love his taste in drums, especially the stuff going on in the sub area. he (and i assume nigel who coproduced and must have mixed) fit so much stuff into the low end that i wasn’t even really aware of until i was lucky enough to catch one of live shows. the transition from traffic to twist over the greek theater PA is probably something i will never forget.
(not my video)
he did an interview here:
it looks like they used a lot of elektron gear though it’s not clear from reading if the rytm was strictly for live use. not that it particularly matters for the effect. if i were to try to approximate it without actually being able to listen to what i was doing this is what i would do:
separate sub from from like 80 and below and the kick. probably just use a synth for a sin or filtered triangle here.
immediately above that a more traditional kick sound, which i am lazy and would use a sample for. keep the decay pretty short. i would try not highpassing the kick and just try to play with levels and pitches to make them blend. it’s honestly shocking how much low end they get away with in this mix.
the noise you hear on the kick reads to me as actually a “hihat”. whatever it is is what makes the beat. i would use some kind of noisey sample and set the decay to like 25ms, randomize the start time slightly, so when it triggers you’re mostly just getting a bunch of slightly different discontinuity clicks. and then put an eq on it and set it to borderline self-oscillate somewhere between 200-400.
this probably doesn’t factor into the actual sound, but gates are really really underrated right now as a creative tool (at least in my bubble). the 200-400hz thing might just be a different instrument, in which case i would probably use a filtered clave sample pitched down. i would just put it in playing straight eighths and then gate it to either the noisey hihats (which are swung) or the rest of the drum bus, maybe slight LFO on gate’s decay time. i am a big fan of playing with gates to generate grooves from rhythmically unrelated loops/samples.
what makes it work is that there are almost no drums. the sparseness allows you to focus on the groove and the way it “twists” in the second part of the phrase. just basic sounds with the decay shorter than you think. the weird twisty part really sounds like op-z step components to me, which means they probably came out of something to do with param locks on the octatrack.
music is wild! i had all of these thoughts as i was listening to the first 20 seconds of the track and then took like 20 minutes trying to transform the thoughts to words and got way too into it.
edit: let safari talk me into spelling hi-hat “high hat” over and over again like an idiot