Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Cassette Review:
Andrew Tasselmyer
"Places Real and Imagined"
(Polar Seas Recordings)

Sold Out //
Edition of 50 //
https://polarseasrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/places-real-and-imagined //
🎧 //

This starts off quietly.   Slight static scraping, but it feels as if ambient hues are building in the background.   It's a cross between waves and footsteps.   It is very minimal.   A quiet crackle.   Tones, almost like an alien spaceship signal, come through faintly.   There is this magic feeling to it as well.    As this first track comes to a close, I can say it has been rather calm, peaceful.    Things pick right back up on the second track, a droning tone such as you might hear from Lost Trail.

A loud sort of grumbling comes into the song now.  It's this higher pitched droning mixed with this lower pitched sound which could be the roaring of a brook.    Some scrapes sneak through but this maintains its angelic type drone scene.    This is a somewhat near perfect example of an ambient drone soundscape.    It's that feeling like your world is blurry and this is the sound which puts it into focus, a shifting of the lense if you will.

Tones come through in a less droning way now and it reminds me of FNL.   Sounds which could be the cries of nature make their way into the picture as well.   Ringing tones, more like glass bells come through next with this whooshing which could easily be running water.   It still maintains a calm to it all but is less droning now.   There is more crackling now, like a fire, and some field recording type noises, like a person doing something but I'm not sure what exactly.   Use your mind and imagine the story.

A slow, gradual build comes out here as well.   Whirrs are hidden in the background and this begins to take on a feeling of isolation, drifting.    There are various ways to feel lost and just without anything around you for miles and miles-- really as far as the eye can see even though you can spend time searching and still find nothing, but I really think of this as being set in space as Side A comes to a close.

Ambient hues open up the flip side in waves.  Slight crackling while there are these sounds like banging, just being around the house and doing things but in such a light and minimal way.    It continues to open up on what is the sixth song overall but second on Side B and it just has this heavenly sense to it now, as if we have died and are ascending.   It feels like organ drone to some extent, which might be why I'm thinking of the church, but there are still these crackles and bumps mixed in as if someone is shuffling around something.

There are some definite water leaking type of vibes coming through here as well.  This shifts us into a much louder soundscape where it sounds as if someone is not only opening a door but is doing so within an empty room as it tends to echo rather loudly.   I like to think of this as being after this person spent so much time lost in space, was finally found, put in a room with other dead bodies as they were presumed dead but are in fact still alive and like "Johnny Got His Gun" this is a fight to prove just that.

Those ringing ambient hues persist in spite of all of this.   This continues to ring out ambient drone as if a heart monitor reaches its final beep.   Only solidary footsteps can be heard now, as if someone has exited the room.   This is it.  This is death.   These slightly wavy hues come in now as if to signify the afterlife.   We thought we were headed there before but we were wrong.   Now it really is the time.   There is this grating sound, almost raking coming through as well, and this whole song just feels so heavy.  If you listen to it enough, you might be able to convince yourself that despite the sound you have somehow ended up in Hell and that sound of a shovel dragging across the pavement is really your sentence.  

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