Line O' the Times

While Poor Line Condition are pioneering live drum 'n' bass in the local music scene, their audience just likes to watch

Modern dance music comes from nowhere, just like milk comes from supermarkets rather than a cow. There's a good deal of mental anguish expended in its creation, but very little physical sweat, and all we hear is the end result: a disembodied beat, freed from the material. There is no more production apparent; all is consumption. So the sight of a human being propagating those jerkity beats is startling. (Glen also hangs triangles and bags of loose metal from his drum set to achieve the distinctive rattle of drum and bass, and plays with a set composed of multiple snares and small, high-pitched cymbals). Miller plays the traditional "bass" part, the low end, repeating, undulating, steadying the music. I know for sure that Buckley is playing a bass only because it has four strings and because I double-check with him in our interview later. It sounds like everything but a bass, modulated and phased into melodic sound waves that add a high-end texture to the proceedings.

Poor Line Condition don't really "put on a show." But the subtle communication between the musicians is riveting. Maybe that's why no one is dancing. You can dance to any drum 'n' bass, but how much drum 'n' bass do you get to watch?

 

Poor Line Condition's rhythm method keeps couples off the dance floor
Tony Nelson
Poor Line Condition's rhythm method keeps couples off the dance floor

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