As I find most of the Illuminated Paths cassettes to be “vaporwave”, which I am still trying to define exactly, I noticed that as with Height with Friends this particular release by Strange Mountain isn’t really what I would consider to be vaporwave as much or at least not what I think of it as sounding like because it is a bit slower and ambient.
While the synth is certainly powerful, there are quieter moments and it is more relaxing perhaps than anything else. There are sounds of glasses being tinged and it brings out a level of FNL at that. Beats surface towards the end of Side A, but they are at a much slower pace than you’d expect (probably) and they have this ohms in them which make it all that much more like meditation than dance music. As Side A comes to a close, one of the last things I hear is an almost slowed down version of an Ace of Base song and that simply amazes me.
On Side B, we have a similar feel to Side A though somehow this seems to be filled with a bit more despair. I cannot describe why, but the music just takes that sort of turn here and maybe I didn’t notice it on A but it comes out so much clearer. There also exists this echoing synth sound which reminds me of a rock being skipped across a lake only, you know, with music instead of little kerplunk splashes.
I’ve seen the name Strange Mountain around and I do believe this is my first time actually hearing them though. While I was expecting something more like Saint Pepsi- and I don’t know, maybe some of their other cassettes are more like that- I must say that I am most impressed by this and find it to be good music for a bath.