Thursday, October 22, 2015
Cassette Review: Bit Reduction "-"
[$5 CAD // Edition of 46 // https://bitreduction.bandcamp.com/album/-]
Whenever I see really long cassettes I panic. I realize that I shouldn't because if music is really good than an hour of it is better than only twenty minutes of it, right? But I still do. And I don't know why exactly but I've narrowed it down to two possibilities. The first, of course, is that people out there like to take it upon themselves to make a "cassette release" of their music and so they go to Walmart and buy a blank cassette (Because you still can-- you can even get one for $1.49 at FYE in the mall) and then take their twenty minutes worth of music and hide it in a sixty minute cassette. This leaves me sitting through a lot of dead air when I could be, um, listening to music.
The other reason why I think I have anxiety about long cassettes is brought upon at the start of this cassette by Bit Reduction. When the music comes on it is this electronic drone sound. It has hints of a lightsaber in it but it doesn't really change that much and just seems to be persisting. And I think this is one of the reasons why I get so nervous: what if this becomes the entire cassette? What if someone thinks, "I've got sixty minutes to use, I'll just press this one button and call it drone"? Is that somehow worse than having dead air? Luckily for us, Bit Reduction is not that kind of artist (Though I'm not sure if I'd call that type of musician an "artist" any more) and the music within this cassette changes.
Through whooshes and static, mechanical type sounds and screeches there even come spoken word type of vocals. There is a modem-like element to it as well, but the best thing about it is perhaps that it does change- even if ever so slightly- throughout the sixty minutes and never really makes you feel like you've been wasting your time by listening to it. In fact, this is one of those great examples of what I posed for a question earlier with "If twenty minutes is good than sixty minutes should be great, right?" Right.
Are there elements of drone in here? Yes. But not to the point where it ever gets boring or to where you want to fast forward or simply turn it off. It becomes quite an engaging piece of music as you listen to it through and then, as I did, go back and listen to it again, anticipating the changes, the little beeps, the facets of it which you might not have caught the first time around. Let other artists who think they can simply press a button and call themselves "drone" take notice of how it is really done. If you can't bring this type of talent to your cassette then do not bother making it. Bit Reduction has just set the bar and y'all have been put on notice.