Berlin-based producer Lotic released another new track over the weekend, which his Texan counterpart Rabit understandably is calling the song of the year. It's called "Trade" and seems to encourage the listener to think about speed. It makes me think of a Goldsmiths lecture by Steve Shaviro on contemporary cinema, particularly action films. He discusses a study of the editing pace in Hollywood films over the last several decades: in the '70s, shots started lasting significantly shorter than ever before, and they've gotten exponentially shorter since (Michael Bay's work is a prime example.) The shots succeed each other so rapidly now that they often defy comprehension in favor of pure stimulation.
This kind of speed has an uncanny resemblance to the transaction rates of futures trading, one of the most important forms of capital today. As of 2011, the average stock was held for 22 seconds. The 2010 “flash” crash, lasting twenty minutes in total, famously took economists months to make sense of because of the pure complexity of its speeds of exchange, at the edges of human comprehensibility.
Yet another link is the life of images online. Artist Hito Steyerl advocates the evaluation of low-quality images circulating the internet—copies of copies; recombined, remixed errata zipping all over the world, constantly—in terms of velocity, a term never before seriously applied to the study of the image.
With all this in the air, "Trade" takes a familiar-sounding (yet still completely beautiful) R&B synth melody and takes it to info-speed hell with a snippet of a drum solo and a serrated edit of the vocal from Future's "Sh!t." It's like pure, rapid algorithm poured scatteredly over a slow, narcotic club beat, and it works. Clearly he’s on to something. Check it out below, plus don't miss our GEN F feature on Lotic.