Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cassette Review:
Dane Rousay
(Already Dead Tapes)

$5 //
Edition of 60 // //

A lone drum beat begins this cassette.  A cymbal crashes.   The percussion begins to do what percussion does: creates a rhythm.   It's banging.  It's loud.  If I had to put other instruments with the percussion, I would say it feels jazz-based.   Cymbal slides and it feels like we're banging on buckets here.   This has managed to start as one single drum and blossom into a full on rager with moments of chaos.  I also picture this as an isolated drum track- like back when studios would record each member of a band one at a time- but this definitely can stand on its own legs.   It doesn't need any other sounds.

Windchimes slowly bring out sounds of bells, but they are glass and hollow.   This has calmed down since the percussion but is still intense.   There is a ringing like a cash register.   Every strike to these bells precise and vital.   A back and forth now, as if a shaking.   Cymbals come out now as if they are winds washing over waves.   I suppose if you were at the beach and there was this calm of the wind and waves it could be rather relaxing, therapeutic, and yet these sounds are made with cymbals.    It really just goes to show you what percussion can truly do.

Cymbal skips and gongs bring about this feeling as if you are walking down the street with someone following you.   Your pace has to quicken, as the music does.    Drum rolls make this feel frantic and I'm not sure what's going on now but it would fit over a movie from the Hitchcock library rather well I would imagine.   A steady dinging comes out with the rhythm of the drums now and I nod my head along because it is infectious.   As this is the third track here, I feel as if in some ways it has combined the elements of the first two because there is that dinging/tapping onto a glass (or bells perhaps) type of sound mixed with that fast paced jazz drumming.

Drum rolls pick right up on the flip side.  A steady, rapid fire assault.   It has this very mechanical feel to it and though there is more than one drum stick here (and cymbal crashes show up) it has that urgency of someone tapping a pen against a desk.   It has that feeling where someone could get annoyed by it, but at the same time it's all just rhythm and that is what drives music.    I also feel like those who get upset over pen tapping in movies and television are already under a lot of stress to begin with so it just makes things worse, where as if you're listening to this you can find the rhythm comforting on some level.

Steel drum sounds build up and take us to a tribal place.  Cymbal crashes come in and this music begins to ride like a horse in the Kentucky Derby.   In that way, this makes me feel almost as if Dane Rousay could be creating sounds to be used on an old radio program, before the advent of television.   As the drums bang on through I wonder if they can acoustic or more importantly what that idea of them would be calling as this has a similar feel to it though not entirely.   Sticks are hit together and if you don't hear the horses going off to the races then you must live a life without Bugs Bunny in it.

Is that a horn now or the screeching of a string?  There is a definite scraping sound going on.  It feels like the intro to a Nirvana song and then some drums come in.   I wonder if Dane Rousay would ever cover that song from "Doug" where the words were all "Banging on a trash can..."   These drum rolls are heavy and I'm not sure how this is possible, how a human can do it.  Everything comes to a crash and those strings return, almost like a bee and yet almost like the cries of some wounded animal.    The drums return for one last run and then this sound as if the top of the case had been closed on them brings it all to an end.

If I were to simply tell you that Dane Rousay was a drummer and I believe all of the sounds on here to have been made by percussion you might think that it would lack something.   In fact, if you told me that I would think it rather absurd- a drummer with no other instruments?   I've heard just about every instrument by itself but I do believe drums (and bass guitar) are the only ones I haven't until now.   You can say that drums need to accompany another instrument, but on "DIVIDE", Dane Rousay says otherwise.

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