Sometimes you just want to hear a song forever. Its every noise seeping into the fabric of the universe around you, coloring every experience, but eventually it becomes repetitive. We sink into the rhythms of the song and start anticipating further and further ahead in the song until its entirety is contained within our minds and its endless repetition seems vulgar and annoying. So we turn it off and move on. The Infinite Jukebox turns your favorite songs into unpredictable stews of familiar sounds kept fresh by computer algorithms.
I’ve been goofing around with the Infinite Jukebox for a few days now, and it does a fine job of keeping your favorite songs fresher for longer by connecting similar beats across the song in a web of probability and similarity to create a “song” that feels familiar without dragging into a stop/begin again loop. The visualization is a chromatic dream catcher of musical connections between twin beats across the frame of the song. If someone decided to frame one, or even embark upon a needlepoint recreation, I’d have no problem calling it art and putting it on the wall.
The Jukebox works by splitting songs into individual beats that may then hop to another, similar beat, instead of playing the next beat. You can control the similarity tolerance and chance of skipping, along with other key functions, with tools on the site to fine tune your experience with any particular song.
Unsurprisingly Reddit has a board where people share songs that work particularly well, or are particularly challenging, on the platform, but I’ll leave you with a few of my discoveries.
Andrew WK – Party ‘til You Puke
With lyrics consisting of mostly verbs and vomit “Party ‘til You Puke” is a simple call to go hard. It’s all quick, loud guitars, happy keyboards and shouting. Run through the Infinite Jukebox it becomes a Sisyphean exhortation to party on forever. If the original is like a line of coke and a shot, the infinite version is like an insulin pump wired Crank style with amphetamines. This must be what the man himself feels like all the time.
Clipping – bout.that
The verses remain unmolested here, but the choruses turn into an infinitely escalating round of definitions of what things are about. Tension builds and builds until a verse finally comes to let pressure off. Then the cycle begins again.
The Eagles – Hotel California
This is what it must be like to work an infinitely long shift as the bellboy at the Hotel California. Nodding off until some snippet of conversation or rising riff awakens you and you are summoned to carry the bags of another stranger who will never leave. Then you drift back into a half-conscious stupor in the lobby as the muzak plays.
The Butthole Surfers – Cough Syrup
I hate cough syrup don’t you? The third quarter of this song turns into a non-sequitur machine blending bizarre metaphors with droning declarations about cough syrup and food in Europe. Sample: I’d rather be a matchstick than a lighter/I’d like to sail a ship into the sun.
The Doors – The End
Inarticulate oedipal rage that NEVER ENDS.