the ignoble truths of revelry

Klinik - Train

The first time I listened to "Train," I had an intense physical reaction to it. The song starts with a bright metallic burst, a little musical 'hark!', then shifts into the pulses that form the fundament of the track. When I heard this for the first time (through headphones), it felt like my face was trying to jump off my skull--and though that sounds like it would be excruciatingly painful, the sensation was actually very pleasant, close to the disconnected amusement you feel when your leg jumps at the stroke of the reflex hammer (there's nothing wrong with taking pride in your autonomic system). I think it has to do with the panning of noises in the song--my ears were trying to track the movements of things that weren't really there, or weren't truly moving. "Train" is amazing both because of and apart from this phenomenon; it's probably one of the best musical impressions of 'riding a train' that I've ever heard, and it captures the sinister character of rail travel so prominently featured in books like Murder on the Orient Express (Christie) and Orient Express (Greene) (also The Hothouse, by Wolfgang Koeppen).

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