Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cassette Review: Caisson "High Rise" (Invisible City Records)

[£4.50 // Edition of 20 // https://invisiblecityrecords.bandcamp.com/album/high-rise]

What you need to understand first and foremost about this cassette by Caisson is that it is minimal and drone in the sense that what you hear will continue uninterrupted for almost the entire piece.     It can be a bit overbearing for some, I believe, who might get bored with the repetition but you don't need to listen to what is happening so much as you need to hear what isn't-- that is to say, to listen between the lines.

"High Rise" is the sound of a hollow static and in ways it can be haunting.    It can grow louder and begin to echo but maintains mostly the same pace and consistency throughout.     There are moments where I believe I am battling the mist in a video game.    There are other moments where I feel as if it is crashing through in waves.     Some slight sonar blips come out and then near the end there are also some sounds of glass, but overall this is pretty much the same sort of sound over and over again with only the slightest of alterations.

Listening to this makes me imagine I am on some vessel, lost at sea.   It's not so much that I'm lost though, it's more that this boat has been left out in the middle of the ocean to drown.    It's not that a captain and crew was taken off course but rather that a ship of damned souls was left to rot.    The brief sonar sounds are perhaps a cry for help and the bottles heard at the end could be the message in a bottle idea I love so much.  (In another life, I would spend my days wandering beaches, looking for bottles containing such messages)

The fact that this is not someone who accidentally got lost at sea but is more of a deliberate stranding in the sense that these people (or maybe one person) were left in a sort of exile to die tells the story here.   Again, you have to listen between the sounds of waves crashing and perhaps wind blowing to hear this all, but the tale is there for those who wish to enjoy it.

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