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Monday, August 11, 2003
Some questions (or statements in question form) for my music krew:

1) Does anyone "get" the Blur album? I know some of you do, but I gave it one last try on the Greyhound yesterday and it still doesn't do anything. I fucking love "White Noise," but the rest of it just kind of bores me. Can anyone give me a sort of greatest-hits edit for subway consuption--i.e. that I should hit tracks 0, 3, 5-7, etc.? That'd be nice.

2) Does anyone else like that last Max Tundra album? Like, a lot? Cuz I sure do, although I admit I didn't expect to at first. Now, though, I'm listening to it quite a lot, for a somewhat abstract electronic album (yeah, there are lots of melodies and vocals, but the songs seem to be arranged by someone with MPD, or at least ADD), and on my last listening I noticed that a good half of the motifs are, at some point, played through once or twice without any accompaniment, as if they're asking to be sampled. Hmm. Well, maybe.

3) Is it just me, or is the sequencing on the Rapture album fucking brilliant? Yeah, I know, it's not out yet, but it's Soulseekable, and I finally gave in to temptation and listened to the whole thing this weekend. The first best example of sequencing magic is the way the first track, "Olio," goes into the second, "Heaven"; what's wonderful about it is that they represent the two pretty disparate halves of the Rapture's identity, dance music and noisy rock. So what they do is bring Olio down to a drum break and then the vocals come in a capella for "Heaven"--at pretty much the same tempo. And then when the full band crashes in, it sounds great, like a totally logical transition. The other great transition I've caught is between "The Coming of Spring," which mixes in a (intentionally) shitty-sounding live recording of between-song noises with the studio stuff, and "House of Jealous Lovers." We're all used, at this point, to the long intro for "House," but here the crowd noises from "Spring" is carried over, and "House" actually enters at a lower level for a few seconds before the bass is brought up. It sounds great, and I think we can actually safely pin both of these on DFA, since they're perfect examples of a DJ's cross-fading and beat-matching skills--but applied to sequencing what is, at heart, a rock record. It's a super-neat and super-effective idea.