Techno Logic and Imaginary Numbers
This week I have been getting into techno again, listening to Adam Beyerâs Drumcode on Mixcloud, downloading classics from Plastikman and Carl Craig. Itâs something to do with my search for the right sound for the new songs. At the moment they just sound too nice, too chillout chalet. I did have a flirtation with chillcore or chillwave, and you know I have an ongoing love affair with dubstep but both those genres are really being taken care of by dem youth in a quite magisterial way. Which leaves the source, the core, to draw inspiration and sound ideas from, and for me that is house and techno. So itâs all about the ones and zeros, the bassline, the kick drum, the harshness of the hats, the breakdowns, this raw energy, this crack that I need to use in my own mellow meanderings. Some kind of pure techno logic that flows out of the machines if you programme them just right. Like Marshall Jefferson once explained, you can have just a kick drum in a drum machine but it will sound groovy or not groovy depending on who it is who turns it on. Iâve been investigating maths too, listening to a show on BBC Radio 4 about imaginary numbers (check out the definition on Wikipedia for some real head spinning ideas). My imaginary numbers are here in the computer. They are imaginary, not because they answer the questions posed by equations in some third dimension of mathematics but because they are themselves complicated equations that require an answer in the mix; a delicate balance of parts and plug-ins, levels and layers, music and beats and noises that must come together in some kind of perfection that currently only exists in my head. Talking of perfection, if itâs perfect pop you are after, look no further the current blog hit, Cee-Loâs Fuck You. It feels like every other music blog in the world has posted the video for this tune so I definitely donât need to, but it has managed to give me a musical feeling that I had almost forgotten. The feeling that accompanies the message from music brain that says, in capital letters, I NEED THAT TUNE. Itâs a perfectly modern pop song, you sing along the first time youâve heard it; it contains countless swear words so it canât be played in most conventional radio allowing it to run riot in blogland online; itâs about love and money and how the two are strangely more closely linked that any of us not rich would like; the song is as up and happy as the lyrics are arch and funny; itâs sideways subversive in a way that I find immensely pleasing, in a way that only a hugely popular, great pop song can be; and itâs the kind of tune I know I will be bored with as soon as I own a copy of it thatâs high enough quality to play out. Must. Get. Tune. Now.