30 Days of Song: Day 30


Day 30-a song that is your all time favorite

In the mid-1990s, I found myself losing interest in rap music, but not all forms of urban music. About the same time, I developed a sort of musical pen pal who’d send me mixtapes of music from outside the mainstream curve. (He’s still at it, too, running the excellent podcast Both Sides Of The Surface. Check it out on iTunes!)

He really helped expand my musical tastes (though never nearly as wide as his own!) and consequently I discovered “acid jazz” and “jungle/drum ‘n’ bass” and a little group that did both called Outside that’s responsible for at least two of my favorite-ever pieces of music.

This is one of them.

“To Forgive but Not To Forget” by Outside from their second album “The Rough And The Smooth”

I love the contrast between the organic violin and impossibly mechanical drum beats. It’s a very funky and exciting song that’s beyond genius when it shifts, two-thirds in, to a short break  of wordless vocals. Then the keys come in, providing a beautiful, soothing melody in counterpoint to a driving drumbeat.

It’s this tension between the technological and the natural, the pretty and the pugnacious, the harmony and the rhythm, and yes, the rough and the smooth, that make up what I love about music.

This song epitomizes what I love about music. That’s why it’s my all-time favorite.


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