Thursday, April 28, 2016

Cassette Review: Scares "Nebula81" (Outward Records)

[$6 // Edition of 20 //]

I spend a lot of time on Bandcamp, perhaps too much some would say.   No, really, if I got paid even a dime for every hour I spend on Bandcamp I'd be a rich man.   (Don't try doing the math on that one though)  When I'm on Bandcamp browsing new cassette releases and come to something like this I usually put it into a special place because I've reviewed music from Outward Records before so I don't have to give them my introductory speech.   This does make it weird though because then I think- when I see the name Scares- that I know this artist from somewhere.  

And it comes down to, "Well, yeah, maybe I just saw this cassette on Bandcamp, hovered over it, saw the link took me to Outward Records and put it into that category as such"  Only this time I felt more sure of it, so I searched Blogger and found out that, yes, I have reviewed Scares before as part of a split cassette on Outward Records.   See, I was fairly certain I had reviewed Scares before but I often get the overall feeling like I am going crazy which makes me rather unsure of myself.   It's a real problem.

"Nebula81" begins with hollow whirrs and a little jangle that sounds like spurs (but that might just be the cowboy in me).   Loud tones come through slowly and then other loud tones come through like MIDI maybe and there are drum beats.   It has the sense of a television theme song or it could possibly even be 8bit here.    Beats and pleasant tones bring out ideas of it being either instrumental hip-hop or glo-fi, but either way it is quite good.

A crackling leads to soundscapes with dings.   Sampled and manipulated singing comes out with beats and then we get these funky jazz tones mixed with typewriter clanks to end Side A.   I realize there is probably something I am unaware of that makes those typewriter clank sounds but imagine someone actually pressing down the letters on a typewriter to create these songs?  That'd be kind of rad.

On Side B we start things off with the song called "You Are Inside Of Us" and it's kind of funny because I wanted to know which song we started this side on so I went to the Bandcamp page to listen to the digital portion- but just the beginning- to find the song by title.   Anyway, for some reason I decided to try and make them match up but I couldn't so I played the song through my laptop speakers digitally and through my cassette deck at the same time, one about a second behind the other, and it made for a really cool effect.   I'm not sure why, but I just felt like I needed to point that out.

Whirrs and footsteps-like beats begin Side B and there are stomps and whooshes as well.   It's more into serious beats now with an audio clip saying "We interrupt this program to bring you this important message".    Heavy clanking beats bring out rhythmic blues and skips.   It's into mechanical beat loops now with Twilight Zone type backgrounds.   It becomes lost in the static and then there is more stomping but it's fun and almost like this 8bit carousel ride.

When it comes right down to it, Outward Records is doing what everyone who releases cassettes should be doing by giving us a taste of Scares at first as a split and now an entire cassette just for Scares.    If you enjoyed Scares on the previous split then this cassette will come naturally for you and if you haven't heard of Scares yet then this is just another great reason to satisfy your ears.

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