Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Cassette Review:
"Moon Palace"
(Midnight Circles)

€5 // //

I've actually reviewed Chemiefaserwerk twice before.   I tend to look up my past reviews through Blogger and when I put in Chemiefaserwerk nothing came up and yet when I looked at my "cassettes.html" page I found both the review.   There was a cassette on Self-help Tapes and also "Trajet" which I did not call by name in my review.   Still, Chemiefaserwerk has been somewhat busy with singles and EPs but according to Discogs there has only been one album since the one on Blue Tapes and that's not been two long so it does kind of make sense.

"Moon Palace" is split simply into two different parts called "Moon Palace A" (on Side A) and "Moon Palace B" (on Side B) unless it was just meant to be something like "Moon Palace - Side A" and it was shortened but I like this idea better.   This begins with somewhat quiet whooshes and whirrs, fading in and out, sounding kind of like we are at an airport listening to the planes take off and land but in a muted way.    Scrapes and laser drops slowly begin to come into the song now and it has a distinct feel to it, as if something is happening all too entirely on purpose but I cannot figure out what.

It's like using a metal detector to find something, perhaps the way they search a plane crash site for the black box.  This brings about a lot of squeals which intensify to the point where it all comes to a head, stops and sounds only like a dripping or perhaps foot tapping.    There is this soft droning static mixed with what I can only think of as tapping now and the two together form this rhythm which is hypnotic and as we reach the end of Side A it fades off into the sunset.

Things calm down and get quite quieter on the flip side of this.  There is a minimal amount of static coming through, a small amount of that tapping and then even some sharper pitched tones but they seem buried behind this all as well.  It is an experience best fit for headphones and I really feel like I should just start putting a little headphone emoji next to my reviews when I feel like they are best experienced that way.  It does grow a little louder, with the sharpness becoming a little sharper as well.

Squeals and darkness make me feel like we're in a sewer with robotic rats and that is pretty much one of my nightmares so why isn't it a horror movie yet?  Imagine you see this giant rat coming at you, like the size of a small dog, and you fear for your life so you try to stomp on it with your boot or pick up a pipe and smash it but that just rips the fur off and exposes its metal underbody and you realize you're a goner.   Granted, this music doesn't create such terror in a direct way but sometimes it's more about the things which are left unsaid by the songs.

A little back and forth type beeping brings about a sound which almost reminds me of "The X-Files".   This could very easily be minimal electronics now.    It gets quieter again and I hear waves crashing as if the ocean has gone out to sea but I remember the sewer and think about how sometimes water flows down tubes more than other times and am beginning to wonder if that would be the only way to defeat the ratking.   This brings out a guitar piece now, which is a series of notes and just seems to be so random and yet so fitting for this cassette.

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