There are times when it is rather easy for me to listen to a cassette through, hear the different elements and experience them as a story with a constant flow from start to finish. Hollowfonts creates one of those rare instances on “XLVIII” where I can visualize the sounds, yet they don’t really come together in your typical storytelling manner.
We begin with this dark, basement type of static that turns into howls and groans before bringing out the whirrs like electro tones. This whole beginning piece, which plays out over time, reminds me a great deal of a boiler room setting for some reason and I’m not sure why because I have no real experience in a boiler room.
Things pick up from there on Side A with a steady knocking that turns into what can best be genre-crossed as industrial ambient. The tone of this second movement on Side A brings to mind The Phantom of the Opera and even the boiler room feel before it makes sense, but Side B does not keep with the spirit of the half-masked man.
On Side B, we begin with some electro synth beats which give way to loops and this just brings us to an entirely different place. There is this gurgling sound, as if water is draining, and that leads my mind to the gutter- literally- and how different is a sewer from a boiler room anyway? (Well, quite different, considering boiler rooms should not contain human feces) As it becomes wavy, I begin to think we might be some place that isn’t underground and this has me rethinking this entire cassette.
Regardless of what you may or may not hear on this cassette- whether your assessment is similar to mine or not- it definitely takes you for a ride that you’ll want to continue taking until it is all used up. It is in that way that this cassette can be addicting, like a drug, and when it does get to the point that it becomes stale I will let you know but as of right now, it still is not and hasn’t been for some time.