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So, Spotify has a "Songs To Test Headphones With" playlist. I like headphones, and I like songs that push the performance of audio gear, so I start sifting through it.

One of the songs was "Axel F", by Harold Faltermeyer. You know, that song from Beverly Hills Cop which is a effectively a tour de force of a guy in a shoulder-padded suit with rolled-up sleeves and a skinny tie futzing around on his synth set. Also, very catchy and a lot of fun.

So, I start listening to it. I never noticed how utterly spare the arrangement is. There's precisely nowhere to hide in that song. You can hear every note and it's not too hard to look at what the sequencer tracks would look like superimposed on top of each other. It's this little fugue that got a lot of airplay, and now understanding how clean and precise it is, I kind of understand why.

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Elias K. Mangosteen

May 2017

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