Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Cassette Review: Lauri Hyvärinen "Ruoka"
[€5 // Edition of 75 // https://laurihyvarinen.bandcamp.com/album/ruoka]
"Ruoka" begins with the sharp sounds of strings being scratched which brings out some screeches. That might seem like a lot of s-words but if you've ever run your guitar pick down a guitar string then you will understand what is happening here. Some banging can be heard and then other noises I can't quite explain. It gets quiet at times and I'm not sure if it's pausing for effect, such as between songs, or if it is done for some other reason. A note grows from a string which is plucked to the point where it almost sounds like it is broken. Quieter rattling comes out, almost as a scraping or dragging of a giant metal pipe on concrete and in the front of it is the tapping of something but what I am not certain.
Strings come through somewhere between high pitched singing at first and then deeper, darker grinding of something such as a cello. It is an underwater symphony of noise and, yes, I really am imagining someone playing these instruments at the bottom of the ocean (Of course they also are dressed in the proper formal attire and there is even a conductor). There is a certain quality of trying to find a particular radio station coming through- that tuning of the radio- as well as just some items being shuffled around and making various noises in that sense. Back to that scraping it sounds almost as if springs are being stretched out now.
A sharpness comes through like a jet plane or the sound a missile or firework would make when shot into the air. This is followed up by sharpness from feedback which is something I just know all too well. The sounds of popcorn popping over an open fire can be heard with some more sharpness accompanying it. The strings- perhaps of a cello still just not as deep- try to cut through but it is mostly this one popcorn type of sound that I can hear overtaking everything else. It almost feels as if two opposing forces are at war with each other here in this piece and only one of them can survive. This builds into something hollow, almost out of a horror story, and then it is a cross between a helicopter blade spinning and cat purring to end the side.
Side B opens with the twang of strings and banging of pots and pans. It's some real kitchencore here and yet there is also some melody in it somehow. This percussion may or may not come entirely from the kitchen now, but there is a lot of banging going on and you can really hear all of the different elements of it. The strings being plucked now have this magical, child-like innocence to them and though I cannot say for certain they do sound as if they are coming from a toy guitar such as you would give a child to play with and it might have a cartoon character on it. This might just be the way that a professional instrument is being played, but then again I can't tell if I also hear a snare drum or giant pot being hit right now either.
A bit of rattling can come across like some sort of insects swarming as a bass string is plucked solely. It's frantic now, as if it is trying to escape something or complete a task before time runs out. I'm not sure if it's a violin or not, but there does seem to be the distinct sound of whatever stringed instrument this is of being played with a bow and the hectic nature of it is really what is making the piece quite enjoyable right here. Some quieter, lonely string plucks come out and it has that very desolate feel to it. While we no longer have that underwater feel from Side A this could be an indication that we are stranded on an island somewhere, all alone.
Some dead air makes up the rest of this cassette, which just adds to that feeling of being alone, isolated and never being able to return to civilization. While I would normally remark that there is a movie to be found in here, as I believe all noise is ambient but not all ambient music is noise, I would be wrong this time around simply because there are likely several different movies to be made out of this wonderful piece of music. If anyone was ever to hold a contest and say that the best movie would win and be promoted as an official music video for this entire cassette here, I'd like to think that with Lauri Hyvärinen's "Ruoka" you would instead make a series of different videos to go with this.