Thursday, May 3, 2018

Cassette Review:
Be My Friend In Exile
"Portraiture Of Your Ashes / Dancing Through the Rubble of an Abandoned Cathedral"
(Aphelion Editions)

£5 //
Edition of 45 //

What begins with an ambient feel turns a bit darker and then comes through in a ghostly manner.   This is rather atmospheric and can be haunted in ways at the same time.   It just builds and drones like you want to relax but have to also remain on edge.   There is a sense of bugs swarming which kind of sounds like ringing.   This ultimately fades and then a stronger droning vibe comes through in a crystal way to the point where it feels like someone is singing along with it.   As you listen closer to the song "Autopsy" you realize there are in fact words being sung through this abyss and it is such a desolate feel.  

A more certain darkness takes over now as clanks and bangs turn into a solid drone which makes me think of something from "The Crow" soundtrack.   A more mechanical feel, as if something coming from a factory, somehow also manages to bring about this suspenseful sound like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.    Static fills the darkness and tones come through which make me think of organs for some reason but it may very well be guitar notes.   There is this sound, this feeling, as if this is the march of a dead man.  I'm not sure why, but as this song plays all I can think of in my mind is "Dead man walking" but maybe that's because it has this vibe to it like The Undertaker's old WWE theme.

The flip side begins with more ambient uplifting tones, similar to how things began on Side A.   Sharp clicks lead to clanking and then the static of it all sort of fizzles out.  Louder notes come in and out but not in a wavy way, more like sticking their nose in someone else's business.   Sharper, hollow tones come through in a slower chillwave way.  Yes, this is even slower than chillwave somehow but it just works.  It has turned to a more relaxing feel on Side B here which is definitely good because it gives you time to breathe, to reflect.

Oriental tones come through next which really make me think of China.   Static and whirrs come through as well.    Electronics drop like water in the hourglass and the clock also ticks to its own rhythm, keeping time not only over us but over everything.   As peaceful as this song might seem it sends that rather urgent reminder that time is running out for all of us.   Guitar notes play though this could be a sitar at this point as well.   It has that kung fu vibe to it and not just because I watched that "Mortal Kombat" movie last night.   Frequencies come through like wind now but also kind of screechy.   It sort of howls but it's hollow.     

As it drifts away, I always tend to feel like the cassette has taken a long enough break that it could be over.   But it returns with this angelic feeling, like something from Lost Trail, and there is also singing in here.   It's like a heavenly choir.   This takes us all the way to the end not just for Side B but thus for the entire cassette.  This doesn't feel nearly as long as it says it is but between partially being on the edge of my seat and relaxed I feel this does have more of a relaxing quality to it- which you will hopefully settle into the more times you listen to it as well.

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