If you tell me a clock is groovy, I just don't believe we mean the same thing. It doesn't work for me.
I know, you dislike music that conforms to a grid. Perhaps groovy isn't the right word, but I believe you can make a grid dance, by carefully considering the elements you place on it and their parameters. I am into "computer music", I grew up with chiptunes in the way some others may have grown up with folk music.Surreal complexity is beside the point of groove, isn't it? Beyond this, I can't know what it actually does absent a proof of it. 'a drum machine was used'; did no one do anything better than that the whole track? I wasn't there. If this is true, I have to say my experience with making a machine give me a live result compared with a grid tells me I would not enjoy the same response.
Phil Collins used a drum machine for "In the Air Tonight" because he wanted a mechanical rhythm. Sometimes you want it loose and human, other times you want it absurdly robotic. When you say "was nothing better done?", better for whom? Grid based sequencing, whether the grid is equal in division, swung slightly, or based on a repeating one bar groove, has been a massive part of electronic music, some of which I enjoy for it's specific properties.
'Impossibly perfect'; yeah, quantization as 'perfection' doesn't do a thing for me as an idea and I have found it wanting in practice. Tick tock, tick tock, who cares? Experienced musicians bring intelligence and context, history, humor, a point of view; nuance and sensitivity, and magic. Why would one settle for a quantized execution? This is devolving.
Perfection isn't really my bag in music, I find it stifles creativity, but when it comes to timing, I just really enjoy well programmed music that hangs on the grid yet punches through or transcends it. It depends how it's done. To make a statement that all music with rigid timing is a step back, seems a bit closed minded and a bit of a "high road" mentality. What about a holistic look at it? Sure, you may not like it, but that's a matter of taste rather than evolution.
'Lots of people' did something is not through itself persuasive at all. The general public voted for Hitler and likes Coldplay.
Ok, fair do's. What other people like is irrelevant. We're talking about our tastes. For me, the only thing that makes devolution is a lack of creativity. It's creativity that I'm interested in. What can we do with sound? I'm perhaps more interested in that than raw musicality in some ways. As to the sort of rhetorical statement, 'it's the space between the notes', I think if you're reacting rather than reflecting on that, you're missing some real food for thought.
Oh, I've thought about it a lot, and you're right. Music is as much the spaces as it is the notes. We could probably all compare the mental models we have of different aspects of music and come up with completely different images. I honestly think, my initial definition in this thread, of a groove as a set of tendencies, a forwards momentum from which deviations cause a loss of energy but can add interest, sums up my model pretty well. It's the sum of all expectations the listener has. Beyond that, the word "groove" has all sorts of connotations and technical meanings depending on who you ask.James Brown's bands define groove IME, and it really is a lot to do with the space in between the activated notes or hits. And the swing, the push and pull versus the pulse. And the humor, the point of view, the attitude. The perfect clock, well I know what it is for certain, and groove means something else to me.
Here's some grid-based music. Skip to 1:35 if you get bored of the intro.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVXL21GcMO0
Does this have push and pull? Does it have a groove? Does it have "swing" (in the jazz sense of the word asin, a pleasing balance of proportion)? I'd be interested in what anyone else thinks, too.