Friday, June 12, 2015
Cassette Review: Carbon and Soul "Opus 2: The small man addressed a large crowd, "size is an illusion!""
[$5 // https://carbonandsoul.bandcamp.com/album/opus-2-the-small-man-addressed-a-large-crowd-size-is-an-illusion]
While I contemplated the differences and similarities between loops and drone on the first Carbon and Soul "Opus", the second doesn't have as much conflict for me while listening to it as it seems to be a bit more straight forward in its delivery. Or at least that is to say that it doesn't seem to take on as much looping or if it does loop than it has evolved to a place where I can't even hear it as looping anymore but simply hear it as drone. Because if you loop the same note over and over then it does become drone anyway, right?
This opens with strings, which may or may not be violins, and it has a sound somewhere between a concerto in some prestige music hall and the background, dramatic music of a soap opera. Through slight static some notes come out that I believe to be made by a guitar because it reminds me of The Who's "Baba O'Riley". Wavy distortion takes us somewhere between outerspace and a Nine Inch Nails grinding number. Celestial swirls bring us back to static and I just feel like this is closer to drone than looping, though the drone does have those slight waves. It reminds me a bit of the Illegal Wiretaps when they are instrumental as well and before Side A reaches its end the "Baba O'Riley" hints come back.
On Side B there are static waves which have back and forth guitar notes. It's quite different from the first "Opus" if only because it seems to be more of a guitar-based sound with notes coming out through the fog. It reminds me a bit of Lost Trail on this side now, which is good company with IWTs on A, and there are also some whooshes of static though this does just seem to maintain that overall drone feel with only those slight alterations. I remember the first "Opus" having these wavy drones but then also looping and so in some ways this is like that only without the looping but then it does have its own sound as well.
I'm never really sure how people make music which is one of the things I like about it. When I was in high school we learned about the "loss of innocence" and how it happens in not only literature but real life as well. For me, that loss of innocence comes in two ways. The first is when you learn to drive. I remember riding in cars, content with being there and not second guessing anything. Then when you start driving yourself, you'll find yourself becoming a backseat driver for your parents or whoever drove you around before you could. It takes this simple thing that you don't think twice about and just kind of complicates it.
The other, of course, in a similar way is music. I can't remember when I listened to music and just heard the songs as songs and the simple beauty that they present because now all I can hear are drums/guitars/bass and then if they have a keyboard in them or something as well. But when I was a kid growing up, I never thought about things like "Oh, this band has a keyboard player in it and that other one doesn't" because to me it was all just music and it was fun. In that way it was like magic, you know. Listening to artists like Carbon and Soul these days is the closest thing I have to getting that magic back.
I can assume that this cassette was made using an electric guitar, piecing the notes together over a layer distortion from an effects pedal, but I only do feel that way because I think of it as if I was going to try and recreate it how would I go about doing so. The actual recipe and what goes into it might be vastly different and the fact that I don't know for certain- that I haven't peaked behind that curtain in Oz- just makes me feel like a kid again and everyone should have that sense of innocence about music with some set of artists in their listening habits.