Thursday, April 26, 2018

Cassette Review:
Star Turbine
"The Great Distortion"
(Aphelion Editions)

£5 //
Edition of 45 // //

"The Great Distortion" begins with some talking that sounds like a transmission coming from space.   I'm not just saying this because of the name Star Turbine, as it really does have that "Houston... *crackle*... we have a problem" feel to it.   Some static and faint whistles come through before lightsabers.  A sequence of three syllables which may or may not be words comes through on a loop next alongside some background static and other noises which make me feel either like we are on a playground with children or in space.   Music comes through briefly as if we are scanning radio channels.    This song takes a turn into that radio frequency vibe now.

The sound of metal clanking comes out next.   It's somewhere between someone banging on a steel drum and someone taking the metal siding off of a house.   A more classical music sound comes through with this now and for some reason it makes me feel like I'm listening to music during some time of old informational black and white film, something they would have showed in the military perhaps.   Records begin to whirr now.   Static bursts and slight screeches come through now.  It's partially like a trumpet or similar instrument and partially like that little demon kid trying to come through the screen in "The Ring".

Quieter twists and turns become a video game sequence now.   There is a definite Atari vibe here.    There is also that feeling of it being like a car engine starting up around the racetrack.   Words come out now I think and there are a few moments where there are these sharps sort of tones being manipulated to get higher in pitcher and softer and it just feels like they are making words.   I'm not sure if it's the audio illusion that has them seemingly making words or if it's simply that they are words being manipulated but either way it is quite interesting to take in.

On the flip side we have more of a tribal drum feel to start things off.   Whirrs make this feel trippy like the Land of the Lost.    Someone is talking now while there is also quite a bit of banging going on.   In the distance, the radio is playing sounds which feel haunted.  This feeling of it being haunted maintains as this just has that horror movie vibe to it.  It's more intense, like the way you would feel with some combination of Jason Voorhees and Jigsaw.   It's not a straight up slasher: it's more of a "He's in the house!" vibe as I feel like I can even hear footsteps now.

It takes on a moment of silence and then the sounds come back.  In a flash, everything has changed.  Listening to this particular part of this cassette feels much like I would imagine it would to watch a snuff film and I'm okay with that.    Don't struggle; you will only make it worse.   I don't care how big of a name you are, people didn't pay to see this movie to watch you make it out alive.   People paid to see their favorite horror monster kill you. 

Clanking sounds a little bit like ping pong now and I'm not sure why.   This takes me out of my comfort zone with the whole horror movie vibe though.    Strong whirrs and whooshes just make it feel like we are meeting the end now-- a final harsh synth coming through, somewhat like a monster I cannot describe and somewhat like a chair being pushed across the floor.  A ringing of a phone can briefly be heard- back when they had touchtone.   It sounds wavy now and I hear this voice come through briefly.

Then it hits me.   I was picturing this as happening inside a cabin in the woods somewhere, like that movie "Cabin Fever".   But it all makes sense now.  This is in space.   Something which we have not seen the likes of yet is destroying the crew of this spaceship and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.   All we can do is witness the horrors as this audio was sent back to Earth somehow.  At least, that's how I hear this and it's better than anything Hollywood has done for quite some time.

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