Friday, July 24, 2015

Cassette Review: Kasper van Hoek "De Zondvloedmachine"

[€4.99 // Edition of 25 //]

This cassette begins with an organ sounding drone which also has some synth wah within it.    Back and forth ringing tones bring about a sense of Alfred Hitchcock drama but only ever so slightly.   A strong "Doctor Who"/sci-fi effect can be felt next and then dialtone buzz drone also comes into play.   Back and forth beepies bring about a tone drone fade out.   A heavy crackle comes in next with deep bass.    It's a robot sounding synth and then dropping synth into church bells.     Acoustic strings are plucked and then heavy lightsaber synth becomes high pitched whirrs.    Beats and clanks make their way through the kitchen as Side A ends with straight up lightsabers.

On the flip side we have a nice organ which is close to lightsaber sounds but I'll just consider to be dark organ drone.   Crackling static and hollow ohm tones bring about clanking pots and pans and then deep synth.    Big gongs now.   Jangly guitar notes which sound acoustic and almost to the point of being a banjo.    Waves whoosh back and forth while X-Files synth sounds relatively hollow.    Pleasant key tones and distorted lasers is how this side comes to an end and it is not quite the same as Side A but the idea of "distorted lasers" and "lightsabers" isn't too far from each other.

I don't like to read a lot about cassettes before I review them- you know, spoilers- because if I did I might see something in the credits that says "Jon played banjo on such and such song" and it'd give that away or if it didn't say anything about a banjo then I'd conclude that there was no banjo and it was just what my ears heard.   But I like to hear what I hear without the guidance of linear notes.    I also don't like to read anything too much afterwards because it still can spoil future listens.  

I feel like- and whether or not this is true I do not know nor really care to know- this cassette has Side A as one idea and Side B as another and though I can tell you that it's not something as simple as Side B merely being the reverse of Side A, I still feel like they are connected somehow.   It's not a remix and it's not even saying that you'd play the same patterns which just different tones and effects, but it's something.   If you listen to this as ambient- and I do- then what you hear in Side A might be similar to Side B except there might just be different settings or characters within the two stories.   It's not a direct remake but what filmmakers refer to as "reinterpretations", I believe.

Regardless of whether or not you find the two sides to be as closely related as I seem to they are still both exceptional pieces of music that should be heard because they touch upon many different ideas- that Jay Peele sound for instance- without embracing and really becoming any single one of them, allowing you as the listener to hear them as you should so choose to and that just generates a solid, multifaceted level of appeal.

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