Small software, small experiments, small files. Mike Rotondo recently tweeted a new recording, and it turned out to be 35 seconds of beat bliss. Arguably shorter than that, given its loop-based construction — and arguably longer, given its inherent temptation to be set on loop for an extended period of time.
Titled “Flip Throw In,” it has the feel of a hip-hop production waiting for vocalists, but one secretly more than happy to keep the pace all by itself. There’s a robot heartbeat of a pulse, and what appears to be a sample of piano. Not only does the looseness of the analog piano recording align at best roughly, and therefore rewardingly, with the tensile routine of the tiny beat — so, too, does the lush low fidelity of the recording, a kind of muslin filter, pair against the beat’s pixel precision. The result is promising: a little of J Dilla’s underkey metrics, a little of Kanye West’s alchemical ability to turn sloppy into louche, a little of DJ Premier’s fetish for imperfect ivories. “Flip Throw In” was recorded in an inexpensive iOS app called iMaschine that its developer describes as a “beat sketchpad,” pictured up top. From little things, lovely little things grow.