Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cassette Review: Totally Boring "Otherbird" (Already Dead Tapes)

Totally Boring has an Andy Kaufman type vibe to their name.    It would be easy for someone to listen to this and crack an easy joke about how it is appropriately named because, well, not all people are ready for this type of music.    It's not to even say that Totally Boring make a genre of music that is actually boring (Though there have been compilations out there dedicated to ambient music not being boring), but I've even known people who have felt like anything that is instrumental is boring.   So, good.   Clear the phonies out of the room.   What?  You heard cassettes were cool again because of Urban Outfitters and want to check this out?  Yeah, stick with paying $19.99 for the new mainstream album to needlessly be on cassette and you can never listen to it-- just brag that you own it.

At first, the music of Totally Boring seems to have trouble coming out.   It might be that this is a flaw in the cassette.   While I can confirm this by listening to the digital version, I'd rather not because I'd like to think it is this way for a reason.   It's that "Hey, this isn't working right, let's not listen to it" type of vibe to start that could additionally detour those with ill intentions.    After the frequency seems to settle- like the fine tuning of a radio station- an ambient glow comes through in a drone sense.   There is a slight ringing, causing it to also be slightly wavy, but overall it does not really change or diminish-- it simply exists and radiates.

On the flip side there is a different type of sound.   Birds can be heard chirping amidst some other sounds which are celestial to say the least.    It even begins to get this FNL feel to it, something I haven't referenced in a long while.     A banjo slowly creeps through some crackles in the sound and this is still that same ominous ambient sound but with a different delivery than on the previous side.    It's almost a cross between whistling and wind chimes-- some higher pitching tones I cannot quite place but they are rather pleasant.   As we reach the end it becomes more clear as to why this is named the way that it is-- in terms of the album title that is.

While I understand that people could upset about an artist creating a name in a joking sense, you have to understand that this also might not be the case here.    Totally Boring could be a reference to something a friend might have told one of the band members (I, myself, was recently described by someone as being boring)    At the same time, it could be a matter of a reflection on the mainstream music all sounding the same.   In any case, it's a name worth talking about as much as this is a cassette worth flowing through your speakers.

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