Tuesday, May 8, 2018

CD Review:
Drvg Cvltvre
"Selected Ambivalent Works Volume II"
(Degenerate Trifecta)

$7 //
Edition of 50 //
https://degeneratetrifecta.bandcamp.com/album/selected-ambivalent-works-volume-ii //
🎧 //

We begin with carousel ride loops with static bursts mixed in.    It sounds like thunder crashing now and I just imagine being stuck on one of these amusement park rides while a storm breaks out.   Some banging takes us to the end of the first track and right away I can notice the difference in length between some of these songs and that always interests me.  Sometimes I feel like people want to do three fifteen minute songs or eleven four minute songs, but when there is a combination of the two it makes me feel like the songs are about the music and not focused on length.

Whirrs and darkness come through in this hollow void.   It is minimal smoke and fog, somewhat like a horror movie.  I'm thinking Friday the 13th.   Sounds more like cars speeding around the track come through now.   Whirrs make me feel as if they're revving up and yet somehow I still feel like this is all set in space, but I refuse to imagine it as the pod races in that first Star Wars prequel.    There is this rocking back and forth sound now, like a rusty seesaw.    But it could just as easily sound like birds for some reason.   The background beat begins to intensify now.   It remains somewhat eerie.

It's this great rumbling now near the seven minute mark of the second song, as if something is brewing.    The way this is looping, this sort of unhinged portion of it sounds like it is trying to say something.    We quickly switch now to what sounds like a triangle and some ominous whooshes.   The dings of the triangle remain as this whirr takes over that sounds like a car trying to turn over to start up.  The triangles keep triangling (?) but that whirring cuts out quickly and I feel like times like that really alter your perception of hearing but it's so great.

Back into that hollow void we find what feel like voices and just this ambient build of darkness.   It's like being in a cemetary with fog all around on the ground.    There are these clicks, little Droid beeps here and there.    A banging.  Perhaps a car door opening and closing.  It feels like a static storm.   Laser gun shots make me feel like we're running through the woods now and yet I'm reminded of Tron for some reason at the same time.   Static comes through as a rainstorm and there are small skips behind it as if someone is laughing.   It could be like the spraying of a hose in a rainstorm but it just sounds like a hyena to me for some reason.

The heart beat comes in.  Th-thump.  Th-thump.  Some screeching distortion effects slightly back there as well.   This clicking sound is back and forth and it sounds like gunshots in the background of it all.  The rain persists, but then morphs into this ambient drone.   Ultimately it just strips down to these beats, this eerie drone tone and those clicks of synth which go back and forth.   The rain has returned as well and now I'm left to wonder if it was there all along.

Seven opens up sounding like a rainstorm right away, but not just a rainstorm as it seems to have the crashing of waves, like we're in this storm but we're also at sea.   Those sort of higher pitched tones come through within it now.    I just keep hearing those waves crashing.    It feels like the radio frequency is changing, trying to find a station which comes in, and then we settle on this bass line that's ripping through like a flag flowing very quickly in the breeze.  It's got a certain sense I can't place but these other tones are still here.   Some tones now which sound more like a lullaby come through but there is still this slight screeching so it is not your ideal music for dreaming.

It's funny because sometimes my earbuds make a noise similar to the sharpness coming out in this track and I have to kind of mess with them to make it stop.   I can turn the volume on the cassette all the way down and I can still hear that sharpness.  This feels like such a calm, beautiful piece of music which has somehow been altered by the glitching of my Walkman and yet, this is a CD so that is not the case. 

Somehow we've just ended up with this really deep bass now that sounds like the foghorn on a barge droning us out to sea.   Small, delicate little tings come in here and there with laser whooshes that could take us back to that race track.  Before I felt we must be in space and now I'm thinking the ocean so this has definitely been an adventure and it's not even over yet.

A pinball game comes out next and it definitely feels as if we're hitting the high score.   In a whoosh, this song ends and we pick up some dark beats now.  The feeling on this is mechanical, somewhat like a funhouse gone wrong at times.   A loud ringing comes out next.  Steady beats.   Ghosts or some kind of lost souls perhaps.   Bits of electronics and that bell rings again as if we're in the old west and it's time for a showdown.   But the near static skipping of these beats mixed with the handheld electronic beeping is something oddly soothing when combined like this.  

This can also sound like Mario hitting the bricks to collect those coins before we drop into this rather dark place.   There are distorted vocals coming through here and this just seems haunted more than ever now.  It also has this drone which is somewhere between an accordion and traffic.    That grinding on the end of the song resembles construction.   We hit hard next though with big distorted beats and clicks to accompany them.   It's rapid fire and a lot like fight music.    Back and forth tones sing "Star Wars" in my head.   It's really just banging it out here.  

Static bursts in rapid fire bring us to this bouncing electronic ball.    There is a shaker and electronic unzipping now.    This begins to blare through and all I can think of is someone looking back at this years from now and commenting "You used that term 'electronic unzipping' incorrectly.  It's more of an electronic zipping as you can clearly hear the zipper going up, not descending".   This has a lot of beeps and clicks as well.   It's getting chaotic now.    But sometimes it's just this ringing while it feels like that ping pong ball cannot be contained.     There is a lot to digest on this CD, as it comes to its close, but if you have the time and energy I would highly recommend it.  

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