production technique called “gating”. Essentially, gating can cut out and fade back in one piece of the song based on how loud another piece becomes. In most cases, it is used to cut out the bassline in relation to the kick of the drum, so that every time the kick hits, the bass disappears for just a fraction of a second, then quickly fades back. This provides a minuscule gap in the music for the beat to really be heard, since there’s nothing playing for that split second but the kick. And subsequently, as the kick fades out, so too does the melody or bass fade back in. Nifty, eh?
The genre the track fits is hidden somewhere between Chillout and UK Garage, judging by the melodies and drumlines respectively. Still, you’ll find this one’s a few steps outside of any particular genre you may connect it to. Parts of the beat even carry vibrations of Drum & Bass.
It could be the single-cell of an entirely new ecosystem —
or perhaps it’s best to simply see what your mind makes of it.
The duo must utilize at least a dozen separate percussive samples, all of which you can hear at some point with a diligent ear: ticks and taps and booms and pips, all varying from closed and open hi-hats to claves and rimshots to toms. There’s even what sounds like a direct recording of a kick-snare combo from a drum kit. A neat little one-two-punch.
All of it together is quite a construct — an entire machine, instrumental cogs catching and turning, with the sole purpose of making itself work. A simple theory upheld by an intricate method. Imagine the melody as a piece of pure calm: it’s almost entirely stagnant, but surrounded by a sphere of sprockets, pistons and gears — the drums — and you see what I mean.
A Medium to Incite Fascination
I find much of my inspiration in the cognitive niches that I carve out in everyday life. Some of them are rudimentary, almost to a silliness: taking a shower, for instance. But there’s one thing that can get my mind running like nothing else, and that’s heading out the door and taking a walk. I don’t even need to decide where to go. I let the bridge find me, then I cross it. Each person has their own thought patterns and learning methods, and in turn their own way of drawing inspiration. After I discovered this track, I went out for a walk pumping it through my headphones, and my mind starting spinning ideas and concepts like cotton candy around a metal heater. That’s where the paragraphs here originated. An amusing scenario describes it well: an impossible irony that the song can write a blurb about itself, with me as the medium.
But I digress — this track has many highly stimulating and fascinating qualities, at least one of which is bound to strike anyone’s heart, mind, or even soul. So after you read, if you’re still listening to it, get comfortable. Recount some of your recent memories, older memories — and see if you can unearth some that you forgot you had.
It helps to close your eyes.