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"Rhythm By Addition" is a term in music theory that defines the metric style of non-Western music, whereby rhythms are built in layers, and are not subdivisions of the beat ('Rhythm By Division").

In African music, there are many independent rhythms happening simultaneously. In Western pop music rhythms are wrapped around the square box of 4/4.

Hip-hop was the first genre to break out of the rigid hierarchical structure of quarter notes dividing into eights and sixteenths, and "adding" additional rhythmic filigree over the top as a counterpoint.

To speak of 'counterpoint' is to relate it to melody only, with the vertical consequence of polyphony. The same thing happens with rhythms, i.e. polyrhythms.

In simple pop music you can lock into a beat and stay there. In polyrhythmic music you can relate to disparate layers and still mesh with the beat.


Sprockets: Early mixes of this had several tracks of bass grooves that I distilled into one loop and I re-tracked all the other parts based on the new loop.

Use Blues: Written from a mesh of 3 bass parts and hyper-syncopated Rhodes keyboard parts with Wah effects on them.

Six On The Floor: 6/4 version of the 4-on-the-floor groove. Playing a normal 4/4 beat against it creates interesting rhythmic phasing effects where a rim shot on 4 will seem to shift around.

Suasion: Get up! and be persuaded. A one-chord Joe including an experimental bass part played with a bottleneck slide.

Rough Grooved Surface: There are 3 parallel meters used: 3/4, 12/8 and 6/8+3/4. A common characteristic in African music is a 12/8 meter that can be related to on various levels. In Western music meter gets divided or simplified into a basic meter and syncopation is used for rhythmic complexity. Since African music is not about scored music, different metric layers can be easily added over the top without consideration of how it relates to 12/8.

Thought Trains: Conceived using E-G#-D-F# tuning, using a combination of natural harmonics and fretted notes, set against a polyrhythmic groove.

Figured Basses: Initially conceived as an etude for playing over a cycle of chord changes consisting of dominant 7th chords a minor 3rd apart cycling over a compound meter of a bar of 6/8+3/4, a bar of 6/8+2/4, a bar of 6/8+3/4 and a bar of 9/8.

Langar: Originally recorded in the early 90s on a cassette 4 track as an experiment with using various stainless steel pot lids as percussion, hence the title which means 'kitchen' in Urdu. I love the lofi quality of this, especially the natural analog boominess of the bass.

African Dust: In a parallel meter of 5/4 and 5/8, with a continuous synth calabash-like sound in the background as 'dust'. Sometimes sand and dust from the deserts of Africa can travel over on air currents to the U.S., an interesting metaphor for the influence of African music on Western music.

Eke: Or "eek" as onomatopoeia for the keyboard stabs.

Signal Scent: Titled after the synth patch used.

Turbines: Inspired by the mechanical choreography of wind turbine farms.