Great Job, Internet!: Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” drum fill turned into a 70-minute experimental opus
Phil Collins’ drum fill on “In The Air Tonight” is arguably the greatest of all time, a perfect synthesis of song craft and percussion that could only come from a person who was skilled at both. After more than three minutes of melancholy synthesizers and soft pattering drums, the fill breaks the ungodly sense of tension and announces the final act of the song. It’s a moody ’80s power ballad that immediately places the listener in a boxy Camaro at night in a neon city, and it is built around those few seconds of shattering percussion. It is the fucking best.
So here it is for 70 minutes.
While “just a thing over and over” is a time-honored staple of internet garbage gags, creator Joseph Prein layers imperceptibly small variations of the drum fills, so that they move from syncopation to cacophony and back again. Hearing all of those …