Friday, August 7, 2015
Cassette Review: Lo Flopper "Lo Flopper" (Music à la Coque)
[€5 // Edition of 67 // https://musicalacoque.bandcamp.com/album/lo-flopper-cassette]
The music of Lo Flopper begins with rowdy horns. This isn't exactly what I would refer to as "jazz noise" or "noise jazz" but it is just a number of instruments that I believe to be horns of sorts (The type you have to blow into) making various sounds and patterns all at the same time. It is a bit chaotic, but it is a controlled chaos still. Slinking bells form a rhythm to go along with this and I do think of it as a bit of wild jazz. It reminds me in ways of the score to a silent movie, such as an ensemble would play in the theater while you watched the pictures move. Maybe it's just because I feel there is a certain walking quality to it, but it does seem to be following a story.
There is some sharpness in here and then it goes into an all out banging of pots, pans and percussion. As the sharpness returns it goes with the deep beats of a tuba as well. While Side A is one long running piece which I believe was also recorded live (Though you couldn't tell based on the quality of it) and has that improvised feel to it, there are four tracks split up on Side B and the total of them is a little less than half of what Side A makes. This is strange in some ways because it makes the cassette feel lopsided and as such leaves a lot of dead air on Side B but as I've written before- symmetry is all fine and well but it is not necessary.
Shorter and quieter the songs on Side B begin with what sounds like a train moving up the tracks. It has that locomotive build as if it is getting closer to us by the second and, yes, this could also be used as a score for a silent movie. This sort of buzzing sound that could come from a kazoo or the way that you can make those sounds with a blade of grass comes out next and it sounds as if it is to a similar pattern as "Baa Baa Black Sheep". Synth tones can be heard in that glo-fi type of sense and then Side B doesn't so much end as it just fades into nothing and a long bit of nothing that I thought it might come back from but didn't.
As this begins with the sound of a jazz-based concert the flip side is quite different and in some ways it does feel like this might even be a split cassette over the same artist (Though the linear notes show that different players were on each side, only a few overlapping) but it still connected enough for it to pass as one artist in my book. It's quite the task to have such different sides of a cassette but remain true to oneself and Lo Flopper has managed to not only accomplish that but craft amazing music in the process. This cassette needs to be heard.