Friday, November 8, 2013

Two songs I heard on the radio today

The first, probably my favorite single of the year

The second, from 2004

I can't hear nine years of advance between these songs, formally, or even technically / production-wise

If anything, the earlier song sounds more advanced in some respects (those stereo-snaking hi-hat sounds).

"Gas Pedal", when I hear it,  does give me that "nowtro", "it's 2013" feeling

Yet it achieves that effect without making "Drop It Like It's Hot" sounding particularly dated

Go figure....

Because there really should be an audible time gulf, comparable to the sonic distance between "Dance To the Music" /"Mother Popcorn"/"Sophisticated Sissy" (1969)  and "Knee Deep"/ "In the Stone"/"More Bounce To the Ounce" (1979)

(I wrote about this temporal trompe effect before in respect of Ludacris, "What's Your Fantasy", which I heard for the first time in ages on the radio and for about 30 seconds was, 'what the fuck???" as in this sounds way ahead of everything else on the radio -- before realising that it was in fact a golden oldie, the equivalent of some Radio One DJ in the New Wave late 70s playing a track off Rubber Soul or Aftermath). 

The sonic inventiveness of "Gas Pedal" is undeniable but equally undeniable to me is the sense that the record could just as easily have been invented in 2004   - it's techno-like hallucinatory feel not far from "Get Off Me" by Ludacris or Ying Yang Twins's "Pull My Hair"


  1. It's frustrating, but - how much is this to do with technology? What new tools are available now that weren't in 2004?

    1. That's correct. Production/technology wise, there's not much new stuff going on decade really.

      As to a bigger picture, Some songs/tracks simply never appear "old" or "dated", at least not to me, and why is that supposed to be a thing of concern? In fact, "Drop it like its hot" has some "dated" elements, like the synth melody, and the rapping per se. At least to me, rap IS "dated" in terms of a style/"gimmick" which is itself at least 30 years old. Of course, there are new styles of "rapping", but the framework hasnt changed there either for about 30 years minimum. But then, I am not an expert on rap or hiphop as a matter of fact.

  2. (Sorry, for the sake of clarity replace "technology" with "lack of new music tech").