Friday, February 9, 2018

Music Review:
Lea Bertucci
"Metal Aether"
(NNA Tapes)

When I was in fifth grade my parents decided I should join the school band and I took up the alto sax.   As I got older and went into high school I graduated into the baritone sax, of which I was one of two and before that I had been one of many.   Whenever I hear someone play the sax on any piece of music these days I wish I still had mine (Though it could be in my parents attic somewhere?) and I wonder if I could still play it.  I feel like I could and I feel like I should be doing something with my unharnessed potential from my youth.  I could even just be in a jazz ensemble.

Unlike me, Lea Bertucci is living up to her potential as she continues to play the sax and I can only imagine she also played it in the school band.   How many kids who played in their school bands though continued after high school?   How many took up instruments after high school and didn't have that formal training (I think I can still read sheet music, but I could almost definitely pick up the fingering again right quick, like riding a bike)

The first track- "Patterns for Alto"- has this frantic, "Flight of the Bumblebee" feel to it, while also at times feeling like it has a hip-hop sound because I hear a little bit of that "black and yellow" (or whatever colors they are) back and forth.    The second track is slower and closer to what would be considered drone.   I am actually hesitant to call it "saxodrone" but then I already went to the Frinkiac site and made a meme for it, so here you go:

Some squeaks come through in the background and the drone of the saxophone can begin to turn into waves.   It has this almost dark jazz/blues feel.   It definitely feels as if it could come from underneath a lonely streetlight, the rest of the city asleep as garbage blows down the road.    There is a rather somber feel to it.   Not a sense of peace though, it is rather unsettling.    The sound of water brings in screeches and it has this static skipping as well.   I feel as if the saxophone is playing a sad melody while the world around it is turning into nothing, the way a television can go from a clear picture to that black and white static.  

"Sustain and Dissolve" has two different tones forming a drone to start.     This maintains a sense of waves but also can add in other tones as well to sort of throw off what you're hearing at first.     Some sharp static with waves crashing and the boom of a gong build to what sound like field recordings and a much larger amount of harsh static.    The ocean waves are really heard now, the serious tones in the background adding to the idea of perhaps a burial at sea.   A few sax notes come out at the end to round out the track.

On the final track there are tones like a church bell with a decent amount of static, even to the point where it sometimes does that electric mice thing I like to think about.   There is this background noise as if someone is talking and then clapping as if someone is trying to get the attention of somebody else.    This then turns into something sharp, like I imagine Jay Peele would do.   The church bell type of tones slowly fade us out.

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