Matt O'Neill

Exercise Music I: Fast Music, Slow Walky

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by Matt O’Neill

I recently took up daily exercise. As of last week, I have been walking 12 kilometres each day. This takes roughly two hours. In order to distract myself from the reality of walking for two hours each day somewhat, I listen to music – generally something a little different each day. I thought it could be interesting to document what I listen to each day and the effects of each excursion. I present to you Exercise Music I

2562 Aerial (2008)

I originally reviewed this album in Time Off‘s now-defunct dance music section Zebra. The debut album of celebrated Dutch dubstep producer 2562, I was struck at the time by its meticulously spartan arrangements (even by the standards of its genre) and then-surprising synthesis of techno and dubstep rhythmic patterns. I distinctly remember liking it a great deal but having exceptional difficulty articulating its appeal.

Since that point, 2562’s 2009 follow-up record Unbalance has positioned the producer as one of dubstep’s leading lights. His pioneering techno/dubstep hybrid has gradually become one of the genre’s most favoured off-shoots. Recently, I was given a pre-release copy of his eagerly anticipated third album Fever and, after enjoying it thoroughly, I thought I’d take advantage of my morning walk to revisit his debut.

In regards to exercise routine, this was something of an experiment. I’ve always shied away from dubstep records because spaced-out mid-tempo grooves are about as conducive to stimulating exercise as a warm glass of milk (if I may emphasise an obvious piece of advice: don’t ever exercise after a warm glass of milk). I thought, however, that the more pulsing techno elements of 2562’s sound might off-set the narcotic ambience typical of dubstep.

As to the experiment’s success, I’m somewhat uncertain. It took me 57 minutes to walk the first six kilometres of the journey as opposed to my average 55 (which may not sound like much of a difference – but it irks me considerably). That said, I am unsure as to the impact high-tempo music has on physical exertion. This report suggests it does help.

The following six kilometres, however, do not.

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