Friday, April 22, 2016

Cassette Review: Malte Cornelius Jantzen "Intrigue (Flowers For Amy)"

[€5 //]

What is intrigue?   As a noun, it can mean "a mysterious or fascinating quality".   Some musicians can wear their hearts on their sleeves, putting out music that perfectly accompanies their whiny vocals and teenage poetry.    But on this cassette, Malte Cornelius Jantzen truly explores the idea of intrigue as it not only about the fascinating quality of this music but the mystery behind it as well.

A minimal drone is how this cassette starts and for a lot of the time remains.   It's atmospheric fog that slowly builds and has mild static.   There are feelings of being lost and just in a void somehow where you can't see what is right in front of you but it's there.   It's kind of like fumbling around in the dark, looking for something you know is there but not being able to find it.

As the piece continues on Side B it has an ominous darkness to it.   Static slightly comes out again and it can become hypnotic.    It gets a little bit wavy/choppy and then by the end just kind of fades out.   I remember watching a television show ("Torchwood", actually) where a character died and came back from the dead only to reveal that when you die there is nothing there.   It's just... nothing.

In that way, I feel like this music is being trapped in the end.   It's not so much that nothing is happening because then I have to go back in circles about whether or not nothing is really something.  Sure, zero is nothing, but zero is also a number, so isn't that something?   I can understand how you can have zero apples, but don't discredit zero as being a number and a means of holding together the positive and negative values of numbers the same way you shouldn't disregard "Intrigue" as being nothing either.

The other thing that I really like about this cassette- and how it reminds me of what happens after death on some level- is that it is also called "Flowers For Amy".    My long-standing opinion of giving someone flowers has always been that it is a somewhat pointless act.   You should just attach a card that says, "These flowers represent our love.  It will last for only a few months, maybe weeks depending upon how much you water it, and then die and you will have to throw them away".

Aren't flowers such a great symbol for relationships though?   I've always said that there are many better gifts than flowers and with this cassette we are perhaps reminded of that in the sense that it sounds like the end the flowers will eventually meet where as if instead you had given your friend, Amy if you will, something such as this cassette then she could have enjoyed it forever and always thought of you when listening to it.

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