Friday, April 8, 2016

Cassette Review: Ratkiller "Odor Orienting" (Crash Symbols)

In my recent review for the Efferat cassette on 5CM Recordings I typed about how fun it is to find cassettes on labels you like by bands that you like because you already know them and have reviewed them before.    The idea of being introduced to a new artist and hearing more great music by an artist you already know is like apples and oranges for me, but I must admit that Ratkiller is someone that for whatever reason I didn't really expect to hear a follow up by but am rather excited that I am.

Big synth, drums crashing and piano keys mashed begin "Odor Orienting".   High hats take us into a groove with synth ringing/trill ala something out of Dr. Dre's playbook.    Through birds chirping comes the sounds of dinging and this one is just all around spastic.   It goes into a quieter dreamy place before vocals come out in some sort of combination of spoken word and singing.   It reminds me of something between Lou Reed (like taking that walk on the wildside) and NKOTB (the way they used to break it down)   A poem of sorts comes out next, bringing me one of my favorite lines ever imagined: "The gift of life is death in the end".  

Mechanical drum loops take us into blissed out synth.     This somehow transforms into glitch-bliss, which is a genre I never thought I'd hear before but I've come to expect that sort of thing from Ratkiller, breaking down all the barriers and preconceived notions.    Something which sounds like a fiddle comes out with moans in it and then radio sampling- or simply changing from station to station- is how we end out Side A.  

On the flip side we start with what I think of as shuffling but realize is just that shaking of a... umm... shaker?   There are dings and pings in here as well, which brings about this nice rhythm before other sounds are added in to give it that overall Oriental tone.    A guitar riff comes on during all of this and it reminds me of a Nirvana song, specifically the verse of "Breed" or maybe something from "Bleach".   Still, there is this overall magical, space sound to it where it feels like we're eating a Chinese buffet of the future.  (Though as we all know, the best Chinese buffets also include sushi and in many ways sushi is the food of the future!)  

This chugga-chugga sound turns into something more dramatic where the loop stops and drops all while this hammering is going on in the background like that guy who thought he could build railroad tracks faster than a machine or whatever.   In some ways, I also expect this portion of the song to turn into "Regulators", so there's that.    Sounds of morse code come through in a modem-like fashion and this also brings with it horns.    Yes, we have some crazy dialup jazz going on here and I love every second of it.  

A sort of repeating glitch brings out robotic claps and I feel like it's about to say something even though it doesn't and just continues in this serious tone, like a cop movie from the 1990's.   Somehow, it then turns into what I can only describe as an electronic mix of breakdancing beats and kung-fu.     After some "Seinfeld" bass (briefly) we go back into singing, where he asks "Who am I?" a lot and it has this reverse effect on it of what you might expect from some kind of great motivational music.    The singing soon becomes instrumental again and it seems to have a "Don't You Forget About Me" vibe going on now.    As the best music tends to do, it fades out blurring the lines between our dreams and reality.  

No comments:

Post a Comment