Thursday, May 7, 2015
Cassette Review: Joda Clément "I hope you like the universe" (Notice Recordings)
[$6.50 // Edition of 100 // https://noticerecordings.bandcamp.com/album/i-hope-you-like-the-universe]
I'm kind of torn between the title "I hope you like the universe" and I haven't felt this way since the Curl Up and Die album titled "Unfortunately We're Not Robots". Should I like the universe in a general sense, such as "Yeah, space rules!! Look at those milky ways!!!" Or are we simply being put into some sort of space pod and blasted off into the universe? Because I could see a disgruntled somebody launching someone off into the atmosphere while saying this, even if sarcastically.
Much like the title itself, the music of Joda Clément can also be left to your perception of it. Side A begins quietly, minimally and almost not there except for these rattling sort of bursts that come tearing through. Now I hear this as being a sea of quiet with the bursts coming through, but others may hear it as bursts with moments of quiet. And, yes, there is a difference between the two. If you think about it, go back and listen to it again and try to think of it the way you didn't hear it the first time, then you will begin to function on an entirely new level.
In the background, kids begin talking faintly. Slightly, sharp feedback comes through. There are dark string sounds now, which I'm leaning towards as being violins. Clanking and glass sounds like bowl manipulation come through next and this does take me to Jay Peele for the second time of recent memory (And both times with Practice Recordings!) and yet after such a long spot of not hearing him in everything. (He was my EFS for a while)
Side A ends with crackling, which reminds me of a campfire, and then there are primal screams coming out through that. At first listen, I thought it was perhaps a live segment that had people applauding and cheering, but then I realized that the sound were actually animalistic-- though this just demonstrates how closely humans and wild animals are related.
Side B opens with static, quietly again, and it is exploring territory familiar from Side A. It's one of those moon being a reflection of the sun type of things though, because you have to wonder what is reflecting what at times and just question how similar these sounds are and if they are simply alternate versions of what is on Side A. Again, it's all in the perception here. Someone once sent me a cassette where Side B was simply Side A only played backwards and you have to wonder if something like that (but not that exactly) is going on here as well.
Static drone with other smaller bits in it brings us to an ambient glow, which takes us into more of a melodic drone somehow. is there such a thing as a melodic drone? I guess there is now. With sonar beeps come sharp feedback to end out Side B and though this is one of the differences from Side A I am still left wondering if it is just a variation of something from Side A. You know, as if to say "If I turn this dial to the left it makes the sound on Side A and if I turn it to the right it makes the sound on Side B".
As I'm not really familiar with what instruments went into making this (the way that I like it!) I cannot be certain of any of my assumptions made in here but I do like the fact that they are there and that this music has enough creativity within it to open me up to the idea of considering such options. So my advice to you is to put this one on and make your own assessment as to what is going on. Is a zebra white with black stripes or black with white stripes? That is what should be running through your mind while you listen to this.