Thursday, February 5, 2015
Cassette Review: edward ka-spel "this saturated land" (tolmie terrapin)
[$5 // Edition of 100 // http://tolmieterrapinpress.bandcamp.com/album/this-saturated-land]
I will admit that I have only ever heard of Edward Ka-Spel before in name but never the music. I'm not sure why that is exactly because the name seems to be all over Bandcamp and especially associated with cassettes. I feel pretty certain that this isn't the only EKS cassette but if it is then perhaps I am just further losing my mind.
Side A of "This Saturated Life" is broken down into three parts really. It begins with this sort of static background sound that plays support to a saxophone solo. Sometimes the saxophone can be manipulated so as to sound like a car horn and other times it simply sounds like a snake charmer. (I'm 90% certain it is a saxophone but don't quote me on that either) From there, we drift into this sea of waves with distortion. There are bells at first and then they fade out eventually. It's steady. It's not quite drone but it is constant so it makes me think it is a close relative of drone.
At the third and final act of Side A we have a quieter, more desolate sound. All signs point to it coming from underwater and it has a bit of electronic sounds mixed in before going full boiler room/ambient. This last and final chapter does remind me of Underwater Death (or UWEFTBH) and as such I can only imagine this whole cassette so far as being some sort of lost at sea movie.
On the flip side we have a quieter sound which is both haunting and eerie, yet angelic at the same time. There are some moments of Rush drone and then tiny beeps before a voice asks "Are you receiving me?" It's like the last transmission by some aircraft that went down over the ocean or maybe a vessel otherwise consumed by the vastness of the ocean. As it begins to drift into space there are loud beats in electro loops. Triumphant tones are made known, which remind me of someone winning a race for some reason. It ends with space laser whirrs and that seems only fitting as the credit roll.
This is a journey through time and space that I must recommend taking. It might be my introduction to Edward Ka-Spel but I am certainly now looking forward to hearing more from this well-established artist.