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Bass motives

Every night at twenty minutes to midnight, the Ministry of Sound hurtles past my window, booming out its insistent message of drum ‘n’ bass (I nearly added the word music there, whoopsie). Dump-thwump, dump-thwump, the Doppler shift marking its transit of the known galaxy at near-warp speed. Maybe it’s not the quad amp, I ponder sleeplessly, or a new album by Counterstrike, but the ENGINE… a sonic car, unbeknownst to Big Oil, runs on pure, 120-decibel noise, can only be driven not very secretly after dark? Dump-thwump, dump-thwump, yes, or maybe even a  bike? A 1940s Vinten Viper, Harley-Davidson possibly, one huge cylinder pumping up and down unreliably between your leather-caressed thews? Seriously, has anyone thought of harnessing the megalyptic power of the 15-inch bass subwoofer, “the double-double beat of the thundering drum”, to drive the actual car, not just to re-heat the tragic contents of your Saturday night KFC megabucket with sonic energy and eject it through the window afterwards?

I have thought seriously about setting up in business as a freelance masked avenger, dedicated to killing people with regular annoying antisocial habits. Like the kid who used to ride his trail bike with no silencer up and down our commuter village lane hour after shattering hour every Sunday afternoon. In the end I took a shovel and went out in the road and stood there, braced, firmly intentioned to separate the little fucker’s diseased head from his spotty shoulders. No court in the land would have convicted me. Luckily for both of us he’d already made his last pass of the day, changed his routine, got an exhaust from his mum for his fourteenth birthday, whatever, and he probably still lives, if he hasn’t carefully researched some other means of driving the villagers berserk. Then, I play jazz music all day. Strange, I haven’t seen any neighbours for a while…

I’ve mellowed now, and when out for a late-night pee with the dog last night we heard in the distance the familiar sound, dump-thwump, dump-thwump, like old peglegged Blind Pew on his way to slip me the Black Spot, and milliseconds later a hot hatchback whizzed by us, its sweet little engine note rising and falling on the gelid sea air, I was left spinning in its wake, feeling murder subsiding in my heart; for, at the wheel, was no random dork in a retrospective baseball hat, but a rather lovely blonde girl in her late twenties. Ding dong!, as the great Leslie Phillips so eloquently put it.


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