Friday, June 5, 2015
Cassette Review: Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo "Doropea" (old bicycle records)
[8 CHF // Edition of 150 // https://oldbicyclerecords.bandcamp.com/album/doropea-by-fabrizio-modonese-palumbo]
Though "Doropea" begins with the sounds of hums and pianos find their way in and that does maintain throughout most of the cassette, there is something going on other than that and at times it does even feel as if it is happening behind the scenes. Side A has some static crackling in it and the piano can come out as single note progressions or chords. In some ways, with the hum in the background combined with the piano I like to think of it as a lightning bug symphony, though that hum doesn't always carry the lightning bug sound. There is a stronger feedback at one point as the pecks of a typewriter come out. The piano persists and this just has a rather solemn feel to it.
At first, it caught me somewhat off guard because I thought of it as being more relaxed, more of a chill vibe and so I was thinking about it- and imagining it- in that way. Just doing something relaxing while listening to this music. But as it went on, through Side A even, I began to realize that there is a sort of alarming sense to this music, even if it isn't as obnoxious and in your face as a car alarm. It's somewhat sad in its nature, which can still be calm I admit, but it feels more like it's reflecting on the end of the world than something such as a simpler tragic event. I had a vision once of how the world ends and I won't get into here because this is neither the time nor the place but let me just say that this music would fit with it rather well.
Side B opens with a slightly wavy hum, which is a bit different than the hum formations that were all over the first side. There are these sort of Alfred Hitchcock undertones and vibes coming through where it kind of feels like "Psycho" but not 100% and so it's just that overall feeling of suspense (Since Hitchcock is the Master of Suspense after all) These sort of vocals come through next and it appears to be a man's voice but he's not saying words so much as syllables like, "do-do-do" and, no, I'm not referring to that song by The Police either. This brings about a great amount of distortion as it seems to just flood everything else away.
A trippy sort of bliss sound, which can be thought of it in space as well, is what seems to end this cassette and for me it is the ultimate end to an end of the world soundtrack. Whether you imagine everyone going to Heaven or simply becoming little cartoon ghosts and leaving their bodies (Whatever your sense of faith allows) this would seem to be the pinnacle of that. Though you might hear something else in here if you are not as biased as I am into thinking this has to be a sign of the end of the world. I often wonder if I think about such things too much, but I think it's normal, right? Everyone kind of thinks about and wonders if the world will end in their lifetime. And I just like comic books and such set in those surroundings, such as the almighty "Jeremiah".
I also feel like that end part has some resemblence to The Who song "Baba O'Riley", which again I might be biased on because I have a cat named after said song, but for those who simply do not know of The Who that is the song where they sing about teenage wasteland which yet again just works in my favor to confirm this could be about the end of the world. And I don't know why I'm trying to convince someone (maybe myself?) that this is about the end of the world when no one actually told me straight out that it wasn't supposed to be. It's not like I'm trying to convince the artist or something how it could sound that way because for all I know it very well could have been the intention.
Whether you are on the same mental page as me or not- in terms of hearing what I hear in this wonderful piece of music- the fact remains that you will hear something and it might just end up being something completely different from what I hear but yet still somehow rather personal to you. I think that might be the greatest trick of all in some ways- to create something where the theme heard is not universal but specific to each listener. So give it a try, have an experience and see what old feelings you can shake up in your head.