Friday, April 15, 2016

Cassette Review: Chemiefaserwerk "Szenarium/Treatment" (Self-help Tapes)

Here we begin with a swirling of squeaking wheels.   It's pots and pans clanking, wind chimes blowing and it has this certain sense of Jay Peele to it.   A hue tone comes out in drone, only slightly wavy, and then something sounding like metal pipes drop as other sounds make their way out: nails moving around like sand inside an hour glass, horse feet clomping, beeps and boops-- just a whole array yet all at once.   The clock gongs to strike one and a sound is heard as if a VHS tape is being rewound or recorded over.  

A fire crackles in the distance.    A solid tone persists, such as an emergency beacon.   Grinding and scraping leads us back to a potential construction site while sounds are made of someone banging on such pipes- perhaps someone hitting a swingset with a metal baseball bat.   People are talking and there is knocking now as if someone wants in but whoever is on the other side won't let them come in.   Banging through chimes now provides some odd harmonies.   

A voice can be heard as an audio sample.   More chimes bang and ding.    This becomes a steady russling that I'm not sure how else to describe.   Something could be inside a metal container, shaking around, but I'm not sure what as it sounds like bees mixed with something more solid- steel bearings perhaps.   A loud solid tone pierces through next.   Tito wakes up to see what is going on and how to stop it because he is a cat with sensitive ears.  

The fire begins to gently crackle once more, as the sound heard could even be a slight breeze now.   A shaking begins like the tail of a rattlesnake followed by the sharpness of a key out of tune.   Shake, shake, shake.    I feel like we're in the desert on some sort of peyote fueled hallucination.    The sharpness is the brightness of the sunlight and the fire crackle could be the unbearable heat of the sun.   A slight UFO type ringing comes into place now.   If we get abducted we're probably at Area 51.  

A helicopter can be heard and it seems as if we found some relief as the piece comes to a brief stop.   The fire crackles again.   Was it just a dream?  Is this really even happening?   Sharpness like the heat.   Tones like windchimes mixed with synth now, maybe some kind of strings I am unaware of, but it is certainly taking me on a ride that could be fueled by drugs only music is the drug of choice here.   I don't know why anyone would take drugs and party in the desert when they could listen to this and have a similar experience.

Coyotes howl.  Maybe.  The back and forth, up and down of a cool, calming night.   This is some kind of bug.   Not the grasshopper or praying mantis or even cricket.   But some kind of bug I believe.    It sounds as if someone has done something with a tape player- loaded it perhaps.   Church tones take us straight into cosmic space.   A buzzing now suggests we really were abducted and the projection before was only what we wanted to see.   The aliens have revealed themselves in true.     The fire crackles.   

Electronics come through in mumbled bits and I believe we are in the spaceship, using it to try and take ourselves back home since we somehow bested these aliens.   Of course, one last time before the side ends the fire has to crackle again.   Is the fire the key to how this thing works?  Have we lost touch with reality by simply embracing too much technology?  Is our path to exploring other planets being detoured by over-simplification?  

On the flip side we start with some electronics and I'm not sure whether or not we are picking up where we left off.   A strong whirr turns loud as it grows- almost like a cat meow.   A static transmission is coming through now.   It just kind of floats there before we get into a vacuum, the sound of a virtual straw sucking what little is left in the glass through it, but not as loudly and as obnoxiously as you might think.   This is much more calm and relaxed, just floating in the dead of outer-space.    It is droning now, a faint transmission at best.  

A crash now and then more beeping.   Frequencies are being changed.    Spoken words sound as if they are trying to come through.   It maintains that quiet windstorm feel until a different tone comes through like Jay Peele makes with bowls.    Back into the windstorm and then alien sounds come out like Wall-E.    Pinball robotics continue in an R2D2 sort of way and I'm pretty sure I heard someone say something.  

A ringing drone drives us through some sounds of drudging through the electronic trenches and this concludes our adventure.   I know that music can take you to other places and I've said so before on more than one occasion, but this cassette can simply take you to places you didn't even know existed.   

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