Speakers Push Air

December 12, 2009, 2:03 pm
Filed under: MP3

When I was at infants school, I was something of a child actor. Inasmuch as in four short years I scaled the very heights of the Nativity Play. I tore across the Christmas sky like a comet.

Year 1 –  a shepherd.
Year 2 – a Wise Man.
Year 3 – Joseph, a speaking role to which I believe I brought gravitas and verve.
But Year 4. Year 4, man, that was my Lear, my Stanley K0walski, my Martin Blank.

In Year 4 I was the Little Drummer Boy. I had to sing the song, just me and a little plastic drum. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house hall. And I still fucking LOVE that song, second only to the uber-mournful In The Bleak Midwinter in my personal Christmas picks.

But even I thought the unfeasibly handsome Lindstrom was pushing his luck turning in a 42 minute “cosmic disco” version, and the 5-minute edit that’s circulating didn’t convince me otherwise.

How wrong can you be?

I got hold of the full version, put it on just now while I was making some breakfast, and then while I was eating and blog-browsing. As these things tend to, it slowly occupied more and more of my attention until I stopped eating, stopped reading. It builds, in that perfect Reich / Glass way – themes or rhythms drifting out of synch and back again – and it seemed comfortably familiar at first, the hints of the Drummer Boy melody and the systems music pitch and yaw slotting together nicely. But then, when the accumulated tension is almost too much to bear, the Little Robot Choir kicks in and I honestly nearly shed a tear. By now my breakfast was congealing and I was totally, totally rapt. And then, as if he hadn’t done enough, the slowly-toughening beats build to a fucking crescendo and the last 4 minutes absolutely tear it up.

Just fucking astonishing.

2 Comments so far
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i believe all music should be measured against a breakfast. I had a lovely experience listening to it too, though our alfie stopped it, which i didn’t even know he knew how to do. I put it back on, and he uttered a very passionate NO! i’ll save the robot’s for later i guess.

do you know terry riley? give some a try, though it doesn’t have robot choirs. Rainbow in curved air is fairly identical to the feel of this….

two pieces by him that are quite spectacularly worth a listen are ‘you’re no good’ and Olson 111 – though again – they don’t have robot choirs.

Comment by eggman

Good to see Alfie’s getting critical on yo’ ass. Maybe we need a kids version of that Bloggers WAGs site 🙂

DO love Terry Riley, yeh, and you’re right that it’s quite a similar “vibe” (man)

Comment by dubversion

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