When listening to cassettes, Side A and Side B often separate a piece of music to sort of break it in half. I’m not sure that any piece of music (in terms of being an album) has ever felt so split in half before as “xEx” is.
Side A begins with quiet drone and only lets out the slightest bit of static. Strings come out that sound like bumblebees and then we get a little bit on the verge of “Jaws”, but even with the loops, electronic mice squeaks and breaking loudness at the end of the side this is still fairly quiet compared to Side B.
On the flip side, we start off a little bit louder right away, and then turn into space drone. This leads to a large bridge of percussion which is everything from the rain sticks to horse feet clopping to just general wooden blocks being played like drums. It is loud and it is good, though it does sort of fade out by the end of the movement.
If nothing else, this is a percussionist’s dream, as the use of wood is somewhat unique and just overall really adds to the vibe of this cassette. Much like metal machinery has become more common in the vast genre known as noise, perhaps woodworking can catch on as well. If not, we at least have Mortuus Auris & the Black Hand, who are doing this so very well.