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Posts Tagged ‘Gnarls Barkley’

Rhythm is a funny thing.  For the avid music listener, then, I’d wager a fair sum that the way rhythms are internalized has a lot to deal with the way one experiences time.  And perhaps, even more so than a similar melody, or musical key, or instrumental timbre or anything else, it’s rhythm that can rightfully claim to be the preexisting undercurrent of raw musical material from which individual songs and artists only occasionally borrow, like drilling down through dry topsoil, through shale and limestone and dead rivers, only to hit, eventually – inevitably – on a current of time that speeds the whole world along with it.

That’s why, I suppose, these songs, which on their surface have nothing to do with one another, may actually be the same song in some meaningful sense.  At least, once you’ve caught that rhythm, you don’t hear it with your ears or see its sound waves with your mind’s eye – it works you from within, like your chest is a warm antenna pulling in signals from the center of the earth:

Gnarls Barkley, “Open Book”

Aphex Twin, “Bucephalus Bouncing Ball” (see especially the section from 3:04 onward)

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