Friday, March 2, 2018

Music Review:
Seth Graham
(Orange Milk Records)

I've listened to "Gasp" a number of times now (Even mistakenly typed notes on it calling it "Grasp") and I just don't have a good means of writing about it.   Typically, my review would be somewhere between four to six paragraphs and give you a play-by-play of what I hear.   Now, I don't do anything like "Then the guitar plays the A chord and the drummer hits the snare real fast" (but that would be amusing if someone broke down rock music like that) it's more of my describing sounds and how they make me feel but based upon my knowing little about how they are made.

The problem I'm having with "Gasp" is simply that the sounds I am hearing are too difficult for me to describe (I know, what good is a writer who cannot find the words) and in addition to that said fact of my fate, these songs are comprised of such sounds layered on top of other sounds to create something even more complex than I could ever have imagined.   (And yet somehow, at the same time, it all seems so minimal, no?) While I will admit that I'm accustomed to listening to new sounds, these new sounds are taken to a level which new sounds have not been taken to me before. 

Now let's be fair: you can't reinvent the wheel (cliche, I know) so maybe some of these sounds are ones I've heard before.   "Gasp" does open with this sort of drone that could be some keys or strings- I can't tell- but then it kind of alters to where it sounds like a sunrise, which let's be honest is a pretty impressive way to open any piece of music.    I feel like there are flutes in here, other such sounds from synthesizers and keyboards which could be used under the genre of electronic noise or even some sort of twisted jazz because, yeah, there are horns too.

Perhaps a part of my struggle comes not from the sounds but the manner in which they are being delivered.   I can only explain this cassette perhaps in one simple concept but you will have to understand it or else end up like the snipets of voices found within, used to damn us all to hell.   Throughout my entire life really there have been these keyboards which have existed and you can change the sounds the keys make so instead of notes they're dogs barking or any number of different things.   You know of which I speak, yes? (I have one, though it is not complex enough to include dogs but does have birds)

So imagine someone taking one of these sort of keyboards and playing something classical on it, a little Bach if you will, but under a setting of cats meowing.    How do you think that might sound?  I mean, they did make all those Christmas songs once where cats and dogs "sang" the parts and it was terrible but these sounds by Seth Graham are not terrible.  And so what you have to understand is that while a keyboard could have that option to change the sound- I can even make mine sound like a saxophone- you have to imagine a keyboard so complex that it's broken into pieces of sounds-- five keys here sound like a tuba, six keys here imitate voices, two keys here a flute, three keys here a cello, four keys here a violin, etc. etc.

Only when your mind can expand so as you can imagine this giant keyboard of sorts and the sounds which can be made from it, only then can you understand what "Gasp" sounds like.   Because it isn't enough that these sounds are being made to sound the way that they are in terms of what is being used to make them, it's also a driving force behind them in how they are being made- at what speeds and lengths.    Sounds which would often drone are muted.   Sounds which would often repeat are cut off.   It's unlike anything I've ever heard before but it's so refreshing.

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