Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cassette Review: city dragon "dogs dogs" (Ingrown Records)

If there is a city dragon does that mean there is also a country dragon?   I'm not sure why, but I like the idea of a city dragon.   Just imagine a dragon living in a city, going about his day and trying to do his business without people making too much fuss over the fact that he's a dragon.   As an animated movie or series it'd be somewhere between Shrek and Wreck-It-Ralph for me, but you know, someone needs to develop it first.  (I can send some sketches to serious parties)

"dogs dogs" begins with echoing sonar with sort of vocals as its first really big sound.   There are other sounds throughout this cassette but this is just the first one which will really connect with you, especially on the first listen through.    Sonar blips bring about a lo-fi rock song in the background.    Electro beats can be heard prominently next.   Then bagpipe drone takes us into swirls.   It has this sound I cannot describe to you using words on a keyboard but the picture I drew in my notebook starts up high, dips down, goes back up and then ends up dropping down.   It's like one of those pulse machines in the hospital only the sound on this cassette here doesn't beep it just keeps that pattern.

Growing bliss tones come out and then someone can be heard screaming "You broke my window!", which I always look around to make sure came from city dragon and isn't one of my neighbors outside.    Drum banging and xylophones take us into chaos bliss.    By the end of Side A we are back where we found ourselves at the beginning- with more of that sort of singing sound only this time it is accompanied by a more tribal based rhythm.

On the flip side we open with a saxophone and then the sounds become wavy/choppy.    There are either some letters or just plain sounds in patterns coming through, but yeah, I can't tell if it's saying something like "A A A E O O E O" or just making primitive grunting noises.    It kind of takes on a sound at one point that I can translate as saying "nee-nah-nee ah nah new", but I'm sure you can probably find something in here yourself which doesn't sound quite the same as what I hear.  (On subsequent listens I have heard different sounds being seemingly spoken)

What I like about this cassette by city dragon most of all is that it reminds me of the name city dragon: something where it shouldn't be.   Dragons don't live in the city but the idea of that does interest me.   And yet, this cassette has an overall electronic feel to it where you know deep down inside it was recorded using a certain amount of technology and, yet, at the same time during a lot of it I imagine people deep in the woods banging on drums and making sounds that way.   It's not what I'd fully call acoustic but it has that raw sense to it, as if it is being made by people who don't even know technology exists let alone how to use it.    I definitely enjoy that electronic/acoustic  sense and think you will as well because you're already here.  

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