Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cassette Review:
Earth Universal
"Curtains of silence hung about the thing"
(Plaża Zachodnia)

€5 //
https://plazach.bandcamp.com/album/curtains-of-silence-hung-about-the-thing //

Robot beeps and modem electronics begin this cassette.    There are words somewhat spoken through these laser whooshes, but in a computer language.    It begins droning through, somewhat sharply, next.    A clanking, sort of shuffling, brings out these distant sounds and then church bells as well.    More talking now, but this time from someone different.    This is like "Land of the Lost" but there are these bells and glass type of sounds mixed in, which adds to it all.   There is this rhythm here, a tapping, frequencies become radio-like and then this revving hum comes through as well.

Electronic beeps come out as if you've dialed a phone number which is no longer in service.  A steady tapping as if a car is idling now.    It sounds as if there is background talking such as at an airport and then this frequency drone comes through and slightly alters itself up and down.   An eerie feeling comes through with this as well, somewhat "X-Files".     Things get quiet and then return with softer beats, as if something is being tapped on gently.  Big laser whirrs come through with this now.

These synth parts almost come through like "Tom Sawyer" and there is this ominous "Tron" style to it.    It really begins to come through rapidly now, which reminds me of something out of "Psycho" but then it can lean into something more modern like "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Friday the 13th", but still, a rather horror movie quality to it all here.    These short bursts come out like when you touch the sides in "Operation" and other more suspenseful tones screech through as well in back and forth patterns.    It is, in its purest form, electronic horror.    As it grows, it even feels as if it is beginning to talk.

More hollow hitting tones come through while these laser frequencies whirr and rotate.   Loud whooshes and these percussion bits seem to bring out the jungle.    Scrapes come through sharply now, as everything seems to be calming down, coming through more minimal.    This really begins to break down into electronic patterns now, which I'm really enjoying because in some ways it makes me feel like we're having the fall of technology.   So often, we might wonder (whether in song or film) what would happen if technology takes over, makes us less human, but we seem to wonder less what would happen if we woke up tomorrow without social media.

Words come through and then this fades out and returns as choppy distortion.   There is that banging beat again, as if someone is hitting something wooden perhaps.    A sharpness comes through now, like a ringing, and then it can change into these beep tones just as well.   This could next be the sound of a saw or dogs barking but it's behind these electronic car alarm type beeps so I'm not sure.    More beeping comes through but this sharpness prevails.    It begins to slowly settle down as Droids type electronics find their way in next.    Some glass tones seem to take us to the fade out and the end of Side A.

On the flip side we open with some more xylophone/bells type of sounds.  It's spatial.    Especially in regards to Side A, this is rather quiet and minimal thus far.     There is a footsteps feel to it, somewhat boiler room/sewer as well.    As the percussion comes through with more of a rhythm and there are some static bursts coming through you can also begin to hear what sounds like singing but I believe is simply talking only manipulated so it echoes and distorts.   It does seem to get close to resemble singing without actually being singing (I think) as these wind chimes come through with it.    It does grow rather trippy though, as if we have fallen down the rabbithole. 

Screeches come through now.   Bottles rattle.    Yelling.  Now banging as slight squeals come through.    A more magical sense comes through now, even though I can still feel the ringing effects of the screams we seem to be floating into space now.    A quiet fluttering now.  String plucks.    The sound of a music box.    Wood banging follows.   Deep, "Jaws" like synth comes in and out.    A rattling now as well.    It feels like someone is trying to open a wooden box of some kind.    It has that tribal feel again but also electronics blended with it.   A frantic drumming now as well. 

A sharp ringing comes through now with dinging and frequency whirrs added as well.   It has all seemingly built to this and once it reaches this climax, it fades back down into silence.    I still like my theory about thinking of what might happen if we were to lose technology and have to find ways to communicate with each other (I'd have to go back to printing 'zines at Staples) but this carries an almost night and day quality between sides but ultimately delivers a trip which I would highly recommend you take. 

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