Friday, September 4, 2015

Cassette Review: Efferat "The Enlightenment" (burnwardrecords)

Efferat has a total of four songs on "The Enlightenment" and the first three are about the same length combined as the final one on its own.    So, for this, there are three songs on one side and then the flip side is the final song.     You'd think with four songs they could have two on each side, but I kind of like when artists do this because I feel like you're somehow getting more music than if it was that even 2/2 split.   I feel like we're kind of cheating in a way because we're not sticking to the traditional rules of what an EP/cassingle should be like and I'm fine with that-- it makes me happy to some extent even.  

"The Enlightenment" begins with the sounds of a dark abyss and then these dings come out which sound slightly like a cash register to me.   Industrial gear grinding takes this from a calm dark place into something harsh.    Static souls begin to come through along with some sharpness and this has turned into an all out session of tortured and damned souls trying to escape the hell in which they are trapped.   Crashes come through along with some whirrs which can sound like speaking- and they might just be manipulated vocals to the point where the words themselves have become rather unclear.  

A short break and the next track brings about a ringing which goes back and forth as if crashing with waves.   A harshness of static comes through and any thought of this starting off peacefully is instantly crushed right there.    On the surface it sounds as if there is some sort of static laser gun being fired on a drone level and then behind that those waves that could almost be strings stil exist and the crashes also now appear to be coming through in the form of percussion.    This piece is layered as it has that sort of beauty and swan song behind it but on the surface it's just all about keeping your finger down on the trigger of that space laser static gun.    Though this is the front presence on this track there is a certain level of melody behind it all still.   

This third track comes through rather harshly at first and there are waves within it as well.    Hearing the static in the front of this again brings about ideas of the percussion and what can also sound like a banjo but I suspect is not going on behind it all.    It is the layering of these two tracks on one another which makes me interested to pick it apart but at the same time you don't go and dissect music with vocals to take out those vocals and see what it would sound like if it were only instrumental so I'm going to let this combination do its thing and just continue to imagine it as being two forces at war against themselves.   Tones are coming through now, at the end, as if they are church bells singing and they have replaced all other sound.   It's calm, peaceful and has that ending which provides closure and has you believing the world has come to an end.     

Some static is coming out now in an electronic way and it appears as if the side is not quite done yet and there is still some hope for survival as the music rages on.     While it may have seemed like that quiet time was to end the side in fact it appears to have really just been taking us into this next phase as a transitional type of role not for the closure.     The static does eventually fade as everything comes to a nice, neat little ending as it seemed to be trying to build to earlier but it just took a little bit of a longer way of getting there and I'm okay with that.  

The fourth and final song begins with some monk-like chanting and it has an ominous feel to it, as if you can tell based upon what was heard on Side A that this is going to kick in heavy at some point.   It's that calm before the storm, the preview of what you know is yet to come.    Cymbal crashes come out in a strong manner and you can just sense that it will break at any given second.    The delay seems to be in order to keep you on your toes as the second you begin to suspect this might not be as heavy as the songs on Side A it will come back to kick you in the face.     There is still that ohm chanting as there also appear to be some wind chimes coming in as well.    It's still about as much motion as a breezy day sitting outside though, as it has not really kicked into full throttle as of yet.     As some static comes in the drums begin to take a pounding and this has increased in the pace of it which only leads me to believe that it is growing into something much heavier but is just taking its time to get there and why shouldn't it since it is such a long adventure we need to keep our pacing goals realistic.  

Though the sound has intensified it is coming through as a bit of rock drone in the sense that it is electric rock with this feedback quality of something like The Who only without as much variation because it seems like Efferat is just finding a note and sticking with it.     It gets a little bit quieter and I'm pretty sure that I can hear birds chirping and I know it's in the music because my windows are closed and air conditioning is on due to a heatwave.     The sound begins to grow again as if a train chugging down the tracks.    With all of the other sounds within this song- and not just at this very moment but on the whole- I would say the biggest story it is telling is through the percussion and that especially comes with the cymbal crashes.     That big explosion of sound I was anticipating (and continue to anticipate with each listen) never did come but this piece was just as moving even if without it.     The cassette ends with the remains of what was dubbed over but, um, yeah I would just fast forward through that if I was you and stick with the Efferat.  

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