Friday, February 6, 2015

Cassette Review: Sal Lake / Keiki "Split" (Live God Records)

[$7 // Edition of 30 //]

The first thing I can tell you about this split cassette is that I'm unsure who either of these artists are and that's a good thing.    It's one thing for me to try and review another cassette by the same artist, but if you've heard one cassette by Artist X then odds are that any subsequent releases will be just as good if not better.    And even if they're not as good, at least it's an artist you did like at one point as opposed to taking a chance on a new artist.

And that's where I come in: Taking chances on new artists is my jam.    Sal Lake begins with quiet beeps that have a sonar quality to them.   A high pitched whirr brings juggling beeps and trap-like beats.     The beeps become more rapid fire as the pace of the beats also grows.   It's electronic bliss.     Haunting, laughing sounds become mixed in with this and I feel like we're on some sort of amusement park ride intended to scare us.     A familiar guitar riff comes out in a loop (It's almost like the saxophone riff from "Rump Shaka" and, no, that is not a joke) and this is fairly dark as well.

Quieter synth waves take over, but they still have deep pitch.    It fades to the point where it almost becomes whistling and nothing else.   Birds are chirping.    Cello strings come into play.  (I assume they're cello, but they might not be.   They just have that darker edge to them)    A distorted hum brings on dialtone and then there is a MOTU slide scale.   Really all you need to know is that this comes out somewhere between electronic music, obviously as it started that way, and then there is some static with noise and overall just relaxing ambient sounds as well.

On the flip side we have Keiki who kicks off with a loud ringing with sci-fi noises.   This transitions somewhat quickly into uplifting tones and I'm torn between whether this is electronic music or somewhere within that industrial/mechanical genre that I can't quite place because it has that Transformers sort of distortion vibe going on quite a bit with lightsabers as well.  

Regardless, the thing that strikes me about the piece by Keiki as opposed to Sal Lake is that both of them could be placed in the same sort of cross-genres, in the sense that if you looked at their pages on Bandcamp they could have almost identical tags.    Yet when you listen to them you can hear those ideas coming out, sure, but they are delivered in such different ways that it truly is remarkable they could be so similar on paper.

If Sal Lake offers up the soundtrack to a horror movie of some kind, perhaps based on a Stephen King novel, then it should be said that Keiki is the soundtrack to a sci-fi film set in space, perhaps such as "Solaris".    This only really makes sense because these are two genres of movies I would enjoy and watch, yet they aren't really that closely related after all.

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