>Here’s an opening line you don’t often read in music articles: Statisticians, please skip a few paragraphs right now, because you’ll already know this bit. For the rest of us whose uselessness with numbers is in direct relation to the length of the angry queue that forms as we struggle with a handful of coins to pay for the newspaper, read on.
So here’s a statistical fact – if you are in a room with 22 other people, there’s more than a 50% likelihood that two of them share the same birthday. No, I don’t really understand either. For a detailed explanation, complete with the kind of equations that makes my throat tighten and eyes boggle involuntarily, look here and weep at your pathetic grasp on the workings of the universe.
If this is the type of information that makes you suddenly realise how hopelessly equipped we are as humans to absorb our true unimportance in relation to life, the universe and everything, I apologise. But just think about how many times you’ve been in exactly that situation for a second. Then think about how many opportunities for big, fun, joint birthday parties you’ve missed.
This all leads me to conclude three things. Firstly, the Maths geeks you mocked at school already know this and so have been having a lot of carefully plotted fun that you’ve missed out on. Secondly, if you don’t understand this theory, it means that when the Great Nerd Revolution takes place, mouth-breathers like you and me will be first against the wall. Thirdly, this revolution will destroy the music that we love, because Maths + Rock = DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Or does it? Today’s New Band, Large Number, might be a sign that the Rise of Mathematical Aggression is already here. Large Number‘s songs might have been made by decoding the human genome, converting the code into one monstrously huge numerical sequence, and then letting a computer turn that number into sounds. But probably not. Large Number is actually a very talented woman called Ann, but I like the idea of computer-human hybrid auto-sound-production more.
Song Shy English Hitler is a warping, shimmering, electro-bizarro-creep, with a well-placed volley of verbal insults over the fabulously cranky sounds. It hops all over the place, the beat humming at different frequencies with crazed abandon, suddenly speeding up or slowing down on a whim. Hockenheim In The Rain, big and splashy, grunts and whistles with furious momentum, and keeps stepping up gears lazily until the pace is both languid and frantic.
Large Number: where we all began to realise our awful, algorithmic fate. Listen here!