Friday, July 24, 2015
Cassette Review: Jeffrey Alexander "Floating Lights" (Pome Pome Tones)
[$6 // Edition of 50 // https://jeffreyalexander.bandcamp.com/album/floating-lights]
I'm never quite sure what to expect when an artist is a first and last name combination but I can tell you after listening to this cassette that the title of "Floating Lights" is correct as you could be seeing them with these underlying psychedelic grooves. It doesn't start that way right away but it does build to it throughout the first side and then especially on Side B.
We begin with tone progressions with sci-fi/space whirrs mixed in. It is alarm-like over soft tones. Frequency whirrs begin to play with pianos and then those baseball park keys come out which always make me think of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" or simply rallying behind the home team. (You know the one pattern they do- that doot doo doot) We appear to go into whale songs before there is a sonar sense with a space odyssey. Synth whirrs take us into ambient static and then wavy synth brings about a static storm. Through a whirr helicopter tones emerge which sound almost like they could be out of a video game and sonar blips are in here as well.
On the flip side we begin with deep strings and then grow quieter as the only thing coming out is a guitar. At first the guitar has this wah-wah tone to it but eventually it takes over the entire side so that all you can hear are these guitar loops. They probably have a certain sound for everyone who hears them depending upon your age and influences but for me, I hear the band Live. In fact, I specifically hear the first song by Live on their "Throwing Copper" album- one of my first really big influences in music myself- as I seem to be continually waiting for these notes to take me to the dam at Otter Creek.
While the first side of "Floating Lights" is a most excellent journey throughout time and space you are also left with a guitar loop of your own interpretation on the other side, the musical version of a "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" book. Everyone who listens to this- especially on Side B- is not going to hear the same things that I heard but that is the beauty in it. Being able to see your own floating light is what makes this so much like magic and the fact that it can provide each and every listener with a unique experience is all the more reason why you should be listening.