Monday, May 11, 2015
Cassette Review: liab "wojna (001)"
[€5 // Edition of 11 // https://liab.bandcamp.com/album/wojna-001]
Though it seems like I've written it before I can never feel as if I'm writing it enough when you get this one piece of music from an artist that is just so good it really defines everything you love about not just the general genre it covers but also just music in general. On "wojna (001)", liab demonstrates all of what I like about music under the giant tree known an "electronic music" without having any of the parts I don't like mixed in. Sometimes I might wonder why I listen to electronic music when it seems like there is so much of it out there that is simply not good, but this cassette has reassured me as to why I have to keep sifting through the kids with computer programs and get to the heart of the matter (because it's the heart that matters most).
Everything starts with an audio clip, though it is the only audio clip and sometimes they like to reoccur but I'm happy with just the one. Water sounds like it is splashing as ambient glow hues come in as waves. This all has this calm before the storm effect to it as the beats soon follow. It grows in intensity and pace as it begins to remind me of something out of "Run Lola Run". It loops and is in the first stage of reminding me why I like electronic music. New tones and sounds from drum machines are added in so as to help the build of it all. Other added effects join the mix to breathe life into the music.
Through cymbals and what appears to be synth, there are grooves and melodies now which take us away from that "Run Lola Run" feel. It has this computer based sound in the way that it is almost robotic. It is in the way that 8bit music uses Gameboys that this becomes a computer based sound more so than that idea that electronic music is created by someone simply pushing a single button. With choppy waves come static skips and it keeps the rhythm, it keeps the beat. This does become somewhat video game here but not full on video game. Space blasts begin the grinding, mechanical build which somehow brings my mind back to the club scene.
Side B opens directly with beats, water droplets and laser tones. Some of these tones come sounding like vaporwave to me on some level, but they're aren't exactly at one-hundred percent what I would think of as vaporwave all around. An eerie synth sticks its head into the song, as it sounds kind of like strings, but it seems to exit as quickly as it appeared. The music becomes fun, with a lighter sense to it and still some sort of water noises like dripping. It reminds me overall of Makeup and Vanity Set or Yves Malone at this point.
Things slow down and become quieter as the ohms come out. They have that glass/bowl sound with them, though it is in tones and so the electronic over noise notion prevails. Beeps turn into ringing as there is a lone sonic space blast. The next set of beeps have that sound of the opening theme to "Doogie Howser", which always makes me think of doctors and the machine that tells you if someone is alive or not (You know, the one that can flatline) A synthy type of swirl brings it all to a close.
When I first started listening to ambient music, I was trying to figure out what defined something as being "ambient". The conclusion I came to was that ambient music was that which tended to paint a picture along with the sounds. I've always thought of this as being quieter and slower, without the beats and overall electronic feel liab presents us with here. But if I had to put this into a genre I would call it "ambient electronic" simply because while the music is electronic at its core (for the most part), it does tell a story.
Even with the reference to the "Run Lola Run" soundtrack, I can still see this as a film of some sort with a main character making their way- rather quickly, as if in a hurry/being rushed- around a large city, going to various locations for reasons that are essential to the plot. You can use your own imagination to conjure up the finer plot pieces but I do have a story in my mind and even visions of the main character. Obviously if you're too lazy or uncreative you could always draw from the "Crank" movie series, but considering how much was seemingly put into this music you could at least try to put half of that back into creating a story from this.
If you're not into the idea of listening to music so as to paint pictures in your mind, then there is always the fact that this is simply an excellent piece of electronic music that you could listen to while running or riding a bike around a city. I actually, unfortunately, need a new bike tire right now but listening to this whilst running does seem like an option I would like to explore. And those options are why you should be listening to this cassette-- because I cannot think of a single scenario where it would be inappropriate to listen to it. Yes, even a funeral.