((:))((:)): (phase :)

by xenaudial

When X was high, his internal listening abilities multiplied tenfold. No longer was any effort necessary to hear a convincing replica of a recording free of the usual bouts of murky indistinction engendered by doubt and paranoid second-guessing, especially symptomatic of expedited retention (though persistently plaguing even progressively achieved, longer-term inculcation). He was now hearing Steely Dan’s Your Gold Teeth II in that crystalline state. A perfect clone, playing integrally, from start to fade-out. What’s more, he could stop the playback anytime and surf around a particular chord to garner its frequencies, impossible when straight. It’s certain such abilities surfaced over time from working intimately with software that could effortlessly slow down a track to .031 of its original speed—crucially, without altering its pitch—such that a 4:13 minute tune stretched to 136 minutes. What an earlier generation of speculative phonomagi had struggled to realize (Steve Reich among them) was now readily available to any individual wishing to convert a favorite song into an ambient backdrop, category tripping. (If you were timbrally or harmonically inclined that is. Melody and rhythm were for all intents and purposes destroyed by such extreme distension, transformed into cantus firmus and structural articulation). Indeed, sonic technologies have been waging slow mutational war for quite some time, refashioning perceptual affordances both overtly and covertly. A diagrammatic accounting inevitably lay ahead.

Scanning through YGT2 posed no problem whatsoever. There was no need for an external device. X had absorbed all the machine’s functions. There: that bass passage missed earlier, and the singular flourish that definitively characterized it, indiscernible at regular speed. Why does that chord sound strange? Got it? Resume playback. It certainly made a good case for verbatim retention type theories of memory.

But the moment any attempt was made to listen too closely into the process, the entire fiction dissolved. Increasing gaps in credibility quickly escalated into irreconcilable differences that devastated every replication. Fregoli.

But why was Your Gold Teeth II playing back in the first place?