Thursday, June 11, 2015
Cassette Review: The Hermeneut "Scattered Works" (Walk-In Records)
[$6 // Edition of 50 // https://thehermeneut.bandcamp.com/album/scattered-works]
The Hermeneut has created the second cassette sent to me by Walk-In Records and boy could this not be any more different from the first one I reviewed from the label. I know that- according to this cassette- this is the fifth release by Walk-In Records, and to think that they could already have such a diverse roster with such a small number of releases simply gives me hope for the future because as much as I loved my time growing up when Victory Records was a hardcore label and you wouldn't get on there unless you were a hardcore band, I've come to enjoy the fact that labels can be known in this day and age as promoting music they like and not just music that happens to fit a particular pattern.
"Scattered Works" begins with the sounds of birds and bongos. It goes into a steel drum rhythym, but I feel it in the jungle right away. Now, I am no expert on zoos- this is true- but I have visited the Houston Zoo enough times to remember that there was a place in there that was inside (It was its own building) and there was water behind the glass full of creatures and a jungle like habitat as well with those little red monkeys I love. The mood in that particular building was always dark, as if poorly like but on purpose and there was always something in the air... It was just... Dank. The music reminds me more of that setting than of the actual jungle or even a rainforest, but that might only be because I've never been in an actual jungle or rainforest.
Some strange sounds emerge and they sound like the cries of pixies. I hear what seems to be a rainstick but rather than shaking it someone is hitting it as a form of percussion and this is fairly heavy percussion based. It sounds wooden and there are gallops as well. I'm thinking of the movie "Black Snake Moan" even though I've never seen it before. By the end of Side A it becomes closer to beats in a hip hop way, but then there is also the added element of the flute so it is a little bit going closer to something while also moving away from it at the same time.
Side B has static whooshes, heavy breathing and church bells which for whatever reasons when combined make me think of someone transforming into a werewolf. It becomes somewhat industrial before coming through in wavy loops. By the end of Side B and the cassette on the whole we are taken back to the jungle sounds (and flute) and I'm thinking of something between "The Air Up There", "Operation Dumbo Drop" and the second Ace Ventura movie, which makes me think that I certainly do need some culturing given where such references seem to come from for me.
I wouldn't really say that I haven't heard these sounds before in the sense that I've heard a flute, obviously, and even jungle sounds similar to this before, complete with bongos and/or steel drums, but the fact is that I haven't actually heard them like this and to such an extent as this before either. I imagine this as taking place during some sort of tribal ceremony and just for the added effect of the atmosphere it also has to be raining. So pull yourself off of your couch and out into the muddy, tree-filled forests somewhere or another and take a ride with The Hermeneut.