Tuesday, July 19, 2011

This Is a Groove Pt. 1

Well, it's time for my annual post on this poor, neglected blog! I'm immersed my other website, but I thought I'd use this one as a venue for a series of posts about music. I'm not going to attempt to be organized about genre, or to try to dissect my reasoning. I just want to make a point about rhythms. As a dj and a dancefloor participant, I often get downright (and unreasonably) angry about songs with beats that I consider ungenerous...stingy with the kinetics. I don't know how to properly explain it, but I think of a good rhythm as having a "forward-leaning" structure, one that just guides your body almost involuntarily into a state of motion. Anything I post here will be either great executions of classic rhythms or beats with something original and exciting about them. Here are a few examples of tracks that didn't phone it in.

Running From the Cops, Phantogram. The first time I ever heard this song I actually yelled out the words, "Now THAT is a god-damned GROOVE!" I admit I was extra psyched because at the time, Phantogram were an emerging "local" band recommended to me by a friend... a friend who was of a more banjo-y, mandolin-y persuasion, so this hip-hop/electronic thing was quite a shock. And now they are blowing up!
Go, Moby. This gets heavenly at 46 seconds in. It makes me levitate to this day. It's something about the little grace-note just before each actual beat... what do you call that? I'd love to know, because it's like magic.
Pump Up the Jam, Technotronic. Beginning at
32 seconds in, each little synthesized noise physically grabs your limbs and swings them where they are supposed to go. It's just perfect.
Saturday, Ludacris. If this comes on in my headphones while I'm running, I'm at risk of my heart exploding. And passing cars are at risk of witnessing a ridiculous, involuntary dance routine by a sweaty crazy lady on the side of the road.

Coming soon: Nit-picky rants about good vs. bad house beats. Hey DJ, what is that, Sousa? Mix it up already!