Craftily Blurred Elements in Music Part I : Röyksopp’s science in use

Music and Songs are interesting to analyse, you can focus on many things : arrangements, melodies, lyrics, production, clip, comparing, etc…

For this article, you need headphones.

First you have to listen to : Paul Kalkbrenner – Boxig Leise. I really love that piece. The toxic pleasure comes from the extra-note, a sharp annoying one which constantly bend your brain. Listen to the sound now : despite its “perpetually changing” production values, it’s very SIMPLE. Based on like 3 chords and “moving cursors” (percs, etc).

It’s simple, effective, it’s a spoon of music. Lemonade.

Now push up the sound, dear, and listen to Röyksopp – Tricky Two. And bim : the differences jump to your face. The melodies weaving is MUCH more complex, it’s a very scientific construction of dozens, really dozens of sounds. It’s a festival, a quiet mastered rollercoaster of ideas.

(One good test you can do with Röyksopp is this : move the cursor randomly on the YouTube movie – each time you’ll get something else).

What I would like you to “watch” here, though, it’s the way they weave micro-melodies. You have to listen carefully, with headphones, and literally WATCH how the music is built. You’ll discover like STAIRS of arrangements. And what do they do ?

They weave. Most of the melodies are not “apparent and clear” like in these musics. They are like MELT in the fabric, in the flow. I don’t have an example to show you her : it’s CONSTANT.

Play this game with the extraordinaire Keyboard Milk. As many ideas in seven minutes than in seven electro albums of the average DJ Machin-Chose. And hidden, blurry, floating, fragmented, cut, unfinished melodies. Bass, strings, chords, sparklings, angelings, strangled, dusty sounds.

It’s not simple, it’s complexity craftily used. It’s rich. It’s not a spoon, it’s a caldron. It’s not Coca Cola, it’s a Saint-Emilion wine !

You can do that with every track of this group. I mean (almost) : really.

This is why I barely NEVER heard a good remix of Röyksopp. You know why ? The other guys have no idea of what to do with this complexity. So they pick a few elements, they put this bag in loop and lazily boost some elements or play with cursors. They never “play” with the harmonic joy, for example : too complicated !

Tool, Dial, Lever : Simple or Complex ? Lemonade or Bordeaux wine ? Where’s your mental camp ?

Tool : What’s the difference, in music, about “I have a melody here it is, clear and loud” (like everything I hear around), and the idea of weaving/hiding it in the flow ? The difference is : in the second case, the listener has to pay attention. What will you do with that ? How does it work with other concepts ? In drawing, architecture, painting, filming… baking ?

Thanks for reading !

#royksopp #extasy

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