Friday, April 15, 2016

Cassette Review: braeyden jae/ant'lrd split (Whited Sepulchre Records)

Going into this split cassette I didn't know a lot about either artist.  I once emailed Braeyden Jae (I believe directly) about reviewing a cassette but it sold out so I was sent a digital copy which I did download and listen to but never got around to writing about because, well, a lot of other stuff happened.  I keep thinking that Ant'lrd is an artist I know simply because of Antlered Auntlord, but I'm fairly certain I haven't even really heard the name before now.  

Braeyden Jae begins things with synth-laced electronic melodies.   It sounds somewhat like Transformers but there is also a certain crunchy vibe to it as well.   An accordion-like sound comes out as it seems to be squeezing and releasing and then there is also this sense of static fuzz but not like what I usually think of as being either "static" or "fuzz".

Loud air begins into a train whistle type sound and then it turns into a glow drone.   I wish there was a way to describe this blasting thing, as if someone open a box and a giant beam of light shot out and it resulted in this sound but there doesn't seem to be an easy way around it without mentioning Lost Trail by name.   As it grows and nears the end, the speakers begin to shake but as we all know it truly is earth-shattering.

On the flip side Ant'lrd has swirly cosmic powers.   An out of control cosmic key paves the way for those glowing spatial hues.   A rambling picks up next, such as fast paced guitar or banjo notes coming out a little bit like Morse code with whirrs in the background.    Electronic footsteps bring about glo-fi drone and the sound of galloping is met with the boiling of water.  

This does bring about these tones as drone which remind me of the soundtrack to an independent movie.   A ticking persists, much like a metronome but more with the sound of a tapping.    Something string-based (perhaps the banjo) begins to try and come through in half-muted plucks and scrapes.   It then just kind of fades out into space.

An undeniable feel of static coupled with the building of darker notes like "Knight Rider" but not builds up next.    It can be a struggle at times to hear the notes through the friction but they are still there, trying to break free.   This eventually fades into voices talking and then big, serious tones being dropped.  It has that orchestra of strings feel to it but only lasts for a moment before its gone and the side ends.

Typically I can think of a split cassette as being one of only three possible ways but for me, this split takes that idea of being familiar with one artist and not the other to a different level because even though I had heard music by Braeyden Jae before this I had never really fully embraced or written about it so in some ways it is like experiencing the sound again for the first time.   And that is just perhaps the best way to think of this one overall- familiar, yet new.  

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