Friday, February 6, 2015

Cassette Review: Jack McConnell "He's Black Dynamite" (4! records + tapes)

[$5 // Edition of 100 //]

Once upon a time there was a movie called "Black Dynamite" and when I aaw it on the shelf at the library the quick write up I read on the back called it a modern day blaxpoitation tribute type of film and so I thought what the heck and decided to watch it.  I was much more into movies back then than I am now because I would watch movies that no one ever heard of or that were just so terrible no one wanted to hear of them.

For the record, a tribute of sorts to the old blaxpoitation films that you'll probably have seen or want to watch is Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown", which kind of got me into all of this somehow anyway.     But then Cartoon Network made a series for Black Dynamite as well, I believe, but I actually haven't seen an episode of it yet though it's on a long list of things I want to see one day.  (Right up there with Mike Tyson Mysteries, no joke)

To sum up all of that in a few words just know that Black Dynamite, as a character, reminds me of Shaft if you need to go to someone more universally known, but this music does not remind me of that or the soundtrack to a blaxpoitation film at all.   It begins with this ringing bliss and ambient tones in waves.    It's pretty and borderline FNL.    Pianos come into play and it has a quiet resonnance.

Frantic drumming comes out with spliced audio clips of people talking and then there is a high pitched tone.     Acoustic guitar type melodies take us through what has thus far been instrumental but then I feel as if I'm hearing distant vocals.    Next are these melodic ringtone type patterns which can be anywhere between mae and Owl City.    There is a soft fade out and then this pitter patter before the end that I'm not sure is supposed to be there or is just some issue with the cassette itself.  (No, I'm pretty sure it is meant to be there but it does kind of mess with you)

Side B opens with space lasers, whirrs and some kind of war being fought in space amongst them all.    There is some plugging into an amp buzz followed by static and the melody from Side A has been traded for something closer to noise.    It's space crashes and sounds kind of like "Asteroids".    There are also these Darth Vader Return of the Jedi Atari blasts that border on glitch.    Wind gusts are on loops and sonar is coming through in sonic pinball waves.

A sound of a ball bouncing perhaps comes out next but it also just sounds like Mario jumping-- not so much the act of it but the sort of "boing" sound heard when you press the B button.    A slight sound of beats lead into the beeping of a truck backing up.    A radio newsflash interupts to take us into dark piano notes.    The piano chaos turns into a blaring sonar ringing which only increases in velocity and eventually ends the cassette.

While this isn't your traditional noise as it leans closer to the ambient and even 8bit on some level, it certainly doesn't feel like the soundtrack to a movie suggested by the title either and that only confirms that the reference was done in jest and that might not have been a bad thing.   You really need to hear this in its entirety to understand it.

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