Friday, 3 June 2011


The new J-Lo single is a classic example of a burgeoning trend: the use of non-drums in pop.

Just listen to those ultra-processed, etiolated snares. What is their function? They don't facilitate dancing. They're not really anchoring down a groove or demarcating a rhythmic structure. They're too high-pitched and insubstantial for that.

They sound like that noise you make when you put your tongue on the roof of your mouth and make a "clicking" sound by blowing through your front teeth, a sort of "bubbling" effect (though the actual sound is not as poetic as this description would suggest).

I suspect it has something to do with contemporary listening habits. Do snares of this pitch-shifted frequency sound better on mobile-phones/laptops, that is, devices without much low-end?

This isn't a rant. I'm genuinely bemused/fascinated. Answers on a postcard to the email address on the right. If you can be bothered.

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