Friday, June 5, 2015
Cassette Review: HITS "Sunshine Baby" (Crash Symbols)
[$5 // Edition of 100 // https://crashsymbols.bandcamp.com/album/sunshine-baby]
From the moment that "Sunshine Baby" begins to the very second that it ends, it is filled with non-stop beats that simply make me want to get up and dance. The interesting thing about this cassette to me is that these beats are comprised of a number of sources it would seem, and so not a traditional hip-hop/electronic vibe in that sense, but they also just don't fall into any of my usual categories which in this case would be somewhere between "Alias" and "Invader Zim". Being able to not only craft that new genre for me, but the levels of which this is seemingly carved out with so few instruments just amazes me. I'm not entirely certain what all went into creating these sounds and I prefer not to know, but it does feel like every sound you hear on this cassette is under the percussion banner.
Through what I can only consider to be jungle dance beats come the sounds of a "Knight Rider" trill, scrapes and some C&C Music Factory and/or NKOTB synth blocks. Moments of that "Law & Order" synth beat dropping occur as well, but this really is just mostly drums and cymbals outside of that. There is a boom box element to it, as if someone is playing it on the streets with a crowd gathering as others show up and begin to breakdance, and then at the same time it does channel the raw sound of a city bucket drummer. It is somewhere between that pots and pans sound of simply banging on whatever is close to you and a drum machine and that in some ways is what makes this so tricky and clever.
I like to sit back and listen to this one with my eyes closed sometimes, just to see if I can figure out how these sounds are being made. I don't really ever picture someone sitting at a keyboard pressing a button, but I suppose it is entirely possible that this is created with that entire drum machine system. I've never seen someone like that perform live before, but I did see Steve Aoki guest star on the television series "Arrow" and I don't imagine the music being made in that way. And yet I cannot picture a mortal with only two arms doing all of this drumming on a live kit either, full of sweat and exhaustion (Though, yes, there would be breaks between songs) Even the best of the live drummers I've ever known couldn't pull this one off, I'd say.
The only logical explanation I can come to is that this was simply played live on certain parts and then other times it was a drum machine and sometimes the two were layered as well. It's the only way that my mind can process all of this rhythm and the cymbals. Yet, still, deep down inside I feel as if that simply is not the case as I just cannot picture that as being one of the scenarios in which this was created. "Sunshine Baby" will be known to me for its energy, it's relentlessness and just it's overall amount of pure talent as it creates so much with seemingly so little, but it will also have this sort of sense of mythology around it. It will certainly become something of legend.
[Please Note: In my time putting together the links, I did manage to read that HITS is a trio but I still stand firm in my words on this music whether it was made by one person or a hundred people]