Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cassette Review: Shapeshift "Hypercolor" (æscape sounds)

[$3 // Edition of 20 //]

Back when cassettes were considered to be the new technology there were cassingles which was basically just one song being put onto the Side A of a cassette and usually another song from the album on Side B.    If you still browse through cassettes at stores like Savers (like I do) then you will see cassingles every so often and think "But why pay a dollar for two songs when I could pay that for the entire album on cassette?"   But in the 1990's an entire cassette could cost around $13-$15 where as a cassingle went anywhere from $1 to $3.49.    Record labels, I would assume, lost a lot of money on this idea because people would then pay only for the one song they wanted and wouldn't dish out the $15 for the one song they liked and nine other less good songs.

It took them nearly until the advent of the compact disc to figure it out, but eventually cassingles came with B-sides that couldn't be found anywhere else (Pearl Jam LOVED to do this) and remixes as well, which were all tools to help you buy the cassingle and then maybe the album one day as well still they at least hoped.   I don't know.  I owned a lot of cassingles in the 1990's and of them I'd say maybe 40% I went on to purchase the entire album.  Of course, we had Columbia House and BMG back then but that's another story for another time.

Shapeshift brings us back to that time in the 1990's- via æscape sounds- and offers up the single "Hypercolor" which is then remixed on Side A once and twice on Side B.   So it's a total of four songs overall, each a little bit different than the last, but yet all really the same.   Hey, there was a time when it was okay to have an album version and radio edit so I'm just thankful no one is bringing that back yet.    Who buys a cassingle for the radio edit?

"Hypercolor" begins as a fast paced song with electronic beats and static bursts.   There is the sound of water and then it turns into this heavier chaos ala "Run Lola Run".   There are samples of singing blended in- and different people singing as well- and then it becomes some synth tone bliss.   I'm not the type of person to remix a song, but I assume that if I was this would be a lot of fun simply because it gives you so much more to work with than just the straight up verse/chorus/verse deal.

The next three remixes prove just that and this becomes one of those cassettes you need not just as a fan of Shapeshift-- and I mean, this one song did make me a fan right away-- but because of what is happening here, how it is being remixed and who is remixing it.   It's just one of those great facets of music which isn't explored enough and æscape sounds has managed to perfect it with this cassingle.

Now, I realize that this could just be my way of thinking but I imagine something happening like a Facebook post or what not which says "Send us your remixes" and then a bunch of artists send in remixes for the song "Hypercolor".   I imagine these three as being the best of the bunch and therefore making the cut to be on this cassette, but for some reason- and I may not be correct in assuming this but that's okay with me- I just imagine all these remixes of "Hypercolor" which just didn't fit on here.  I imagine a cassette compilation just of remixes of this song and it makes me rather pleased.

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