Square Root of Negative One


Math refresher — the square root of negative one yields i , which my calculus teacher explained to us stands for “imaginary.” The big deal about i is that it is neither positive nor negative, and though it has no direct correlation in the observable physical world, it is a very real and fundamental part of mathematics. Numbers that use i are usually composed of a “real” component (like “3” or “-13.54546”) and some sort of factor of i (like “-45 i “). These are called “complex” numbers, because of their mixture of real and imaginary components.

I’m pretty sure We kept all this in mind when titling this collection of so-called “illbient” tracks. Heavy on the beat, short on those happy one-note riffs, Square Root of Negative One is a journey that’s disturbing and exhilarating at the same time. Like all good math, what is built out of order and logic ends up being a thing of great complexity and perceivable human beauty. The rhythms stagger around their 4/4 locii, loops wander in and out of the real and imaginary realms, and melodies follow sinuously perfect curves. It’s doubtful that Square Root will swarm the dance floor — clubs are places for mindless repetition, not fractal detail — but for math geeks like me, this is asymptotic to perfection.

Asphodel, P.O. Box 51, Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113

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