New Music
10.05.2010, Words by Ruth Saxelby

A Love Letter to repetition

Imagine being stuck in a dance, repeating the same moves, over and over. An infinite running man, looking like some kind of low-quality, looped, animated gif. Slowly losing your mind, blissing out, seeing something. Feeling like you’re moving intensely. But really you are just stood there, eyes wide, staring in to the void.

The second time I saw Ex Models play I totally ‘got’ it, I was inside it. I was drunk and excited and giddy with anticipation. Watching three dudes thrash their way through a set that probably included more songs than it did chord changes altered the way I thought about music. It was mesmerising and exhilarating. Guitars that sound like metal, a never ending drum break, a guy gibbering in to a delay soaked microphone. Ex Models are the best. (Watch a video of Ex Models live.)

I’ve been through phases with repetition. First digging it, then getting sick of it and then coming to the realisation that it’s the best shit I’ve ever heard. Once you realise it isn’t just for self-obsessive jammers, repetition gets in you. You wanna hear things go on forever, just because it can. You want to see what happens when something doesn’t stop. You want to convert people. I sound like a crazy person.

Can were committed to this vision; they take you with them. Mother Sky is immense (Watch/listen here and here.) Coming out of a fuzzed-up wig-out, it rides a straight drumbeat for about five minutes flat before the hint of a break. Then back in. The clutter and bang of Liquid Liquid, ESG and the almost too disco disco of !!! also grab me by the head and shake me to that running man place again. I love it when a drumbeat sticks to it’s guns for as long as possible, only to take it down for a moment and give it back again, exactly the same as it was before. Sometimes it’s just about the constant hit of the snare, never moving whilst everything around it is breaking off.

When you’re on to a good thing, don’t spoil things by changing too much. Ride it out. I’m pretty sure that’s what Wooden Shjips think. (Watch/listen here.) Get a bassline, get a drumbeat. Repeat it until you can’t see anymore. Blinded by monotony. Just sprinkle some psychedelic patterns on top and you’re on to a winner.

So yeah, I heart repetition. Once you let it in you can’t boot it out. I get more excited the longer things stay the same.

Dan is in the band Cold Pumas. Their Beat Mystery/Party Drip 7” is out now on Upset The Rhythm.

Cold Pumas’ myspace

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