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Mystic210
Laughing Citizen


I've been out of the technical side of music for years, but the rhythm loop in Drink the Water intrigues me and I was wondering if any more musical minds could help explain what's going on there!

The drum "loop" of the verse sounds like it's on a different time signature than the rest of the instruments. It sounds like it's a 10/4 signature while the rest of the song/band is doing 4/4. Then they join together for the chorus, etc.

I'm not at all sure if that's what I'm hearing, though, so I wanted to get other's views/analysis.

Thanks!
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DRMS_7888
Vintage Newbie


It's all 4/4. The drums are playing a steady rhythm with 16th notes; the piano has a short triplet note riff that conflicts with the drumset's stability.

It's call a "four over three" or "three against four" polyrhythm.


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wilsmith
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So glad you broke that down. I was tempted, but I am avoiding listening to any of the tracks until I get the record, so this felt like a trap.

Weston's snare and hi-hat work, even if it was tracked and looped, is a thing of beauty, so I can see how people are getting lost trying to follow it independent of the other melodic parts of the arrangement.

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Mystic210
Laughing Citizen


Thank you DRMS! That helps...but that's not quite what I'm talking about. I'll try to explain better:


I'm talking about the reoccurring cymbal crashes that go along with the kick drum. I'm not sure what the notes would be, it's not a triplet, but it sounds like one before it goes steady again.

I think I figured it out, though, listening in the car this morning. Laughing Going with 4/4, if you consider a 4 bar phrase, the crash/kick drum thing happens between beats 1 and 2 first, then it happens at the end of the 4 bar phrase on beats 3 and 4. Simple, but neat idea!

I may not be 100% correct, but if nothing else, hopefully someone can figure what I'm talking about better! It's just in the verse.



And Wil, feel free to come back to this and give your opinion after you hear the songs in two weeks! To note on what you said, yes, I like his work. It's like a loop, it's such a steady backdrop to their songs. Not to ruin anything, but "Laugh It Off" has a similar thing going on to what I'm talking about above, only the kick/cymbal tricks start on beat 1 every 8 count. In "Drink the Water" it seemingly moves (thus my original question), so it makes for an interesting listen!
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wilsmith
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I've listened to Currents and Drink the Water a couple of times. I just haven't since, and won't. And I haven't listened to the album snippets.


There's an effect on the cymbals that makes it sound glitchy. I'm pretty sure that's intention, to give it a more aquatic, if not backwards sound. They may have even reversed the track for that part. I'm guessing that's what you're hearing that sounds out of synch. But I can't verify it until...

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DRMS_7888
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Mystic210 wrote:
Thank you DRMS! That helps...but that's not quite what I'm talking about. I'll try to explain better:


I'm talking about the reoccurring cymbal crashes that go along with the kick drum. I'm not sure what the notes would be, it's not a triplet, but it sounds like one before it goes steady again.

I think I figured it out, though, listening in the car this morning. Laughing Going with 4/4, if you consider a 4 bar phrase, the crash/kick drum thing happens between beats 1 and 2 first, then it happens at the end of the 4 bar phrase on beats 3 and 4. Simple, but neat idea!

I may not be 100% correct, but if nothing else, hopefully someone can figure what I'm talking about better! It's just in the verse.



And Wil, feel free to come back to this and give your opinion after you hear the songs in two weeks! To note on what you said, yes, I like his work. It's like a loop, it's such a steady backdrop to their songs. Not to ruin anything, but "Laugh It Off" has a similar thing going on to what I'm talking about above, only the kick/cymbal tricks start on beat 1 every 8 count. In "Drink the Water" it seemingly moves (thus my original question), so it makes for an interesting listen!


I see what you are talking about. Weston is doing a nice job of laying in some cymbal crashes in syncopation. Cymbal crashes most commonly occur after a fill leading up to a downbeat in conventional rock grooves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OLKg-G9TDQ

Rather than follow that convention, Weston is giving some nice easy crashes on non-downbeats (including 8th note syncopations) to emphasize certain bits from the piano and bass lines. It's a nice touch that makes you feel a bit wobbly as to where each new measure begins.

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wilsmith
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Ahhh the magic word. That came up in the thread about the Currents single too. Boone dropped the synch-bomb on us first in that go around. I get leery talking about polyrhythms, counter-melodies and stuff like that. I know enough to recognize it in the broad sense of a composition, or things that feel like it, but modern music can be so unconventional and I start to second guess my perception.

Case in point, for the longest time Marvelous Things "felt" like a waltz to me and then I listened one day and realized it was seemed closer to 4/4 than 3/4 or 6/8 which I'm partial to. Why did it fool me? Well, Stacy's chords on the rhodes seem to be on a 6 count & Weston's synchopation is so slick. He's stealing the show without letting you know. Now they are putting that brilliance on display upfront.

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Mystic210
Laughing Citizen


Yes, it's all about the syncopation! That did indeed get brought up with Currents as well. Thanks for the video example. I played woodwind instruments for years, but the typical "rock" instruments are fun to know/learn about as well.

(Though, it's not just the syncopation...The thing I like/noticed is how the syncopation happens on different counts which is very unlike their other songs.)
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boone
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Weston's biggest drumming influence have always been jazz guys, I think, so he's always led interesting and tricky excursions around the beat. It's caused quite a few people to claim he's off time, actually.

But, some of my favorite drummers are funk guys like Tiki Fulwood, Tyrone Lampkin, Frank Waddy. They usually started out in jazz, too, so I'm fully on board with Weston giving more than just straight fours all the time.

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PoorMe
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I don't know anything about rhythm or beats but is there not something different about the drumming going on in Lost Enemies?

I really love Weston's work on that one too.
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Mystic210
Laughing Citizen


PoorMe wrote:
I don't know anything about rhythm or beats but is there not something different about the drumming going on in Lost Enemies?

I really love Weston's work on that one too.


Yes, that's another one that messed with my mind the first time I heard the song recorded!

What I think it is, is a combination of a couple things.

-Slightly technical: The song sounds straight 4/4 (normal 4 counts), but when Sherri and the guitar start singing (and even the "ahhs" in the beginning), many of the words/rhythms start on upbeats (instead of beat one, it starts on the "and of 1" and so on...until she says "time").

Basic: That whole into is weird in that sense. The sung notes are long, don't start on down beats, and you are expecting a certain rhythm/style. So when the drums come in and makes the beat more obvious, it sounds off. Plus, the drums are aggressive, while the whole time you aren't expecting an aggressive beat to the song.



***Side note, if you notice, they don't quite replicate this live yet!

If you care, listen to the record version of DTW vs. a live version on youtube. Live, he does the cymbal crashes on beat 1 every time. Recorded, sometimes it's on beat 3 (or whatever...it's not beat 1 all the time).

For WC, the one live video online, it's pretty similar, but the beat/drums is way less aggressive and again, more standard.
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