[Listening] Saisei by DJ Krush

Earlier today, I went for a walk. While walking, I listened to Saisei, the newest DJ Krush album (Apple Music, Spotify, Bandcamp). These are some observations that came to mind while listening to the album.

There are no skippable tracks

Usually, when I listen to an album, there is a track that I find myself itching to skip through.

Saisei has no skippable tracks. Every track kept my attention engaged. This happens so rarely (On most albums, only one, or two, maybe three tracks hook me, and I end up skipping through most of the tracks), which made it noteworthy.

Temporal contouring

As I was listening to the songs on the album, I remembered something from a book I read many years ago. The book is The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Lifeby Daniel Stern. In that book, Stern talks about the present moment and how the time within a moment is “contoured” (i.e., textured).

Stern goes on to spell out the nature of the present moment—its duration, characteristics, and temporal architecture and what protects and separates it from past and future. In doing so, Stern also draws widely from other disciplines, creating a fascinating synthesis. For example, in speaking of the present moment as something that lasts no more than 10 seconds and usually closer to 5, he notes that most spoken phrases last in the range of 3–5 seconds, that a breath cycle takes around 3 seconds, that after a 3-second pause in music the subjective sense of forward movement stops, and that both vocalizing turns and packages of maternal movement and sound with their infants last around 2–5 seconds. Stern concludes that the present moment is a special kind of story—a lived story that is nonverbal and need not be put into words. A temporal contouring of affective experience, a kind of vitality affect, serves as the backbone of the plot of this lived story. (Source)

Everything became cinematic

Listening to Saisei contoured my experience of walking around in very interesting and fun ways. As I moved my body through space and time, and the music played in my ears, everything took on a cinematic quality—I felt I was in a film with the most amazing soundtrack.

Sometimes the film was a sort of spy thriller, and other times, it was more of an art-house study of a person trying to get through a day. At no point was the effect unpleasant.

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