Among all the absurdities on the dearly beloved, late Vine service, there was a surprising amount of videos on there that were less egregious or hilarious and rather “artsy”, or even cinematic. I was knee-deep in a two-hour Vine binge before going to bed some time last fall, something I caught myself doing throughout the semester (I hope I wasn’t the only one), when I came across these new “style” on the app.
One channel I found had dozens of trippy, fun videos of what came across as a bohemian, Californian, teenage social scene with really cool, lo-fi beats. But then came a video with a song that sounded deeply familiar to me, but it was different. It was, like, Tame Impala, but deeper and slower or something. I checked the comments to find that there were other similarly curious viewers, and I finally got the answer: it was “Love/Paranoia,” but it wasn’t by Tame Impala, it was by … Potato Nick.
After some confusion, I searched up exactly what I saw, and came across Tame Impala’s third record, Currents, on Soundcloud, slowed down completely by none other than Potato Nick. And man, I gotta tell you, their music sure does sound as luscious as ever at a slower speed.
Their more electro/psych pop direction off their latest, and arguably their best, record, oozes so smoothly and cinematically at this slower speed. Nothing feels overly dragged out, or awkwardly put in slow-mo. It wasn’t the same thing as just clicking “0.75x” on a Youtube vid. Because that actually does sound like you’re just dragging the sound of the video out, stretching the track. This was something different, because the actual pitch of every song went lower as well as the speed.
You can usually do something like this on a good record player (mine only lets you choose three ridiculously different speeds, but lets you alter the pitch however you like). But as I look into how to do it on the computers, I must be missing something simple; the only way I was able to do this was on iMovie: putting a track at 4/5th speed does exactly what Potato Nick does. And it sounds incredible for certain artists, and terrible for others. I encourage you guys to mess around with any tracks you have saved on your iTunes, and change its speed on iMovie. If you have Tame Impala, you’re in for a treat. If you don’t, I think what Potato Nick was able to share with us can be something really cool with other artists. Imagine a Radiohead discography as dazzling as “Nangs” sounds here? Someone needs to make a playlist of songs that sound great at a 4/5th speed off iMovie. And no, I’m not crazy.
Notable tracks off Currents that sound good @ 4/5: “Love/Paranoia”, “Nangs”, “Yes I’m Changing”.
– Pearse Devlin