Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Cassette Review: AHRKH "TONE MANTRA" (zamzamrec)
[SOLD OUT // https://zamzamrec.bandcamp.com/album/tone-mantra]
I'm not really sure what to make of this cassette by AHRKH but since it is sold out it must be good, right? It begins with a static build with whooshes that are somewhere between a wind tunnel and modem-like vibe. It then takes a spot for dead air and I knew it couldn't have been over already so I was just hoping that it wasn't going to stop there and have me listening to all of that dead air for the rest of the cassette.
It builds back up rather quietly until there is some sharpness like that ringing you can get in your ears when people say it's because other people are talking about you. There is a lightbulb type of hum but it is very soft. Deep bass goes back and forth like a slow Darth Vader 8bit. Through droning waves come the sounds of either a knocking, beats or shots fired. There is a little bit of change in the tones but not much. As it continues to drone it somehow becomes haunting. With the knocks or whatever there is a certain element of the "Tell-Tale Heart" going on and I kind of like it by the end.
For me, the hardest thing about listening to this cassette at first was that my mind immediately went to "Oh great, another minimal drone cassette" because most people tend to give those types of cassettes a bad name by sounding like they're simply pushing one button on a computer and are like, "Music!" Trust me when I say that I am exposed to a lot of that crap but I just don't review it because then I wouldn't have time to review anything else. But what I like about this AHKRH cassette- and I wasn't sure at first whether or not I'd like this one- is that the sound manages to be minimal and quiet but it is done in a way which makes it almost sound like nothing and so you really have to pay attention to hear what's going on. And not just the focus of it but the fact that AHKRH seemingly gives sound to silence makes this rather brilliant.