My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

The Broken Beat

An exemplary track of rhythmic play from Bugaev

One of the great elusive pursuits in music is the beat that is not a beat. Too random, and it becomes percussive splatter. Too metronomic, and it looses any sense of creative chaos. Bugaev’s track “Zin” is in the “broken beat” category of metric play. The beat sounds are fairly succinct, synthesized plosives that aren’t all that far from white noise. They drop at a pace that would most aptly be described as lackadaisical. That causal quality translates into the rhythm itself: It sounds like something you might bob your head to, yet it evades any actual such synchronization. Apparent downbeats fall at any given moment, and sudden instances of rapidfire flourishes break down the system even further.

Track originally posted for free download at soundcloud.com/n_bugaev. More from Bugaev (whose SoundCloud account lacks any geographic information) at ello.co/n_bugaev and phinery.net.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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