Stereoscopic MP3

If the track “Functional Abstraction” by the act Addisko (aka Stephen Baker, of the Tomorrowland duo) is a code, then a set of headphones is the decoder ring. The six-minute MP3 was posted for free download by the Red Antenna record label late last month (website at; file here), and at first it seems like a simple, pleasant exercise in minimal techno — a deep, if denuded, drum beat, a trifle of a melodic element, just enough static to match the mood of its minor key, and that inevitable moment when the rhythm drops out and leaves an enticing vacuum. But in headphones, the stereo play becomes paramount, the way everything from the bass line on up moves freely from left to right and back again. The drum is the heartbeat of a compulsive pacer, the static a flock of fireflies. And it’s all in your head. “Functional Abstraction” is dance music for couch potatoes.

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