Wednesday, July 9, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: wm johnson “C R A W L” (Holy Page Records)

                What’s in a name?  If this was by an artist known as “William Johnson” I would assume that it was either a) Going to sound like Jack Johnson’s brother or b) Have a folk country feel to it in that acoustic Americana sense.   But this is wm johnson, and as such you shouldn’t really guess as to what you might expect on what the name isn’t.

                “C R A W L” begins with some bass synth and lasers, then adds in slightly some sharp feedback noises.  It’s got this definite Darth Vader drone to it, only to be mixed with boings and dark, twisted 8bit.   It’s not the happy go lucky 8bit I’m used to, or the serious, pressure is on 8bit either, but I definitely like it because it’s bringing something new to an already existing genre I enjoy.

                Side B has deep static whirrs and waves.  It has some notes that come out like a keyboard organ perhaps, and it also somehow manages to retain its 8bit qualities.    There is some static, like a bug zapper, and then it begins sounding like an all out Atari space war (in the 8bit sense, specifically the Return of the Jedi game for Atari 2600).  

                I’m not sure who’s winning the war or losing it in the long run, but anyone who listens to this is certain to get the high score.   It’s a sort of video game space odyssey that will have your mind battling and it simply needs to be heard. 

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