Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Cassette Review: BBJr "Pareidolia" (Already Dead Tapes and Records)
[$5 // Edition of 60 // https://alreadydeadtapes.bandcamp.com/album/ad207-bbjr-pareidolia]
Whenever an artist whom I love (such as Bob Bucko Jr) comes together with a label that I love (such as Already Dead) I feel a sense of pride and validation. It's not that I particularly feel like I have any actual say as to what a label releases (because I do not, so please stop emailing me and asking), but I also love labels like Already Dead Tapes because they introduce me to so much great new music. In a lot of ways, when artists and labels I love come together like this, I begin to think of it as being like some sort of great crossover and I just embrace it because I'd listen to a cassette just because it was on Already Dead, but also I'd listen to a cassette just because it was BBJr. so it's like a double win.
The term "pareidolia"- which I had to look up- is defined as "a psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none actually exists" and to me that just sounds mostly like music, but even more specifically the type of music which people like to call "noise". I once thought that if you listen to something on the radio and read the sheet music for it then the sounds that something called "noise" would make is what is found in between those pop notes. I'm not sure that entirely makes sense, but based upon this title it also feels like the idea of what ambient music is because I like to think ambient music can be hallucinogenic.
From the start there are screeching strings and it's less about what strings BBJr. uses and more about what strings are not incorporated into these songs because most all of them seem to be found at some point. From acoustics to electric distortion, from heavy chords weighing down on you to individual notes delicately plucked, this is as full of as much beauty as it is distortion-- as much carefully produced beauty as it is destruction. The mood can be dark but within moments it can be just as calming and uplifting. It's a whirlwind of emotions but a ride you should definitely take.
I feel like a lot of life is based on confidence. If you believe in yourself, the rest will follow or something cliche such as that. But I also feel like the artists who believe the most in their music- put the most passion into it- are the ones who have the music which people are most passionate about. You can't make music with the intention for people to feel something for it if you don't truly feel something for it yourself first. In that way, in the way of the title as well, BBJr. creates music that you cannot help but be passionate about.
In the midst of all of this, we break down at one point into this pulp sax jazz experience and it just goes to show you that even if you think something is one way- as this is mostly made of strings- it can take that tour off the beaten path and then still manage to somehow find its way back. I think that there are a number of musicians out there who can seemingly shift genres in that sense, but it's always something that I've felt BBJr. could do best.
I know that it might feel like BBJr. makes a lot of music and it might seem difficult to keep up with it all, especially if you're reading this review and it's your first time hearing of BBJr. and then you're going through and looking at other reviews I've done of his music. I just... I don't think that there really is ever a good place to start when listening to the music of someone. You could always say "the beginning" and be cliche, but you don't have to go back to the very first album BBJr. ever created and listen to that first to truly appreciate this music. I enjoy that with the music of BBJr. you can just kind of dive in at any time and I've always admired that about BBJr.-- how accessible his music is.