Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cassette Review: Red On "Ghana" (magnetic-purely)

"Ghana" begins with a quiet beeping sound that takes me a while to pick up on the first time around but once you know it's there it becomes more audible in later listens.    It has a sonar effect to it that immediately puts me under the sea.    Dark string tones become mixed in and this just has a very underwater sound to it.    Someone begins talking and I can't make out what is being said exactly in the loop but it sounds like one line is "In the mail".

This gives it an avant garde sound, which somehow reminds me of art punk even though it doesn't have any actual qualities of punk.   There is a whooshing, like waves crashing, and then bass notes begin (or just lower guitar notes) and eventually turn into progressions.      As it turns now into something more tranquil and hypnotic it also has laser synth shooting through the waves and a beeping drone.    

Just when I think that I have this figured out as being ambient and it might end in this way, muted Beverly Hills Cop tones come out and we're taken to another movement which would arguably be where this cassette is divided in half (on Side A that is).     An almost flute-like quality brings out spatial wave tones that could be underwater still but also have that outerspace feel just as well.   

The music becomes rather relaxing and as we approach the end those same sonar type beeps that started things off return, bringing us full circle in a way.    

Side B starts off quietly with some ambient qualities to it as well.  Guitar notes come through in a pattern that can remind me of FNL and there is a muted sort of feedback drone behind them as well.    I wasn't sure whether the notes on Side A were a bass guitar or just lower notes on an electric guitar but this has a definite guitar sound to it that I can't deny.  

Words are spoken now within the solemn guitar notes and they sound like some sort of famous speech.  I can only imagine that "Ask not what your country can do for you..." speech for whatever reasons.    They disappear somewhat quickly though and bring us back to our regularly scheduled guitar demonstration.   

We are then taken to a place so quiet that I begin to think that this music is cutting out early and just leaving the rest of the cassette blank.   But these horn-like noises come through quietly, like a muted trumpet maybe, and you can hear the bubbles rising to the surface as well.  

Things begin to pick back up after a spell as the guitar notes are back and we return to the realm of FNL once again only this time with bubbles.    I'm convinced at this point that no matter what is happening throughout this cassette it does in fact all take place underwater and that obviously reminds me of other artists in the same genre.   (Is there a name for this genre yet?  If not, please don't give it one)

Overall this cassette by Red On just provides you with more music than I expected going into it.   Once I thought I had it figured out and a side was over it would morph into something else and somehow continue just as well.    It has that quality of being like a meal as opposed to a snack, as it presents a great deal of depth within a seemingly short time period.    Definitely worth your time.  

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