Friday, April 17, 2015
Cassette Review: DORCAS MORTON "People I've Never Met"
[$5 // Edition of 30 // https://dorcasmorton.bandcamp.com/album/people-ive-never-met-2]
My standard review pattern typically involves listening to a cassette and taking as many notes on it as I possibly can, forming my opinions and ideas as such, before I go through and link it up and actually read something on the Bandcamp page. So as I've got this review in my head and just needed to put it down on paper (or computer screen) I went to the DORCAS MORTON Bandcamp page for this particular cassette and saw that it was based around the idea of different instruments being played and the stories behind them that he kind of made up for them.
I'm not sure how much of that I heard in "People I've Never Met" and that's even after listening to it again when having that knowledge but that's okay because I don't really know what to expect from that concept. Was I expecting some sort of "Antiques Roadshow" type of deal where I'd hear him play an instrument and he'd describe who the owner could have been based upon the condition and how old it was, etc.? That would have been a little bit strange, even for me.
"People I've Never Met" begins with an audio clip like laughing and then turns into the sounds of a banjo being plucked. It's a little melodic and a little FNL, but there is also this ticking. Something comes through next that sounds like either the Flaming Lips or the Killers, so I'm not sure if it is an original piece by MORTON or an audio clip extracted from somewhere else. The sounds of spurs clanking take me back to the old west and I believe there will be a showdown at sundown. Side A wraps up nicely with a sort of spoken word poetry over music that seems to be driven by jazz flute.
Side B opens with organ type of tones that are in skipping loops. There is singing and then there are crickets. Audio clips of children come out next and I feel like it is from some famous movie that I never saw. One child asks, "Are you trying to kill me?" while another responds with "This isn't a game; it's war!" Could this be from that Elijah Wood movie called "The War"? Is it something so obvious that I'm just blanking on it because I'm overthinking it? Either way, these kids talk in loops for a while. Then through harmonious tones we eventually reach the end with horns.
So imagine if one day you gathered together a group of let's say one hundred people into a room. Now these are all people selected at random and you have never met any of them before, kind of like how they select for jury duty, right? Now imagine you ask each one of these people to write down a thought or idea on a scrap of paper, fold it up and then drop it into a bucket. It is now your job to take these scraps of paper, read them and try to figure out which person in the room wrote them.
As fun as that sounds (Yes, I would like to do that one day) and as much as I can use it as a comparison for what DORCAS MORTON pulls off on this cassette, I want to take it one step further. Imagine taking these one hundred scraps of paper, full of ideas and random thoughts, and piecing them together to form an elegant work of poetry. That is what "People I've Never Met" accomplishes in a musical sense and it is truly remarkable.