Reading Mark Richardson‘s latest Resonant Frequency column, which is all about BASS, and our perceptions of and reactions to it, I was charmed to learn that his favourite song of all time is Aphex Twin’s “Flim“. It’s a gorgeous composition from a musician who often prefers to alarm the listener, and it also represents electronic music at its most elegantly sequenced—calculated, even.
Thinking about “Flim” in such a way made me jump to maths, and from there to Spoon’s “My Mathematical Mind“, which is the rigid arithmetic to Aphex Twin’s differential equation. Or, if you consider the way it builds and grows and complexifies, it’s more like an exponential function.
No verse or chorus in sight, Britt Daniel plies layer upon layer as the song wears on, rocketing it skyward at an ever-increasing pace. Atop an octave-jumping piano drone, we get skronky guitar-work, frazzled brass and crashing percussion. And then, right at the end, the elements coalesce and the track coalesces into serenity, like the eventual solving of an equation. How very mathematical indeed.