Structure and the Ghostrider edit

‘Viol’ perfectly demonstrates the classic techno approach of letting the structure of the arrangement evolve and mutate in a linear fashion rather than adhering to more conventional song structures. Those conventional structures – with clearly defined verses and choruses or contrasting A and B parts – are much more commonly employed in rock, pop and house than they are in techno.

The release of Conspiracy Pt. 2 was preceded by a teaser video for ‘Viol’, which featured the Parisian fixed gear bike collective Ghostrider. Although it wasn’t immediately apparent at the time, the version of ‘Viol’ which soundtracks the video is subtly different to the released version. We got in touch with Gesaffelstein for clarification and he informed us that it’s a special re-edit he personally created for the video soundtrack, shortening the track’s length and adding some new elements. The Ghostrider edit is interesting for a couple of reasons, but first we’ll examine its structure:

The bassline remains pretty much constant throughout, while subtle melodic and rhythmic elements are added one after another to maintain the momentum of the track.

We can break the first section of this shorter edit down into individual sections to see how these comparatively tiny changes contribute to the overall continuity:

0:29-0:37 – The bassline plays over the basic kick and snare pattern.

0:37-0:55  – A closed hi-hat rhythm is added.

0:55-1:03 – The minor 3rd, Bb sounds twice at the end of every bar.

1:03-1:11 – Minor  3rds are replaced by shrill ‘falling’ synths.

1:12-1:21 – The minor 3rd reappears over the synths with the hi-hats changing to a rolling 16ths pattern.

1:22-1:39 – A new timbre is added to the bassline and the hi-hats are opened.

It’s also worth mentioning the brief anticipation created by the final beat in each of these sections, which invariably contains either a reverse, or simply just a drum hit to indicate the forthcoming change to the next section.

This is a great example of how such simple and subtle changes can be incredibly effective in maintaining continuity through a linear, evolving arrangement.

Finally, let’s examine the melodic composition of the track and one of the unique elements of the Ghostrider edit.

Author Oliver Curry
7th February, 2013

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