Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cassette Review:
Mr. Transylvania
"Young Master in Love With Himself"
(Already Dead Tapes)

$5 //
Edition of 60 //  //

I remember when this cassette came out around last Halloween.  It only seemed fitting to me to have this as a release around that holiday.  And here I sit, writing about it a few days before Easter.   You know what I was for Halloween last year?  Busy.  I was in the midst of being removed from my apartment among other things and, yeah, my life was just a mess back then.   And here I sit, four months since moving into my new place (because it's time to do things like clean the fridge and bathtub) and I can't help but think how far I've come.   How far have you come in these first three months of the year 2018?

Mr. Transylvania is unlike anything on Already Dead Tapes, which says something but not everything because Already Dead has such a vast roster.   I'd very easily say that Mr. Transylvania sounds like nothing I have ever heard before.   At first, I can hear a distorted voice coming through and think it is trapped in that distortion, which brings out a somewhat demonic feeling.   As the cassette goes on though, the songs are comprised of less and less and for the most part just become a voice.

Sometimes this voice makes words and other times it feels as if it does not.   It can sound the way a synth or other instrument would create music.   But on the whole I like to think of this as being a display of vocals and nothing else.  There is a song called "Macho Madness", which I can recognize because of the audio clip of Randy Savage being sampled.  Although, nothing is ever really played back in the right order.  It's like Mr. Transylvania takes these poems or even just singular thoughts, records them and then jumbles them up.   (There is a cymbal on "Alligator Man" though)

If I needed to compare this with someone I couldn't.  I'm not sure if anyone is out there making music right now which sounds like this.     These songs are short and I'd say to the point but on something seemingly as simple as "Fuck Fuck Fuck" you'd be proven otherwise.    When Side B comes on with the live tracks though you see what this is really about in a lot of ways.   To get up in front of people without instruments to accompany you (or even often times drown out vocals) leaves you rather vulnerable.

There is also this sense of getting into people's faces-- this would not be a live performance for someone who didn't want to possibly be shouted at it would seem.  And I'm not going to lie (as I try to keep these reviews as on the level as possible) maybe only 40% of the people who hear this are going to actually get it.    Aside from the being raw and vulnerable, unique and groundbreaking, I'd say one of the greatest qualties to Mr. Transylvania is that he has a similar approach to what I thought of when I first heard drone and noise music.

You can hear that type of music (and even this) and think "That doesn't sound too difficult.  I feel like I could do that".   You know, like that movie "My Kid Could Paint That" or whatever.   I mean, all you need is a voice and then to figure out how to chop up the words and switch them all around-- which only happens sometimes, mind you.   But it's not as easy as that.   If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.  That's probably what I enjoy most about Mr. Transylvania: he makes this look easy.

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