Thursday, June 11, 2015
Cassette Review: Oscar Martin & Anton Mobin "la révolution est en pleurs" (crustacés tapes)
The simple fact that this cassette cannot be ordered in your traditional Bandcamp way (See the Bandcamp link for ordering details) should go to show you just how special it is. Imagine such a world as when you inquire about a cassette the person on the other end says, "Well, what have you got to offer me in exchange?" Anyone who can think outside the boundaries of money is cool in my book because even though there is a math-based formula for how much a cassette is worth (expenses and such) it is rather difficult to put a price on music, is it not? This just goes back to my feelings on digital music though and wondering how you put a price on a single song: Do you charge by the second? The minute? Why are some single downloads free while others are $0.99 and some are even $1.99? It makes no sense to think with the mentality of "Well, I have a two dollar song here!" because if you get out of the music what the artist hopefully intends for you to then the music itself becomes priceless.
It is also worth noting that two samples of what is on this cassette appear on the Bandcamp site, but the cassette itself is much longer than what you will find there. I like that idea of putting on one song digitally and then having more on the actual cassette so people can have an idea of what they're getting, but I think that as a culture of people releasing cassettes we need to stop releasing the music digitally as well. If something is in an edition of let's say 10, for example, and those 10 cassettes sell out and then it's done, you don't feel like you have to buy one as urgently if in the back of your mind you're thinking "Well, if it sells out I'll just download it". Hell, I'm in a position now where I can download music and make my own cassettes and it sometimes comes out to be less expensive than what the artists charge. We need to bring that special feel back to cassettes and having these cassette-only songs on this release here is a step in the right direction.
This cassette begins with little robot beeps and static and if you've seen the movie "Big Hero 6" is does have that microbot/nanobot feel to it (and if you haven't seen that movie then please do) Muffled spoken words come through and it reminds me of the transmission from the first steps on the moon ("One small step...") or the infamous "Today I consider myself..." speech. Sharp feedback turns into a carousel ride of tones and I'm not sure how they go together they just do. Static clips come in and there isn't a better way to describe that so you'll just have to hear it for yourself for it to make sense I suppose. (It's not like an audio clip, it's the way in which it is delivered that makes it seem clipped) Flipping through some radio stations we end on harsh modem with some whirr changes trapped within.
A bugzapper hum brings us back into choppy static. We enter the static void as one piece seemingly ends and the next begins with an alarming hum. Audio clips return but I can never make sense of them. Static comes through such as on a windy day and then I get the feeling of bubbles. Blissy R2D2 beeps come out behind the scrapes and laser blasts to end out Side A, which even though the first audio clip there had me thinking of the moon landing even without that I still can hear this side as being some sort of space war being fought. And, yes, you would be looking for something good on the radio as well if you were in the midst of space battle because why not.
Side B opens up with sharp feedback and then goes into space whooshes. There are lightsaber sounds for quite some time, as electronic malfunction loops are mixed in and it just otherwise has that sound of a lightsaber duel as well. Ghost whirr steamers come out and it begins to take on the qualities of the movie "Pulse", you know the one where technology begins to attack humanity. There are screeching static crashes and by the end of Side B I am in full belief that the machines have won and despite our earlier visit to the moon or some other place in space, we have been crushed just the same.
So if you're looking for a wild ride in space or just some sounds that you can interpret in your own way then this is a cassette you should go through the steps to get your hands on because then you can press play and put it in your ears. While you can only get portions of these songs on the Bandcamp, I thought of them before as being samples but I find now that a more accurate term for them would be teasers because listening to them must feel like beginning some great book or movie and hearing the rest of each side is simply learning how it plays out-- how it ends. And everyone should want to know that.