Aphex Infinitum
March 26, 2019 8:54 AM   Subscribe

The guitar solo at the end of "Rosanna" by Toto. Should be way longer.
posted by prepmonkey at 9:05 AM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Bowie's "Sound and Vision". It feels like it's just getting going, and then it fades out in the middle of the song.
posted by Crane Shot at 9:11 AM on March 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

"She Hates Me" alternating with "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"
posted by leotrotsky at 9:13 AM on March 26, 2019 [6 favorites]

I have been subjected to "Rosanna" a million times and never onced noticed the guitar solo. Noticing it does improve the song (very slightly.)
posted by serena15221 at 9:33 AM on March 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

My understanding is that the traditional method for making a song you like last forever is dropping acid, but sure, an algorithm seems to be the way we do anything anymore.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:35 AM on March 26, 2019 [6 favorites]

I like how the answer here is a very simple Markov Chain. There's a lot of folks doing complex statistical machine learning for this stuff now. But if you just have a simple melody machine, creating variations with a Markov Chain makes a lot of sense.

I also like how this goes full circle on generative music. Aphex Twin was inspired by Eno's Music for Airports in making this particular piece, plus much of his ambient stuff. Eno in turn was doing generative music experiments at the time. The well is 41 years old here, if not older.
posted by Nelson at 10:07 AM on March 26, 2019 [9 favorites]

This is interesting, and probably not too far off from how RD James himself composes some songs. I know he's made some music algorithmically in Max, although I don't know if he made whole songs that way, or just used algorithms for individual parts within a song, like drum patterns. Either way, this is an interesting approach, and very much in keeping with the fun, science-y obsessiveness I've seen with other IDM fans online.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:09 AM on March 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Er, what Nelson said.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 10:09 AM on March 26, 2019

"Beginnings" (the Chicago song covered by) Astrud Gilberto...except it never ends.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:15 AM on March 26, 2019

Who's gonna tell him that "Music For Airports" is a thing that exists?
posted by littlerobothead at 10:20 AM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

He writes about "Music For Airports" and generative music in general (ha!) here.
posted by vverse23 at 10:25 AM on March 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

The song I'd most like to hear extended is South Australian Border which evokes, for me, a moment that I want to go on for hours.

The song itself is brief and almost insubstantial but I do not believe it could be extended by machine-generated music.
posted by gauche at 10:33 AM on March 26, 2019

Heh. One time, I made an hourish-long edit of Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl to troll my wife. Probably doesn't count, though.
posted by suetanvil at 10:40 AM on March 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Two of my absolute favorite soundworlds. Every time I play one of these I feel like I've gone through ages of time in a few seconds.

NEU! - Hallogallo

Gabor Szabo - Mizrab (Live)

posted by dreamlanding at 10:49 AM on March 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

Here you go.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:29 AM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh! 2CB adds all sorts of marvelous time-stretching effects to music. I once lived a lifetime in William Orbit's adaptation of Adagio for Strings (from Pieces in a Modern Style). Delicious!
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 11:31 AM on March 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

That has to be the only time I've ever seen a Markov chain used to do something that wasn't pretty much pointless. I'd never heard of the band or the track that inspired him, but I don't think that matters much because I agree completely that it's perfect for playing while programming. I've bookmarked the player for when I'm bashing out code, thanks :)
posted by Gamecat at 11:36 AM on March 26, 2019

One alternative to truly generative music is simply repetitive music.
posted by CaseyB at 11:58 AM on March 26, 2019

The coda to "Layla."
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:07 PM on March 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

Here's the drum break from In the Air Tonight looped for 30 minutes, in case you're into that sort of thing.
posted by gauche at 1:02 PM on March 26, 2019

In the year 2000, i wrote a little program that used Markov chaining on melodies using HyperTalk (HyperCard had built-in music synthesis commands), but burnt out on inputting enough melodies (such as the entire Beatles catalog) for it to really become fun to play with. Never distributed it.

A bit more fun was a generator of chord progressions, not using Markov chaining but the “rules” of Western diatonic music with parameters that would allow you to adjust the output. It produced plausibly human-written progressions that could easily be banged out on the guitar or piano though ultimately boring, as generative music often is.
posted by D.C. at 2:03 PM on March 26, 2019

Way back in the 1970s part of my job as Assistant/Gofer for a Big Time Morning Radio Personality was to do some slight-of-hand magic in the editing studio, including looping the intros to popular songs so they could be used as "instrumental beds" for live commercials or monologues (up to 3 minutes). The only ones I liked enough to want to never end were "Lowdown" by Boz Scaggs and "Baker Street" by Gerry Rafferty (which my boss vetoed because the sax was too loud),
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:11 PM on March 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Any song I feel this way about I just repeat until I get sick of it. Then years later I hear it again and can just really enjoy it without getting it stuck on focus again. There have been times where I've looped a section of a song because I especially enjoyed those parts, wish I'd kept a better record of them, at least to remember but also because it seems like a logical collection of sounds to pull from if I ever get around to making music.
posted by GoblinHoney at 2:31 PM on March 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Recently, John Frusciante's "Wayne" has been massaging my soul. It's a decent 10 minutes or so, but I feel it could go on even longer.
posted by zardoz at 2:47 PM on March 26, 2019

