Friday, June 8, 2018

Cassette Review //
Grant Evans

$7 //
Edition of 100 // //

"Vessel" begins with sharpness coming through in blips and waves.   It has this feeling of something between a modem glitching and someone trying to send a distress signal.    If you listen to this in a calm and open environment it makes for the optimal experience, at least for me, because you want to have these sort of squeaky wheels sounds taking over your entire area rather than confined through headphones.   It's the grinding feedback which grows louder and sounds like clanking as well.   There is very much a machine based sound to this all, as if we are in that type of factory, but it isn't in the standard sense more of an "accident at the factory" type of way.   I recall the movie "The Machinist".

A slight buzzing comes through now and this feels like a minimal score to "JAWS".   Electronics are all over the place here as this feels like what happens when a droid goes insane.   In a similar way that dogs are opposed to high pitches, I feel like this might offend robots should we meet them as our overlords in several hundred years.   Chugging like a train now with some louder, looking for radioactive materials sounds and then it all kind of calms down into almost nothing.   It still feels like we're on a train though, which is odd.   It's this slow compression of sound. 

It's grown quieter now, with only a small amount of sounds being made behind everything else.   I feel like this is a good time to put on the earbuds, but that is how this can be confusing-- usually I feel something is best one way or another and here on "Vessel" Grant Evans creates a sound that I want to have warnings for while I listen to it such as "Headphones on!" and "Headphones off!"   I suppose you could just keep the headphones on the entire time but what is the fun in that?  The beginning of this just needs to be played loudly and then when it gets to this deeper static with hidden electronics it needs to be heard more clearly, closer even.

Louder ringings and heavy breathing like Darth Vader bring about moments of static as if being shocked.   This whole part right now just came through so much louder than how it was before- the levels changed- and it would be the sign to take the headphones off if you put them on.    Electronic pulses chirp through with failed radio transmissions.   There is this certain feeling, as if we are stuck in space with no way to communicate that we need to come home.   Even though we haven't all been to space, we have all felt like that at some point in our lives, no? 

On the flip side the electronics start off more bliss-filled, more dreamy.    As it somewhat trills through in this morse code kind of way this is the definition of celestial electronics.    Robotic beeps and such come through now and it has this feeling for some reason that reminds me of being in a butterfly garden.  Whooshes of air come through with some screeching and this has shifted to minimal electronics now, just this stream of tones.   A soft helicopter type of sound comes through now, the overall idea of robotics still secure. 

Silence takes over now.   There is something about silence on a cassette that can't be replicated digitally.   Is the cassette over or just the song?  You could easily check Bandcamp or your choice of digital music player and see the track being 4:24 into it with the total time being 10:17 (This is just an example of random numbers) but not being able to see those numbers while listening to a cassette just adds to the experience.   This ambient hue comes through briefly and then there is this pulse racing, but it's all so quiet you would need headphones for this part for sure. 

A banging brings this back to some sort of loudness, some sort of sense of knowing that it isn't over yet.     Some ambient type of beats come through now and it feels like we're floating through the air as this remains minimal but still has that synthwave vibe to it overall.   It has this feeling like Yves Malone but in a more minimal way, which is weird for me to say because I feel in some ways the music of Yves Malone is already minimal.   This sort of trails out and it feels as if we've been left in space to die, which again is one of those qualities I think we can all appreciate regardless of whether or not we've been in space.

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