Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Cassette Review: Corsica Annex "Fluid Electric" (Ingrown Records)

Of the two sides on this cassette, one has a sticker of artwork on it and the other doesn't.   The start- based on rewinding- would appear to be on the non-sticker side, which I usually find to be weird.   See, something most people don't realize about cassettes is a lot of people who make them (artists and labels) will fit everything onto one side, leave the second side blank and as such leave it ready to start on a blank Side B.   Rewinding isn't a big deal for me- it's one of the things I like about cassettes- but I also then had to make sure for some reason that by starting this on the side without a sticker it was indeed starting at the beginning of the first song because this is split with one song on Side A ("Fish") and the remaining two on Side B. 

It checked out though that Side A is without the sticker because I listened to the first few seconds of the cassette, then the first few seconds of the stream on Bandcamp and they matched up.    The reason why I've typed up all of this which seems pointless as things have happened like this before and I haven't shared them with you, my dear reader, is because going from cassette to digital to cassette- even only as briefly as I did- I could sense something.    "Fish" opens with these distorted guitar sounds and it's just like this, if you'll pardon the pun, sea of distortion. 

These little beats like a helicopter come in and then there are what I'm guessing are keys in the background that sound somewhat like outerspace but also have this underwater feel to them.   In the digital form, this seemed very one dimensional.   On cassette, I felt like a lot of layers were added.    Say what you want about technology, but I feel like cassettes still pick up more than digital ever will.    This is good proof of that.   Granted, it doesn't work for every genre maybe, but in this case, yeah, I proved within the first thirty seconds why this sounds better on cassette than digital.   (And, as per the Bandcamp, this was originally recorded onto cassette so maybe it's just a matter of hearing it the way it was recorded?)

These keys have this almost magical progression to them, which makes it dreamy and feel like we're floating in the clouds, which is funny because that's halfway between space and underwater which is where I feel the overall tone is kept still.    You can almost hear the point where it seemingly drops from space into the ocean and, yeah, I realize that's how astronauts got home, but there is just this sort of calm about it; the overall sound is rather serene.     Frequencies come cutting through as we get an X-Files vibe with it.   This has gone from the ocean into the unknown.    As the piece becomes more spatial in the sense that it just sounds like it's taking place in a giant hall, there is a certain amount of banging that could be a slight form of destruction. 

Side A- which is the song "Fish"- comes to a close in a way which almost makes me feel like I could fall asleep.   I have this certain level of comfort and I'm just ready to put my head down, but instead I venture onto Side B.    There is this level of harmonics coming through with water dripping.   It has a Jay Peele feel to it, but it's also just got a slight enough edge to it for me to think of it as being on the verge of something alien.    You know the sound your phone makes when you send a text?  That little "whoop"?  I think I keep hearing that within all of these chimes and such as well.    But I have listened to this while texting so I'm never sure.  (But I've always wanted to include such sounds in music to mess with people... kind of like how this is messing with me)

As the waves seem to take us deeper underwater, I can hear this sort of chanting as if some sea creatures are calling us home.   Ringing type organs come through with bubbles and the waves crash the entire time still.    It has a peaceful sense to it, such as implying that being lost at sea might not be so bad after all.    This brings us into a sort of darkness which just has this sound about it unlike anything I've ever heard before.    There is this specific loop, which is a pattern I've heard before in other songs, but the delivery on this specific combination of everything is just fascinating-- like seeing color for the first time.

The music shifts into this video game type of feel, but it has a very particular sound I want to relate to Atari if only because it also reminds me of "Stranger Things" and that soundtrack, which is great (Shout out to Mega Ran)    It then goes into these ambient waves- which is really the best way to describe it because as the cassette reaches its end you just feel like you're relaxing on the beach without a care in the world.    Although, I suppose you could still be lost at sea and all right with that, but the point is, you get to decide.    "Fluid Electric" will take you on a voyage of realization and tranquility if you only let it. 

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