Many. For me it's all about music that, for lack of a better word, evokes some sort of transcendence. And that sensation is so compelling. Siren calls to let go of the world and float downstream in whatever bright moment the sound has conjured up in my head. These are very much spatial sensations, feelings as if gravity has lessened, if only for the moment. And they can evoke joyous, depressing, or any number of hard to describe emotions.

Erik Satie's Gymnopédie No. 1, is one. It's also an example of how, in some ways, it's good I don't have an infinite mix, because the melancholic nature of the work soaks in over time, and it's hard for me to not imagine it as music to be played at my funeral while I watch, disembodied, unobserved, from the shadows. And probably I don't need a button I can push to summon Infinite Funeral Fantasy.
posted by allium cepa at 2:56 PM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

OTOH, earworms. When that happens to songs I like, I HATE it. So then I had to learn to listen to a 'gorilla earworm' that ate other earworms.

GOML: There are a lot of modern attempts at music (I will not dignify) that create four bars, then repeat those 4 bars three more times. With NO VARIATIONS at all. If you think that little of us, STFU. This is the sound of a DAW looping those bars. This is lazy-ass shit, and it irritates me.

ALMOST as much as having Cohen's "Hallelujah" stuck in my head.
posted by Twang at 4:12 PM on March 26, 2019

C Am F G
posted by leotrotsky at 4:50 PM on March 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Underworld - Ring Road. But, yeah, almost anything Aphex.
posted by jwest at 5:28 PM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Or Underworld - Rez. Almost anything Underworld.
posted by jwest at 5:30 PM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Aww...”Stephen Wolf”


Dang autocorrect.

posted by darkstar at 7:03 PM on March 26, 2019

I get much the same effect by putting my favorite Two Steps From Hell tracks into a shuffled playlist. Or all of Chillhop Records seasonal collections, also in a shuffled. For the first time in decades of trying I've actually found near-ambient music I can work to. Better than cafe sounds.

But seriously (though I do listen to the playlists I mention), this is pretty good stuff, and I'm bookmarking it.
posted by lhauser at 7:18 PM on March 26, 2019

In case anyone hasn't found it, he has a bunch of other ones here.
posted by juv3nal at 9:02 PM on March 26, 2019

posted by MartinWisse at 1:02 AM on March 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is a tough and interesting question, because like GoblinHoney, I have the tendency to just put an unbelievable song on repeat for a long time. But sometimes when you do that, the magic goes away. I think that what makes some songs so effective is that there's something surprising in their structure, and once you figure it out it doesn't work anymore.

If I was going to do this to an Aphex song, I'd pick Next Heap With. That one really resonates with me. It sounds like a mysterious journey!

Other songs I would put in the magical song extender machine:
Force of Nature: Aquatic
Ulrich Schnauss: Monday Paracetamol
Boards of Canada: ROYGBIV
Amalgamation of Soundz: La Cugina
RJD2: The Proxy
Wagon Christ: Accordion McShane

I guess theoretically we could create software in the future that is smart enough to trawl through existing recordings and snip and assemble them into EBN type jams. I'm sure it would generate a lot of trash, but probably some interesting stuff too.
posted by heatvision at 3:58 AM on March 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Did someone say, "songs that last forever"? How about Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull!
posted by I-Write-Essays at 7:21 AM on March 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

The linked article is why I don't like Aphex Twin; he talks a lot of guff in interviews about making a new scale, or dreaming his music, or... whatever. But also you can recreate (some of) what he does with a reverb effect and a markov chain.
posted by The River Ivel at 9:44 AM on March 27, 2019

Did someone say, "songs that last forever"? How about Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull!

When I was a freshman in college, I was one of the many volunteer DJs at WXYC. One of my stoner friends always used to come in and suggest that I put on "Thick as a Brick" so we could leave the studio and go smoke at the arboretum. Apparently it became a tradition.

posted by Token Meme at 10:08 AM on March 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

"A departure from the synthy dance tunes which make up the majority of Aphex Twin’s catalog,"

Lost me.
posted by bongo_x at 1:25 PM on March 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Easy Star All Stars: On the Run (J.Viewz Remix)

Air: Don't Be Light

...and nearly all of the Fury Road soundtrack.
posted by CynicalKnight at 5:23 PM on March 27, 2019

Pretty surprised nobody here has linked to Infinite Jukebox, which pretty much does exactly this for most any song you can think of with a spiffy interface to match.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:23 PM on March 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

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