Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cassette Review: Binary Canary "click/blow"

[$10 // Edition of 40 //]

If there wasn't enough suggestions in the title "click/blow", this cassette by Binary Canary begins with static waves crashing and then a lone saxophone riff.    Other horns do find their way into the mix, which lends itself to the "blow" in the title, and this becomes a full on noise-jazz symphony.    With beeps and other whirrs we find some dissected electronic flurries, church bells and laser blasts.     Distortion comes in start/stop waves, R2D2 makes an appearance and there are just a lot of wavy whirrs and other sorts of loops on here.

Side B comes in with a loud and frantic saxophone blast, which is accompanied by something more along the lines of a bass horn.    As Side A started things off a little slower, a little quieter, such as the lamb, Side B is coming in as the lion.    The deep horns have the feeling of "Jaws" and then there are some other electronics mixed in as well.   This turns into something equal parts hollow and the suspense of an Alfred Hitchcock score.    Granted that "Jaws" feeling still lingers, but I can't help but imagine Hitchcock having directed it instead.   Some clicks and bubbles join what I believe to be a baritone sax, or at least it is something with that much deep bass.

A little spell comes underwater, calmly with only the sounds of sonar, so it is as if we have gone under the sea to escape the sharks, though I'm not sure there is such a possible way to go deep enough.    Frequency changes bring about whirrs which can leave room for the 8bit sounds and I begin to realize that there wasn't really a good underwater Atari game, was there?   There was that level on Super Mario Bros. that was entirely underwater, but Pitfall was in the jungle, even Frogger was in the streets.   I imagine Spider-Man shooting webs and swinging only underwater and perhaps a game I didn't know about did exist.

Frequencies once again change as the beeps come in and we begin to feel like we are perhaps in some sort of sci-fi movie and not underwater anymore.   It gets a little screechy as those sounds become heavier as well.    Horns come out in a somewhat sad manner, but it actually sounds more like it would accompany the story of some private detective in a pulp novel, you know the type that has the narrative.   He'd say something "I was working the beat" and "I hate dames but I need 'em" or something.   Maybe I'm just thinking of Eddie in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", which might also work on some level.

As it grows quiet, it seems to cut out but then comes back a little bit.   It seems to like to give that sense of false ending as the horn sound (which is some sort of sax I believe still) does return to play its sad solo once again.   A little bit of plugging into an amp type of static surfaces as well, and then we also get back into the robot noises such as R2D2 would make.   Does anyone else get a distinct vibe from this such as the club where Luke Skywalker meets Han Solo for the first time or am I just watching too much "Star Wars" lately?

Noises shine like helicopter rotations and I can't really explain what is going on while this horn plays its song any other way.   A small amount of beeping comes from the horns, but not like traffic.    It also kind of resembles the sounds you'd hear frogs make in some isolated swamp somewhere.    Other electronics begin to kick in again and we're back to the idea of R2D2 but something else in the electronics vein as well.   It gets loud, a little sharper now and as such it can remind me that not all sounds horns make are sad and somber.

If you should find yourself wanting to listen to a piece of music that you can close your eyes while listening to and sort imagine a story then Binary Canary is appropriate for that reason.   But at the same time, there is enough sound in here of horns and electronics that if you should happen to want to just listen to this on its own merits- without using your imagination at all (And sometimes with music that is okay)- then this cassette just as easily could serve that purpose.   Being that it is a two-in-one cassette in that way there really is no good reason for not having this in your collection and coming out of your speakers regularly.

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