Friday, April 15, 2016

Cassette Review: Giona Vinti "Nox Lux" (Old Bicycle Records)

[Edition of 70 // //]

As I am putting together the pieces for this review, I go to the Old Bicycle Records Bandcamp page and can't find any info for this cassette yet so I am not going to post this review until I do but it does leave me with a certain sense of mystery, typing this all up and listening to this many times over without a Bandcamp page to sort of make it real.   [Correction: It is up, just under the *music* portion of the page and not the *merch* page.  The link on the Old Bicycle Records website takes you back to where you can only download it, so I'd just email them to figure out how to buy it]

"Nox Lux" begins with a hollow/boiler room type of feel which takes us into space.    This becomes lasers, which then takes us into these atmospheric tones that have a dreamy bliss about them.   I often like to think of music as being so engaging and so engrossing that it fills an entire room, but the sounds here seem to fill an entire universe.    Jumbled electronics bring about thoughts of R2D2 though there is something more to this, like a bunch of droids speaking all at the same time.   The electronic beeps and skips form a pattern which begins a rhythm that I want to refer to as "electronic" but it couldn't ever be more literal than this.

Side B (which would be "Lux" to Side A's "Nox") opens with some electronics and crackling.    It is hard to imagine this as being anywhere other than space, especially now as the mood becomes more desolate, more lost.    Then it's the faint sound of church bells ringing and I think I hear talking in the background the first time I listen through but it's really just someone outside.     Through the fog, a louder, synth-based bliss comes out and makes a fairly loud noise and could either turn into a rock n roll opera or something rather heavy, like Chiodos or Norma Jean.

The electro-synth bliss instead takes its own turn into something I haven't heard before-- or at least in a long while.   Part drone, part "Flash Gordon" and part "Kung Fu Panda", this thing is just all around taking us to new places, which of course has me thinking we're in space still with some new alien technology because this could not be constructed with anything from this planet.   A swirly synth loops ensues and I get caught up in it.     This brings us on a fairly haunted carousel ride with scrapes that could also be balloons being scratched and just about to pop.  

Church bell sounds return and jackpot glitches come with them.   This brings out this ringing drone accompanied by something both shrinking and growing in the "Land of the Lost".   Vocals slightly come through via Wall-E, though I feel like they say "I am Iron Man" but I'm probably wrong.    A loud drone brings about more sounds like Wall-E and I'm still not sure about what it is saying though, if anything at all specifically.

This all comes together nice as a piece of space based electronic adventures and no matter how many times I hear a cassette I think is set in space or partially set in space, they never sound quite the same.   I'm not sure why it is, but it's not something you can exactly pinpoint without hearing- like a trumpet.   It's just something that you hear and go, "Yeah, that's space".     "Nox Lux" is definitely one of those critical sounds of space that you have to hear to be anywhere close to understanding it.

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