Friday, April 11, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Zonal Taste Wand/ZX-9 “Negative Space/Partition Function Part 2” (Retrograde Tapes)

            I’m not certain why, but I did want to note that this release is split with Zonal Taste Wand having two rather long songs on the first side and ZX-9 having a couple more, shorter songs by comparison on the flip side.  It’s an interesting bit of contrast in ways which split tapes can be made as usually whatever one side is doing the other side seems to be doing as well.

            Zonal Taste Wand begins with instrumental synth waves that cut in and out like beeping.  Before long, the sounds coming out sound like the boiler room on a spaceship.  I know what you’re thinking- how do I know what a boiler room on a spaceship sounds like, much less is there even a boiler room on a spaceship with there being no gravity and all?  I have no idea, as I’m not an astronaut and was once almost kicked out of the NASA center in Houston (Never going back there anyway), but I can say that it is what I can imagine it sounding like, so use your imaginations too.

            After what I like to call the Lost in Space bit, we head into something a little more like sonar now, before finally settling with lasers and then a sort of Psycho pattern which is a pretty great way to end this side.  For some reason, I can’t help but think of a movie like Alien or the television show Firefly, where someone is secluded on a spaceship, stalked and ultimately killed by some unearthly being.  Good stuff.

            On the flip side of this, as the name implies, ZX-9 has a much more robotic sound to their music.  It is an industrial tape synth loop with beeps, but then it becomes ambient like robots somehow.  In certain ways, what I can think of being in space for Zonal Taste Wand, I can think of as being a robot for ZX-9.   In that scenario, we could say that ZTW is like H.G. Wells and ZX-9 is Asimov. 

            Through Atari lasers, some Knight Rider and eventually funky, funky beats we get to the end of the ZX-9 side and, well, if you’re still wondering whether or not it sounds robotic the answer is yes only in a different way now.   So I think of this split as being either aliens vs. robots or aliens and robots working together.  Either way, I am left impressed.  

No comments:

Post a Comment