Repetitive Music


I got this record the other day... I like it but a lot of people don't.

I guess it's boring to them, I don't know, but I realised how much I like repetitive music - in a sort of pop music context. Often when music is so repetitive in one element it's so that you can change it a bit - or change other elements in it - and the change is effective - I remember reading about how changes in minimal music are like a match-flare in a dark room - and the dark room bit was meant to be an insult I guess, but I'd say that the state or effect arrived at by the repetition is not so nothing-ey as just a dark room. Alternatively it can be slowly varied to imperceptibly become something else - either way, in my head it's repetitive and when it succeeds I get really hypnotized. I'm especially talking about vocal ones here I guess cos that's what I like.
Some others from different genres but linked by vocal repeating although in different ways

What else might I like?

Simon silverdollarcircle

Well-known member
I love black Merlin's stuff

I also really like that Corita Kent idea that the point of repetition is that it's never the same each time

The fact that it's been repeated in itself makes it different


Someone asked me if I was Black Merlin one time... I don't really know what he looks like but I assume he's a very handsome guy



5 minutes, not a single change
I guess... now that you're making me think about what I meant, that I meant things that aren't literally repetitive but which appear repetitive despite the fact that they aren't (in some respect I at least). Obviously I just made up this rule (I mean refined my original description) so that I can exclude locked groove type things - I have a fair few records with several of those stuck on the end. I suppose they are made to be used as DJ tools that you can mix other things in and out of as you like rather than as stand alone tracks that you could listen to from beginning to end - the fact that they have no end could be interpreted as being a sign of this.
With this one - and any such really - if you're gonna repeat something a lot it had better be pretty good. And this one is pretty good. One question that leaps immediately to my mind - why did they make it 5.01 long? Basically the building block is like two seconds long, the loop could go to infinity... so why pick on 5 min? You can ask that question to a certain extent with anything of course - why not add another verse and two more choruses or whatever - but it seems particularly pertinent when the way the song is made is so clear as it is here. What I'm getting at is I love the idea of some insane perfectionist listening to the loop obsessively for different lengths of time and only, after years of experimentation, deciding that it builds up to deliver the maximum effect at 5.01... any longer it slightly diminishes (although possibly their experiments could have revealed the existence of another slightly lesser peak after 42: 07: 19). But more likely the rationale here is that they needed to fill up a record or cd runtime and they fitted the maximum number of full loops they could and thus 5.01.

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Staff member
The banal truth may just be that, as I've discovered myself while trying to sync music to video before, that YouTube's video player has a slightly non-standard idea of exactly how long a second is.


It's a loop, how many times ought one repeat the loop to get the best song? I'm not talking about the odd second.