Monday, April 16, 2018

Cassette Review:
Dale Cornish
(Midnight Circles)

€5 // //

This begins with a quiet helicopter type of whirr sound.   These tones come out next with quiet whooshes.   The way they loop and have a pattern almost makes it feel like an alarm.   It feels as if we are trapped somewhere and trying to signal for help.   This turns into more of a jingling banging, possibly a bass drum and then what could be a cowbell or perhaps a cymbal of some kind.   It's a lot of banging in rhythm and it might not entirely be typical percussion instruments but I've always been a fan of this type of idea as I've enjoyed banging on things and wondering what the actual music instrument version of such an object would be.    Feel that trill.

Next I hear what sound like wooden sticks moving and it feels to me like it would be oars for rowing only I don't hear any water.   They have a sport of rowing so I imagine those teams might practice outside of the water and this could be similar to that.   But there is also this hammering type of sound (with a wind in the background) and it makes me feel like this is instead part of some type of construction-- someone is building something.   Those darker "Law & Order" synth tones are coming out now.    As of right now this seems to be heavily focused on sound responding to other sound, almost in an echoing way.

What sound like footsteps (or stomps) lead the beats now as someone seems to be saying a single word ("Bom"?) to go along with it.    This next part sounds like an old fashioned jack-in-the-box and it might very well be but it also could be a xylophone.    Though they also could be wooden wind chimes or some sort of piano with wooden keys-- is that a real thing?  This song takes us to the end of Side A and as I'm reading the Bandcamp page, I glanced at it before and saw what looked like a lot of tracks I just didn't realize they were going to be this short but I'm definitely enjoying it so far.  (Nothing sticks around long enough to become overbearing)

Side B opens with static like it's windy and someone is talking.   I'm not sure what these next sounds are but they create a pleasant melody as they loop in a pattern.  They could be guitar string plucks, the more that I think about it.    It almost sounds like the type of song they'd play on a game show while giving you time to think over the answer to a question.  In some ways, this whole cassette feels like a game show where each sound comes on and you only have a limited amount of time to name what is making it.

Hollow crystals come out next in some sort of sharp yet pretty way.   This next part definitely sounds like a whistle in an alarming way and that turns into the sound of a heartbeat.   The heartbeat type sound speeds up though, which makes me think it is being made in a different way than I'm used to and is perhaps some form of percussion.    A deep, underwater sound comes out next, complete with the sonar beeps.   Wow this sounds like something out of "Jaws" but might be a bass guitar.   Softer tones come through next, which remind me of "Pole Position".    But it does also have that lightbulb feel to it.   Quieter synths come out like breathing and they almost sound like an accordion while giant canon shots are fired in the background (but it might just be a huge bass drum). 

One thing which I always wish I knew more about was music in a technical sense.  I get these little patterns of notes like "la-la-la-la-la" stuck in my head sometimes (or I whistle them) and I wish I knew what notes they were so I could and sit at a keyboard or guitar and play them accordingly.   At the same time though, I feel like that would ruin music for me in some ways.   Songs I take pleasure in now I would just laugh at and say "It's such a simple G to C progression" or whatever.   Sometimes the best part is not knowing and Dale Cornish has that mystery where you don't always know quite what you're hearing but it is good.

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