Monday, June 25, 2018

Cassette Review //
Chelidon Frame
"Left Blank"

€6.50 // //
🎧 //

Quietly, this cassette begins with a drone as if it going to fade in.   There are some slight sounds in the background- tones and creaking.   As soon as you press play on it you can really tell it's going to be best for headphones.  It fades out just as easily as in and then there is this sound of traffic as well.   There also feels like there is this muted marching sound and it makes me feel as if there is a march off in the distance and I'm not sure whether or not to be concerned about it.

The tones take on a darker drone now, more suspenseful.    As we get into these chopped up whirrs it begins to sound as if something- a baby animal of some sort perhaps- is crying and then it turns into a more solemn, slowed FNL vibe as I can feel us just drifting into the afterlife.   It has a quieter jungle feel to it as well, which makes me think of the movie "Predator" because it's eerie in the way that something could pop out from behind a tree (or jump down from one) and end you.

Raking now comes through quietly and this all has a rather quiet vibe to it (I feel like I'm using the word "quiet" a lot) and it's minimal to the point where at times it feels like nothing.     Slightly louder tones stand out now and they could be the victorious blasts of a trumpet if they were louder or the electronic beats of a disco if they were faster.   At their pace and volume it just feels so serious, which is not a bad tone to have.   There is a sense of this being a life-changing time in an independent film.

Remember when I said it got so quiet and minimal it could feel like nothing?  That happens more than once and sometimes you think "Oh, this cassette must be over" and you're expecting it to autostop and then tones and buzzing come in and you're right back at it.    This begins to take on a definite sense of something out of "The Twilight Zone".   You can feel that tension in it where you're just waiting for something to happen. 

The first time I listened to it, I was kind of on the edge of my seat (Everything quiet otherwise) and the pipes in my bathroom made a noise and startled me.   It's that kind of shock-scare.    It sounds like banging on a pipe a bit and then is just this static crumpling with beeps and what also sound like footsteps at the same time.    A beat begins to move and it sounds as if some birds are making jungle noises.   Still, this carries that heavy tone it that I feel like when you're done listening to it is something you really have to snap yourself out of and back into reality.

Slowly, we build back in with this space race synth that makes me feel like we're blasting off.     This cassette has perhaps one of the best ways of making you listen and really listen closely to it because you have to wonder what you're hearing.   The thing about this is that both ambient and drone music (which this could be filed under can still have a strong, ringing presence where it's not misunderstood.   On "Left Blank" though you can sometimes get confused as to whether or not you're hearing certain sounds and there needs to be a name for that as well because it's sort of the opposite of the brashness of something such as heavy metal.

An eerie sort of field recording starts things off on Side B.    As the wave of distortion grows, it brings in these crystal-like sounds as well.   Static comes through the transmission as well.    There is this certain sound to this now as it becomes so powerful, commanding.   The beats really don't "come in" as much as they break through at this point and it just has this rhythm to it that you feel like you've been waiting for this entire time.     This just continues to really drive home the song here and it has that "Alias" way about it as well.

The next song calms things down and has a glowing ambient aspect.   As the tones pick up now like light, I'm beginning to feel some definite FNL vibes in here.     You can slowly feel it beginning to rebuild, resurface, but the quiet word is still the one we're going back to once again.     A sort of bubbling comes through with the electronics now and the way this drones also feels hypnotyzing.   There is this quality to it where I feel like it's doing something subliminally because when the sounds cease it makes me feel weird-- it really kind of messes with your sense of sound.

Voices can be heard speaking in the background now, though they come out somewhat like demons, and there is this electronic bubbling sound which you also need to hear to get.    Tones go through now like a carnival.    Once again, that eerie sense of maybe "Stranger Things" this time comes through as tones to be taken seriously (And perhaps be a little scared of as well)   A quieter, softer sense of "Knight Rider" or Yves Malone comes out now.     Some sharpness comes through now as well, static as if a television cannot find the station.

Someone speaks now though it sounds like an audio clip.     These eerie feeling vibes keep coming through with these soft static beats and that is how this whole cassette comes to a close.  I'm not sure if sound has been able to manipulate other senses or not but I have this strong smell of sourdough bread right now- which is odd and unexpected- and I'm not sure if that means anything or not.   For as slow moving and as close to minimal drone as the majority of this cassette can seem, it certainly doesn't feel like it goes by in the amount of time-- it all goes by much quicker, but isn't that just life?

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