Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cassette Review: Māpura Music (dubbed tapes)

$1 //
Edition of 40 //
https://dubbedtapes.bandcamp.com/album/m-pura-music //

Based on what the Bandcamp site tells me about Māpura Music I feel like it is a revolving collective with different artists getting together to collaborate and perhaps not the same groups of people all the time.  That being said, you can check the Bandcamp page for yourself and see who took part in this exactly but to have future sessions recorded and released on cassette would be quite fun.

This cassette opens with dark, brooding beats.   Laser beeps come through and there are some sort of vocals though I cannot fully describe them because they are somewhat muted.   What this reminds me of most is the song "Come With Me" by Led Zeppelin.   As the songs go on we have someone saying "Define me!" or possibly "Defy me!" I'm not sure.   While the music leaves a lot open to how you want to hear it, I feel like the vocals do as well.   A different sort of vocals come through and I feel like I heard applause. 

On this next set of vocals there are maybe not words so much as sound patterns.  They have these clicks (not in the vocals but rather the accompanying music) and it can just feel tribal overall.   At this point as well it has broken down to these vocals and very little else.  It is minimal.   For pop purposes, this reminds me of Kimbra.    Dissect it from there to whoever you enjoy that is not as mainstream as Kimbra because I know there are artists out there you like that sound like Kimbra but aren't.

Acoustic plucks make me think of a ukelele and then the lines come out with "If I told you I was perfect I'd be lying".   Clanks come through which sound like bells being smashed.  "Nothing on you" is repeated to form a strange song as well, but it seems only fitting within these other songs.   The vocals begin to overlap as well.   By the end of Side A we are taken into the song "Sunshine" which is what you would expect it to be if it was on any other cassette but, yes, this does go into that "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine" song and I guess at some point this becomes so bizarre that only the normal begins to feel out of place.

Guitars bring out vocals which then turn into these frequency type sounds.   This all seems to come full circle though as the tapping of percussion seems to bring back the vocals and even a slight amount of guitar with it.   This is a really experimental sound but it is also soft, minimal at its core.    As this cassette has gone thus far it has not been in your face or anything like that.   It could be a kind of noise, but it's a more mellow noise.  Is ambient noise a genre?   Can you experiment with sound while maintaining a weird relaxing quality to it as well?

A tambourine shakes as a different kind of vocals come out.  I have a tambourine I like to bang and shake around and I'm kind of surprised I don't hear them more in music, though perhaps they do exist more and I just don't recognize them for what they are, but yes, if you're going to make music and want to do something I haven't heard a lot then pick up a tambourine.   I definitely heard applause this time so it feels like not only are these different artists getting together to play they also are doing so in front of an audience.

"Lonesome Storm" has an acoustic guitar/Johnny Cash/borderline country feel to it and I think the performer is the same as on "Sunshine" but don't quote me on that.    A lot of jingling comes through with other sounds as well, which you should come to expect by now, so this strays a bit from its initial sound but, again, I would expect nothing less.   I'm just surprised they somehow managed to time this so that both sides ended with similar styles of songs.   Though, "Lonesome Storm" has a xylophone at the end which "Sunshine" did not. 

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