Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Cassette Review: Despoiler "Dysgenika" (Grovl Tapes)
[$3 // Edition of 70 // https://grovl.bandcamp.com/album/dysgenika]
Upon first listen of this cassette I thought that the initial words being spoken were taken from somewhere as part of a field recording, perhaps, maybe a teacher at a university or the such. But the more you listen to "Dysgenika" the more you begin to realize that the spoken words are simply part of the music. There really isn't any singing or anything else in here-- all of the lyrics are spoken word, in that poetry sense and, well, there are a lot of words as well. I'd say that in the short time this cassette runs it might even average more words than a cassette that could go up to four times as long.
There are beats and synth and other sounds that are somewhat electronic but it's not something I can explain to you except to tell you that it is unusual. It's a stripped down version of Ladytron, as I think of it as some sort of acoustic-electronic blend and it also harvests some of the finer points of a band like Delta Dart. But as much as you can imagine someone spouting off words the way that Jack Kerouac wrote the music that goes along with it is not your traditional drums/bass/guitar.
In fact, there is nothing traditional about this as it is rather unusual. I even think of it as being downright weird, but in music that isn't a bad thing because who wants to sound like everyone else? I don't think that there is a good reference point for this, as lasers crash or possibly glass shatters. The vocalist says something about rats and it does kind of sound like them squealing and clawing. Of course there is the obligatory line of "Am I pretty?", which seems to want to fall off the lips of every female who ever lived, though in this case it might be uttered if only in such jest. Trap clap brings on a fireworks flurry and the sound of popcorn popping.
I really do struggle with trying to compare this with something musically and that's fine. I could listen to this woman's voice all day, so when you put that over this distinct style of music it just makes for a sound that you simply cannot pass up the opportunity to hear. Though Despoiler may not sound like them (Maybe a little?), hearing them for the first time does remind me a bit of the first time I heard Architecture in Helsinki and I know that both have forever changed my life now.