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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Giant Pans

The iPod is feeling frisky (or maybe I'm simply trying hard to put intent and meaning behind what are actually random events; maybe i should take up a religion). Anyway, just now, the iPod came up with a particularly jagged sequence of songs: from a long dirgy Sunny Day Real Estate song to a balls-out Archers of Loaf song, to a peaceful 20 second Adrian Belew guitar synth soundscape, to the reason I'm writing this, Coletrane's blistering Giant Steps.

Hearing the latter in headphones is strange: the sax and piano are panned hard-left while the drums are nearly hard-right (except for a little high-end stuff that bleeds through) and the bass is hard-right. So basically you have the two lead melodic instruments frantically fighting it out on one side of your head and the rhythm section chugging along on the other. It's the aural perspective of someone standing in a doorway between two reflection-free (no echo) rooms with half the band in each room. It's a very unnatural sound, and a bit unpleasant, frankly. There's no reverb on the intruments (none that my iPod could reveal anyway), so I assume the intention was to get a live and uncolored sound. But, why then pan the instruments to create a sonic situation that would probably never happen in real life? Still, a great song and performance, just strange mixing.

Then it played They Might Be Giants' goofy little 27-second "Theme From Flood".

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.