Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cassette Review: Азазелло '1 9 8 6' / _danieru 'Mona.LP' SPLIT (Illuminated Paths)

One of the things that I love most about music is that there are no rules.   I'm not a label (though I've released two cassettes) nor am I a musician (though I do have folders of albums on my laptop and flash drives which might never see the light of day) but even I did consider myself to be one or both of these I wouldn't ever say to another label or musician "Hey, why are you doing this?" because it's clearly not my business.   So while this might say it is a split cassette, it is worth noting that it does feel more like two complete albums, one by each artist, paired together on a cassette.    I can't explain how exactly, but there are times when split cassettes have that feeling where each side seems like a half and together they make a whole or one but this cassette really does feel like two, which is not a bad thing it just means you're getting more than your moneys worth.

Азазелло begins Side A with the year the New York Mets last won the World Series.   They came so close this season, but wouldn't it be great for them to win it thirty years later and take it next season?   The Royals were a year behind them in that sense, and so they won it this year on their 30th anniversary of last winning it, so maybe it is the Mets year next season.   Though I kind of do say that every season.   In any case, the music of Азазелло (How would I go about pronouncing that?) is somewhere between hip hop and electronic.   There is singing, there is rapping and sometimes the vocals get slowed down to where they are called screwed but I still don't like using that word in general to describe the sort of slow motion effect on the vocals.    I can hear everything in here from TLC to Us3 and even towards the end some of the beats remind me of Dr. Dre (Though I mostly pumped out "The Chronic" on cassette and this has more of a "Keep Their Heads Ringing" vibe to it)  

There is a name for the type of music that Frank Ocean and those lot make but I like to think of this cassette by Азазелло at least as being R&Beats because it's just such a better genre name overall.    One part on this cassette as well has a hook about "You can fly on my air-oh-plane" and it has a classic funk sort of vibe to it which, yes, also reminds me of the roller disco and as such the movie "Roll Bounce", which I feel is more and more becoming a genre itself these days.    Through beats, hooks and loops Азазелло will leave you wanting more and, yeah, you're going to have to copy and paste that name to plug it into a search engine in hopes of finding more music though.    Luckily there is what I consider to be another full length album on Side B.

_danieru has smooth electronic sounds with beats and deep vocals.   I'm not 100% certain what was used to create such vocals but I can give you a brief description of it.   If I had to compare it with a singer I would look towards Dead Western but it really just reminds me more of some combination of there being a low battery (or "screwed") and the way they try and disguise voices when people aren't allowed to be heard like in the show "Delocated".   In any event, these vocals accompany many of these songs filled with haunting loops, beeping and electro-clicking.   It's got spatial lasers and dark guitars and just feels like something that might come out of one of those abandoned asylums you'd find in an old horror movie.

The other thing you need to know about "Mona.LP" is that through the vocals there are words and, well, you might recognize some of them but not all of them.   I'm fairly certain that the lyrics would be written in English and they're not exactly being played backwards (I think) but they aren't being straight forward either.   They just have this odd delivery and a lot of the times I think I hear something being said (such as "It's all your fault") but it's not exactly what's being said.    Now, if you told me someone was taking such a phrase and playing it to say "It's all your" and then messing with the word "fault" somehow, like changing the letters and having a computer read it and then singing/saying it back yourself in a similar manner... I kind of feel like that's what is happening here but I'm having trouble proving it.   Movies have subtitles, why don't songs?  Or has my hearing just become dyslexic?

In any case, I still consider these to be two full length albums because if each was submitted on a cassette by itself (or digitally/on CD/record/whatever) I wouldn't say it feels like an EP.   These two sides may or may not be connected, but however you want to listen to it you should be listening for the oddness and unique appeal involved with both of these artists.  

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