The curious gestation of this record takes another step. Original commissioned as a digital download for Nike, "45.33" was envisaged as a continuous, one piece epic to soundtrack your corporate-sponsored exercise. Now, with LCD Soundsystem being en vogue and this years "Sound Of Silver" being the music of choice for advertising execs, hip-but-past-it commuters, and Vice-reading Indie Kids, their label has seen fit to finally issue this intriguing and brilliant experiement to be masses.
Now appended with some extra - and slightly incongruous - extra tracks, the main draw, and artistic triumph of "45.33" is the song itself. "45.33" is one long (and I mean long) largely instrumental mood piece that works only in it's entirety. In the olden days this would be known as Prog : where a song would last the length of a vinyl LP and only end because you couldn't fit any more than 23 minutes onto a side of a 33rpm vinyl disc. In this golden age of CD (and the unlimited size MP3) technology has now freed the artist to do whatever they'd like. What "45.33" is is a brave, and interesting instrumental expedition into the far reaches of music. Whilst the piece works as a cohesive whole, it also forms several separate chunks (as you would expect).
The modern song works in a variety of forms. Verse, chorus, middle eight, break. It's really laughable : these parts are then arranged to repeat a number of times. Devo wrote an album of around 40 songs - each of one intro, one verse, one chorus. Rather than repeat themselves they bend the form into new shapes. The medium is the message. By the same token, "45.33" takes each part of each song, and repeats it with a minimalist variation so it evolves and changes imperceptibly over the duration of the track. Motifs return from twenty or thirty minutes earlier in a new context, and the song resembles nothing so much as a highly danceable, groove-lead, ever changing and evolving piece of liquid music. Over the several musical identities, "45.33" constantly evolves, changes, leads and moves forwards. Many of the pieces here are unique to this release, whilst a couple of others are recycled, reworked, and recognisable from their other albums, albeit then melded to create a seamless uniform single mood piece.
"45.33" is quite unlike anything else you will probably hear all year : artistically uncompromised by the convention of form to create a undoubted and interesting musical success. Think of it as a companion piece of the earlier "Sound Of Silver", where both pieces of material are cut from different sides of the same musical coin, and you'll be pleased. Well worth investigating.