Friday, April 15, 2016

Cassette Review: Chemiefaserwerk "blue eighteen" (Blue Tapes and X-Ray Records)

Synth-like strings begin this cassette and then the sound of water sputtering comes out as well.   Sonar gently begins to beep as the sounds of lightsabers can also be heard.    In the background there exists this sort of clanking which could also be percussion and it moves from that secondary role to the foreground now.    A flute comes out with some drone, which is rather Native American sounding to me.

Footsteps come out sounding like someone setting off firecrackers in an empty hall.  There is a loud and long hiss which isn't just the cassette.    The sound of water running becomes a faint glow.   Someone locks a door, a car door perhaps even, and then we are in full on glow drone mode.    It pauses as if it might end here, but instead takes us into a big synth drone wave which reminds me a bit of Lost Trail and how someone might experience a flashback in a television series or movie.   

On the flip side we begin with these loud alien-like tones which remind me of The X-Files and then a cracking sound can be heard followed by a sort of whooshing.   I like to think of these two last sounds as being someone opening/shaking a can of spray paint and then proceeding to spray paint something.    Frequencies become whirrs and there is a certain tapping involved as well.

Static skips and squeaky wheels lead to a nice build which turns into this crackling static with a slight whistle, which can remind me of a teapot boiling over an open fire.   Those metal detector frequencies come out next, complete with some of the robotic bleeps and blips.    The static continues to crackle.   It combines with a slight sort of frequency, but seems to take us into a mostly drone place at this point.  

A loud sound develops and it feels like screeching but it is rather clean.   It turns into this hue, with the sound of something breaking in the background, and it just has a sense of power to it.    It feels as if a powerful magician is fighting with a wizard, each trying to put a spell on the other, and I'm not sure who is winning but I just hope I don't get caught in the crossfire.     Rain begins to fall as there are voices in the background.    The rain picks up as the voice disappear.   

Following a slight sound of something not quite sharp but on the verge of it, this cassette ends with the sound of rain falling from the sky.    And what I like about it though is that there are these little details inside the otherwise vast landscape of the music.    It's not that it's simply minimal, but it feels fairly close to it and yet it just manages to capture so many different sounds and feelings.    It is a lot larger than what you probably imagine just by reading words about it and I miss the days when music seemed larger than life but this cassette seems to be bringing them back.  

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