Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cassette Review: Mulo Muto / B E T A "Tape Crash #11: The Examination" (old bicycle records)

[8 CHF // Edition of 100 //]

Mulo Muto and BETA might have crafted the eleventh Tape Crash but this is my first time listening to Old Bicycle Records which I feel like I will enjoy simply because of the name.   I do like bicycles and I've almost always remembered riding a bike around, but then when you think of old bicycles I always think of the ones that have that really big wheel and really small wheel, right?   None of this probably matters but I still like bicycles and once this snow is gone I need to fix my front tire.

Side A, which is Mulo Muto, begins with crickets chirping and it is quiet and minimal.   The very first time that I put this on I thought that there was something wrong with the cassette itself because it wasn't playing the way that it maybe should and additionally it took it a while to kick in.   This might be partially tape manipulation, as the title might suggest, but the reserved beginning makes me think it might have people wondering as well whether or not their cassette is broken.

There are slight waves and this begins to take on the sound of a field recording.   It picks up with some space laser whooshes and then a slowed down Star Wars synth.    Sonar sub rings and then there are skipping whirrs which almost sound like those effects from a drum machine.    Next up is the crackling of what I feel has similar qualities of a metal detector and that is followed by radio frequency changes.   With some bells, this side comes to an end.

On the flip side we have BETA who you might think of as being 8bit but isn't.    There is guitar scraping as a sort of sound but it is delivered in the tones of an alarm.    Some whispers "Shhhh!" and then there are deep trance beats.    This becomes a Knight Rider type of pattern wih glass/garbage clanking around in the background.  

With rhythmic guitar loops there becomes a certain amount of distortion which has that "Razorblade Suitcase" (Bush) vibe to it.    It is also somewhat hollow, as there is this ghost fog static to it.    All of a sudden, out of nowhere, vocals find their way onto here and they are somewhat distorted and brief.    The mood changes from being darker to being that of psychedelic.   Guitars that sound like organs somehow come out next but then we do end up back at the dark guitars ala Nine Inch Nails.

In the end, this is begins to skip as if it's laughing and it really does take on a personality all its own.   Both artists demonstrate that sort of electronic noise sound that has to keep you guessing simply because it may or may not even involve tape manipulation.   Regardless of what you call it I like it and feel it to be rather exceptional.

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