Thursday, July 16, 2015
Cassette Review: Infravoids "codex cortex" (Blackjack Illuminist Records)
[€5 // https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/codex-cortex]
"codex cortex" begins with slow static space waves. Through whooshes and lasers there is a definite electronic sound in here and then this sound comes into the background of it all that just gives off an eerie feeling. I can relate this in some ways to a horror movie perhaps but I'm not sure what kind of horror movie exactly it would be. The sounds come through in wavy loops, not drone, and then ambient synth ohms enter as well. Quieter sonar beeps can be heard and then it kicks in hard electro. Darker swirls give way to vaporwave type singing and then the tones begin to sound as if they are fading out in an ambient way before minimal static skips bring us to the end of Side A.
Side B opens up louder with some beats and then this synth symphony where it is just cranking it out. I feel like we're in space, sure, but I also feel like something important is happening, such as a crucial scene in "Star Wars" involving Darth Vader doing something. There is almost a sound of a death march in this music as well. This should have some sort of electronic comparison point, such as another artist, but I just can't seem to pick one out and so I am content with saying that Infravoids stands in a genre all its own. The patterns begin to have these tones coming through that sound like a cross between crying- a howling, moaning- and the way that a ghost sounds when flying because sometimes ghosts make flying sounds.
If this is the soundtrack to a horror movie I feel like it's one of those big ones where a hero has to come together to stop both Dracula and the Wolfman but I don't think anything like that has been done in a while. Really though, why was it "Freddy vs. Jason" when if those two teamed up they could have run this world? As the music quiets down, going from one song to the next, it begins to build back again with big beats that you can just tell are going to do great things as soon as you hear them. It has to have some sort of larger comparison with Stabbing Westward or the more electronic side of Bush, but I still can't figure it out.
Vocals come through now and it doesn't have the same vaporwave sound as I heard on Side A but rather reminds me of something Illegal Wiretaps might do. This is the closest this cassette has come to a verse/chorus/verse song so far since it does have the singing and without comparing it to any other artist I would simply call it darkwave. The electronics are still back there though, doing their thing, it's just that the singing is going along with them now. A little bit of quieter electronics seem to bring the piece to an end, as the vocals have faded and it might have been an additional song but it just felt like a nice bit of closure on the singing.
Steady beats come up now and I'm really thinking about a line of robots marching. I also kind of feel like I'm in a graveyard inside a video game and Robot Graveyard Video Game would be a most excellent band name... Or even website name. Who wants to review video games with me? Haha. There is also this hollow feeling now, like something out of Nine Inch Nails, something desperate. The pace picks up as the swirls come through in the darkness and it's not the fastest that it has been on this cassette but it is an odd sort of speed to go out on as I imagined this one slowing to the point where it faded and simply disappeared.
So for Side A I'm not sure what was happening so much that it felt like we were simply lost at sea, the waves crashing around us with very little change, and then Side B just really picked up and gave us much more of the story and just a lot more oomph as well. This has that slow build to it in the sense that when you first start listening to it you might not get into it but by the end (or maybe even after the third or fourth listen for some) you'll go, "Yeah, that's it. I really like this one". So give it a shot or five and I guarentee it will have you coming back for more.