Wednesday, July 9, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Roadside Picnic “Magpies & Lies” (Centipede Farm)

            This is not my first time hearing Roadside Picnic and I’m really trying after hearing this music so much before (Well, at least two other cassettes) to experience as much Roadside Picnic as possible.  So if I seem to be going into this review with a biased mind it’s only because of my previous listening of Roadside Picnic, which has made me a fan and thus I can expect this to be good before even listening to it.

            When this cassette first begins, there are sounds of feedback and drumbeats.  I like to think of this on some level as being like thunder and rain, though it might not be the appropriate visual and one I’ve just created because of the recent string of weather here.   There is some grinding like heavy machinery and then whistling, so I’m naturally thinking about whistling while you work and that brings up Disney’s seven dwarves. 

            There are strings and tapping before the dial tone or electric razor sound comes in, and then the first side ends with big distorted synth beats.   Somehow- though this is two songs- if the events were to play out in reverse order I could see this piece as something as simple as waking up (the beats are the alarm clock), going to work (the electric razor is shaving, etc) and then coming home.   So maybe Side A translates more accurately into “My Work Day in Reverse”, but that might just be me and because they’re doing construction nearly everywhere out of my windows.

            Side B is a bit more confined, as we have static skips, some static scraping and then a certain amount of racket which could even be traffic.   On the whole, you could picture this as any number of noisy scenes, depending upon your mood and environment, but since I like to think of it as going with Side A I can’t help but think of anything but rush hour.

            When you read a really good book or watch a really good film for the second time and you get more out of it, you feel a sense of accomplishment.   Listening to Roadside Picnic is like that, except you might get different interpretations every time you listen to this music and that’s what makes it so great: it’s varying interpretations and representations.  

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