RITMO Seminar: Muddy Rhythms & Broken Beats

Welcome to the seminar Muddy Rhythms & Broken Beats at RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion, February 4-5. The focus of the seminar is on experimental grooves, typically perceived of as breaking the “rules.”

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About the seminar

The seminar will focus on experimental grooves, typically perceived of as breaking the “rules.” Such experimental grooves may include seasick rhythms, fragmented or cut-up rhythms, staggering rhythms, pushed and dragged rhythms, syncopated rhythms, or various forms of rhythmic irregularities. It will be a particular focus on music that falls under the umbrella terms of hip-hop music, neo-soul, urban and electronic dance music. 
Topics may (but are not limited to) address the following questions:
  • How do producers experiment with rhythm and groove via the use of processing effects, sequencer tools and samples?
  • What is the relationship between interface design and groove aesthetics?
  • How do listeners make sense of muddy rhythms and broken beats?
  • What is the relation between sound and perceived timing in these grooves?
  • How can we explain the producers’ and listeners’ fascination with muddy rhythms and broken beats?


The program for the seminar is as follows:
Tuesday, February 4th. Harald Schjelderups hus, Forsamlingssalen:
13.15-15.00: RITMO Seminar Series: Hip Hop Turntablism and the Limits of Rhythmic Complexity – Mark Katz
15.00-15.30 Coffee break in the RITMO kitchen
(NB: change of room)
Seminarrom 3:
15.30-15.45: Welcome
15.45-16.15: Gross Beats: Hyperquantization in Trap Music – Mike D'Errico
16.15-16.45: When Metre meets Metre: Rhythmic Ambiguity and Flexibility in Rap Flows –Kjell Andreas Oddekalv
16.45-17.00 Break
17.00-17.30: Timbral Mud: Saturation Aesthetics and its Potential Effects on the Sense of Groove – Eirik Askerøi
17.30–18.00: Exploring the Hu/Machine: Shaping Beats in Contemporary African-American Popular Music – Anne Danielsen
20.00: Dinner at SüdØst
Wednesday, February 5th. Harald Schjelderups hus, Auditorium 3:
09.00-09.30: Morning coffee in the RITMO kitchen
09.30-10.00: Blurring the Groove: Layered Breakbeats and Rhythmic Ambiguity – Rowan Oliver
10.00-10.30: How many Bars was that?: Minimalistic Rhythms and Hypermetric Irregularity in Suicide´s “Rocket USA” – Joseph Coughlan
10.30-11.00: Playful Rhythms and Mosaic Flow – Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen
11.00-12.00: Lunch
12.00-12.30: What is Muddy about Muddy Rhythms?: Bengtsson, Bateson and Contextual Paradoxes – Tellef Kvifte
12.30-13.00: Un-Quantized Rhythmic Elements by J Dilla in Slum Village´s Fantastic, Vol. 2 and its Influence in Hip-Hop Production in the “Post-Dilla” Era – Zachary Diaz
13.00-13.30: Reciprocal Territory: The Reimagination of Hip Hop Production – Alex Stevenson
13.30-13.45: Round off

(Note that there are different rooms for each of the days).

To know how much food to order and your dietary preferences, please fill out the form and sign up for the seminar here by Monday 27th of January.


The seminar is organized by the research projects TIME, MASHED and RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion.

Published Jan. 9, 2020 3:19 PM - Last modified Mar. 26, 2020 3:18 PM