Thursday, February 5, 2015
Cassette Review: ROADSIDE PICNIC "Failed Frankenstein" (Autistic Campaign)
[€7 - €9// Edition of 40 // http://autisticcampaign.blogspot.com/2014/08/ac25-roadside-picnic-failed.html // http://autisticcampaign.blogspot.com/]
I'm not going to be the one to do it because I always have to do everything but I'm feeling like there is no other artist I have reviewed more cassettes for than Roadside Picnic with the exception of one and that one of course is Static/Voice/Static. You can check the page yourself and count them out, but I'm pretty sure when it comes to cassette reviews Roadside Picnic is my second most reviewed artist. This should give you the impression that I am going into this with some idea of what to expect musically and some idea of what to write about. But that's wrong. I have no idea what I'm doing going into a Roadside Picnic review. Ever.
Now not only do we have a cassette by Roadside Picnic but this is a double cassette put out by Autistic Campaign, so perhaps whatever I might have been sort of but not really used to when having a single cassette to review by Roadside Picnic... Yeah, the double cassette is just the wrench in the works that means I'm going to be basically starting back at square one despite how much I've listened to this artist.
Throughout these cassettes there is a theme and that theme contains a few different sounds either side by side or mixed together. Transformer noises and just distortion on the whole is rather prominent with there being Sides A, B, C and D. There is looping of this, chugga chugga beats and at times this can verge onto the side of harsh static/glitch.
At the same time, we have some moments of beeping in an electronic or mechanical sense. If it's not ringing or bubbly somehow then it is almost certainly being transmitted like some sort of Morse code. (I really need to learn Morse code) Between that bacon in the frying pan sizzle and bug zapper sound this also carefully tows the line just outside the genre of electronic music.
So what do you call this? I call it Roadside Picnic. I've yet to figure out where any of these songs are going to take me but boy do I like taking the ride. It's electronic noise with whatever genre all this distorted static belongs in mixed in but it isn't typical of Roadside Picnic either. (Not that there is anything really "typical" about Roadside Picnic. If I ever say "Oh yeah, this cassette is just the same old/same old from Roadside Picnic" then I know it's time to take a vacation... a long vacation)
The fact that this is on a double cassette just makes it that much better and there is only thing I can think to compare it with and that is a concert- a live experience- for any band starting out and then eventually headlining shows. I'd love to be able to give you an example (and I could name names, but I won't) but imagine a band playing on a tour in the opening spot. They get maybe twenty minutes to a half hour worth of time. Then they move further up the bill and get more time. Then they headline and get an hour and a half worth of time to perform their music.
For me, this is that headlining show for Roadside Picnic because it's not so much that the music was contained by the other cassettes but that I feel the longer these pieces go at one time (and the more of them that there are) the better it gets and just feels like a complete package somehow. Would I be in favor of a 20 cassette boxed set by Roadside Picnic? Absolutely. But, realistically, even my favorite band couldn't play for, say, ten hours straight so the timing has to be handled delicately. "Failed Frankenstein" just happens to be, in every way, perfect. And don't forget that Frankenstein was the name of the doctor who created the monster, not the monster himself.