Friday, April 17, 2015
Cassette Review: James Edmonds "A Meditation, A Film, A Fortune" (Midnight Circles)
[€4 // https://midnightcircles.bandcamp.com/album/a-meditation-a-film-a-fortune]
James Edmonds "A Meditation, A Film, A Fortune" makes me think of the Dashboard Confessional album title "A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar" except that I never really understood that other title (to me, a "mark" is always about professional wrestling) but I can completely understand and agree with the ideas of James Edmonds on meditation, film and fortune. So I guess I'm saying if you're going to have a title like this, have the items your listing make some sort of better sense than the Dashboard Confessional album (which is still my second favorite of his)
I kind of wish that there were three sides to a cassette, so each side could be one of these things, but as there are not you must leave these to your own imagination. It begins very quietly, in a minimal sense with piano or an acoustic guitar, I'm not sure which exactly. It's ambient, full of harmonies and though some organs come skipping in it's obviously the "A Meditation" portion of the cassette as this is clearly relaxing.
There are tape manipulation swirls which go into this dreamy and psychedelic vibe, but at the same time it remains peaceful and minimal. I like to use the comparison to a day spa though I've still never been to one and I don't ever plan on going to one, but for this piece particularly it sounds like just being outside in nature, not a lot happening on a quiet afternoon. It's being up in the mountains with nothing around for miles.
Since Side A seems to be "A Meditation" I can only assume that the other two pieces fall into place on Side B. It begins with the sound of a growing buzz drone, squeals and then just the overall feeling of trapped souls. Yes, this might be the film. Clanking and banging, whistling and drilling, the intensity increases. Water begins dripping. If this is the film it might be about getting lost in the woods, or like that horror movie about those college age kids who got stuck in a cave (I think it was called "The Cave").
Then everything turns to bliss. It can only be described as glo-fi, though I'm not entirely sure what glo-fi is exactly but it just has that lo-fi feeling with something dreamy mixed into it. There is a kind of ringing and if I had to go so far as to guess it could be the sound of fortune, such as someone winning the big one in Las Vegas or simply being rescued before starving to death.
James Edmonds may have planted the seeds by creating such a title, but going through and experiencing the different aspects of this music and then figuring out how they fit into that title is great fun. You can also listen to it through and create an entirely new story if you should choose not to take the title into account. Such a range of options for an incredible piece of music that overall should still just leave you with a feeling of comfort.