andrew hannaford

“Complexity theory”

Many years of listening to drums has given me a keen desire to hear something besides ‘dit-dit-DAT-dit’ over and over. Sure you need the basics and sometimes a simple beat is exactly the right thing to do. But it’s nice to know there are other settings.

It’s amazing how effective just a small amount of rhythmical showing off can be. You know that moment on the bridge when the drummer suddenly breaks out with a different beat or unexpected timing? That can make or break a song. I find myself listening just for the good bit.

If the rhythms are complex it’s also a lot harder to get bored with them. Instead of your brain cells following the same well-worn pathway whenever you hear the song, you’re more likely to hear something new each time. Depending on the type of amplification and background noise and even what mood you’re in, you’ll join up the dots in a different way.

Probably because of my profession, i’m particularly aware of structural complexity. But i think there is a general instinct to move towards the stream and the rocks rather than hang around in the open desert. Complexity is where the interest lies.



Structural interest in rhythmic patterns …

'Freedom’ by Rage Against The Machine. Declare war on boredom.

'Chanbara’ by At The Drive In. Crazy freaks.

'Good loops’ by Ghoul. I know you’ve never heard of them but it’s always good to get some variety in your diet. Especially when the man has this much style.

'Irresistible force’ by Jane’s Addiction. Never plain vanilla from these guys.

'The collector’ by Nine Inch Nails. Just enough to keep you off balance.

'Party smasher’ by The Dillinger Escape Plan. Because there’s nothing like mathcore to wash away the last lingering taste of mediocrity. Why settle for 4/4 when you can have zn+1 = zn2 + c ?