Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pedagogical imperative

I had a banjo lesson the other day, quite literally. Apparently, amateurish plucking at the sound-craving littl’uns is no longer sufficient and, with the advent of their first birthday in mind, it is time I stop annoying adults and learn how to play the bastard instrument. I've had the Stag-branded 'jo for a few months now.

It was a good hour lesson on Bluegrass banjo playing, going over some of the basic rolls, the chords and a few other things. We jammed like we were sitting on the veranda. He plays in different types of folk bands as well as the punk outfit Clitoris Allsorts.

But there was one moment after we was rolling when it hit me – that in my virtual mid-30s, after many false starts I could finally decide here and now in my head whether I want to play music in the grown-up sense. Or continue concentrating on this somewhat antimusical stuff that pleases no-one. The former option would involve diligence and practise on my part, so I’d question my motivation skills (especially at a time when my new boss is doing the same thing; a first-school flashback of failing to bother to go to afterschool lessons with my newly acquired acoustic guitar arises). But of course it’d would be great to learn more and combine this with the waste emissions, time permitting.

To hell with real instruments! I think Zinc has finally cracked Martin Hannet’s desire to play faster but slower, or the other way around, on his remix of Scream slow-mo fave Deep Concentration. It’s a fairly rudimentary piece of programming, but the fairly faithful version has the top-end scuttle of breakbeat jungle while the break lands on the fairly industrial dubstep style thud – both are eqd ok so it works well. And it adds another option to dancing time signatures; where in dubstep you can imagine the inbetween as you skank and in d&b you can dance simply to the break without getting involved in the hypercussions of the internal loop. He fails to repeat the trick on the Midnight Express Line treatment, simply deploying a standard sped-up and clean riddim over the futuresynths.
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