Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Cassette Review: ZX81 "Pulse 64"
[€5 // https://zx81.bandcamp.com/album/pulse-64]
One of the best parts about listening to every kind of music is that eventually genres you might not have expected to crossover begin to do so and at that very same time you begin to create moments in your head that could be translated to the big screen. While at its core the music on "Pulse 64" could be considered electronic the fact is that it also needs to have some sort of ambient tag on it if only because ambient music has been known to make you see things just by hearing and ZX81 accomplishes that here rather well.
There are two primary factors that make up this cassette by ZX81 and the first is that the electro-laced music reminds me of the soundtrack to "Ghostbusters" and maybe even just the popular theme song from the movie. But what a lot of people don't realize is that along with the two movies there was also an animated series (Well, more than one if you want to be specific, but that's not the point here) and that had its own sort of early 1990's theme songs that you might expect if you grew up in that era of wonder and, yes, ZX81 does flow with that vibe just as well.
The other defining factor in this music is that it has an 8bit quality to it. It's not so much eight of the bits though, as I tend to think of that more towards the Gameboy side of the coin, as that when I hear this I begin to think of the two combined and bring "Ghostbusters" to a video game. Now I do know there was a Ghostbusters video game for Playstation 2, but I'm thinking more along the lines and time frame of something like the original Nintendo. I imagine those old Nintendo cartridges with the Ghostbusters logo on them and am immediately transplanted back into my childhood.
I was about 98% certain that a Ghostbuster video game existed for the original Nintendo and a google search proved me correct, but just the fact that this music can take me back to a place in my childhood- and such a specific place at that- is remarkable. I tend to think of only ambient music being able to accomplish such things as well as the fact that I also tend to lean to the various sides of electronic music as sounding like other things but not reminding me of anything in this manner.
The true testament to the music is not what always goes into the making of it (the instruments, lyrics, vocals, etc) but rather the emotions and memories it can elicit from the listener. ZX81 took me on a fantastic and unexpected journey and I hope each and every person who listens to this can have a similarly amazing experience.