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The Elevator to the Techno Gallows (MP3)

Sometimes the best rhythmic tracks are hiding in plain site. New York’s Myroslaw Bytz caught nearly a minute of MTA Escalator at Times Square on Monday at 5am. It’s a slow, gangly beat, like a chain being pulled a long distance, or like some old gears shuffling in place. Sisyphus wears a reflective orange vest.

It’s a rhythm that suggests itself as metronomically precise but that, in fact, soon reveals itself to be a slurry mass of inaccuracies, a wonder of mechanical imprecision. The presence in the recorded track of a rote municipal announcement, apparently spoken by a woman, provides a keen parallel to the soundbite shout-outs of standard dance music. In place of 4/4 beats and diva proclamations, we get the mundane chaos of public transportation.

Track originally posted at More on Bytz at and

(Photo via the Creative Commons and

By Marc Weidenbaum

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One Comment

  1. [ Posted December 29, 2011, at 4:25 pm ]

    Great find. The escalator sounds beautiful and almost mechanized clockwork it in the way it ‘ticks’ over.

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