Some more thoughts on 4/4 beats in lieu of what Josh
is saying re: its crassness. Josh, I think your difficulty with 4/4 beats might be a result of what you were discussing earlier - your possible tendency to hear separately different components of music. The thing about a 4/4 kickdrum is that by itself it is
a glorified metronome, but it's rarely the only
rhythmic component within the music. A good house/garage (US style) beat has luscious hi-hats that provide a "swing" to the metronomic groove, and that's further emphasised by the interplay between the beat and the bassline. In contrast there's a lot of trance that in my opinion sounds far too metronomic because the kickdrum is unaccompanied by percussion or a bassline, and the treble melody does nothing to hide the remorseless pounding. I think my July 25th entry
on Chain Reaction's minimalist house discusses the unique rhythm of house more. Actually I'd be fascinated by your opinion on Chain Reaction-style house, Josh.