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Simon Reynolds on Beats as Fonts
The analogy that struck me was fonts. If your classic rock drum sound is something like Baskerville or Times New Roman, then the drums in the Belgian stuff or early Eurohouse or The KLF is perhaps equivalent to Arial or Lucida Console or something of that ilk: streamlined, almost-naturalistic, with a hint of futurity and this-is-the-modern-world. But like your classic rock drum sound, the beat/font doesnít really draw attention to itself, itís functional--rhythm as division of time. Pure information. Of course rock drum sound hasnít always been like that--think of psychedeliaís effects-laden beats: the billowing, phased drum-rolls on The Small Facesí "Itchycoo Park" being equivalent perhaps to the trippy typography on all those Fillmore Ballroom posters for bands like Sopwith Camel and Jefferson Airplane, woogly and pendulous to the point of illegibility.