Music with unusual structure is endless fascination for me. You can play 4 beats of an E into an F# for all eternity & it's never completely drained, but when you take a strange melody & enmesh it in a 5/4 rhythm or something, people can't help but stop & think a little.
The common rhythms came out of biological fact, like biped walking generates 2-based marching meters, 2/4, 4/4, etc. & the heartbeat / sexual rhythm generates 3-based meter (think about the pattern of a heartbeat, ba-BUM-(stop)-ba-BUM-(stop), & the intoxicated sexual writhing you can get into is a 'swung' 3-based pattern, etc)... so it's interesting to think what can happen to one's mental & bodily functioning when music is tweaked into unusual structures.
What could a 5/4 rhythm mean in biological fact? Most people hear it & they're confused, but after you get used to it you find yourself in a more expansive world, like the musical circle of awareness is larger & encompassing more creative space.
'Math rock' is cool yeah yeah etc but I'm more intrigued by the subtler stuff, where the music isn't literally diagrammed into sequences of odd meters & tempo shifts & that. I like free jazz, Frank Zappa, Penderecki, Boulez, etc. but there are very few people who can take a populist pop-music mentality & combine it with experimental structures, working in that hidden realm of thinking..... where the mind is imperceptibly bent to an other reality.
I'll give an example to start, the band Animal Collective. It's so retarded that they're culturally boxed-in to this 'hipster'-hunting he-said-she-said cutlure-war bullshit when their music is so fucking unique &, as far as I know, unprecedented. Aside from being the first 2000s band to go full-on into pop music from a completely experimentalist, post-verse-chorus-verse mentality, they do all kinds of theoretically interesting shit with melody, rhythm, timbre, vocals, you name it really.
Like the song "My Girls", which people make fun of cuz blar de blar, hipsters etc, that song does something extremely unusual which is that its chorus resolves to the 7th note on the scale. That's extremely rare, I don't think I can think of any other radio song that does it. The first 3 or so minutes hover around the tonic chord, the kind of 'at-home' feeling using the 3rd 5th & 1st notes, but then the chorus moves into the 7th which creates a surprise feeling of mystery & romanticism. The 7th when used a certain way is the mysterious, romantic note in the major scale so to have that as the resolution in the chorus is particularly cool.
Also this song:
Avey Tare, one of the Animal Collective guys. This song is doing some incredible shit. First of all, the structure is something I've never heard before. Notice how it starts out kind of dead, mashed into some swampy morass region, like a feeling-dead-inside type of depression, & piece by piece comes alive into some emotions, & ends with a peaceful feeling. Pretty sweet, & the melodies themselves are pretty sweet & unique.
But the rhythmic shift at 2:38. It's a definite change in meter & tempo but sounds natural (almost to the point of being unnoticed) because the basic rhythmic pulse is identical. The song starts with a beat in 3/4, so you get 6 8th notes, 12 16th notes. Then that divides by 4 to get 4 groups of 3 16th notes, so you get a 4/4 beat with triplets instead of 8ths. So the meter & tempo change while the basic rhythmic pulse is identical. It sounds a lot more complicated in math than how it sounds, which is pretty natural, but it took me a while to figure out what was going on.
Awesomeness to the nth power on that shit.
What's some uniquely structured music you know about? Tell me a thing or two, I like hearing perspectives.