Thursday, April 23, 2015

Cassette Review: Strange Orbs "Strange Orbs" (Live God Records)

[$7 // Edition of 15 //]

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not a fan of self-titled releases because I've always felt that if you're creative enough to come up with a name for your band or to perform under yourself, not to mention creative enough to make music, then you should be able to come up with an album title.    However, in the case of Strange Orbs I feel that this artist name is just that good that I can let the fact that this cassette is self-titled slide.    It's a name so nice they had to use it twice!

The initial feeling on this cassette is that of being trapped in a boiler room, as there is a bit of clanking and just this mechanical sound coming with an eerie feeling.    This turns to bass beats which could be something out of "Resident Evil" and then there is static crackling, which is still haunting, and there is some sharp feedback as well.    Static skip loops become a drone whirr and then there is what can only be described as stomps.    It all comes to a head with bugzapper skip loops and this whole thing just makes me feel like I'm in the opening scene location of the movie "Saw" only somehow worse off.

On the flip side, we begin with bass synth and those rep-rep-rep-rep shots.   It goes slightly sonar into a "Knight Rider" build and then somehow becomes trance drone, hypnotic if you will.    This cuts off and then becomes static beats followed by Transformers loops.   Things take a turn for the darkness as it begins to resemble an instrumental number from "The Fragile" (Nine Inch Nails) and by the end we have modem sounds into pounding electronic beats.

My best vision of this involves people being taken somewhere underground, perhaps against their will as you can sense their fear, and then they are sort of being reprogrammed somehow, coming back up to the surface on Side B and they are either brainwashed to become better members of society or (more likely) foot soldiers in some master villain's plan.    I don't really have a good comparison for this except for maybe a really dark "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", but that's okay because it just makes it that much more unique.

If I was going to make a film to accompany this, it would have to be stop motion, something similar to that of "9" perhaps.   But if I was to do that I'd have no time to write about music.   If no one else does it, maybe in five or ten years I'll stop writing about music and finally make all of these moving pictures in my head music such as Strange Orbs creates.

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