Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cassette Review:
(Niagra Tapes)

$4 // //
🎧 //

Static bursts bring out a bugzapper type drone which sends this into a distorted space that makes me think of that old "Return of the Jedi" Atari game.   Whirrs come whooshing through and they circulate now.   Somewhat like frequencies as well, this has a space war sound to it.    It really begins kind of squealing in here, as it feels like the frequency is being changed.    It begins to crackle now like some sort of electronic outerspace fire.     This takes us into these Droids/modem sounds.    There is a rather bit of a Star Wars feel to this, as the electronics come through in all sorts of ways but feel like scratching at times too.

There is somewhat of a glitch feel to this, but I'm not even sure if it would be glitch electronics or rather glitch video game, but it ultimately seems to be taking us into uncharted territory.   The way these electronics come through it's much more than I feel like I've heard before at once like this but it just makes for such an interesting sound-- some sort of glitch symphony in a way even.    It can feel slightly haunted like the movie "Pulse" but there are also parts where laser shots are fired so I really feel like we're in a space craft during an alien invasion (now whether we are on Earth or actually in space is up to you)

Skips can come across in an aggressive way as well and I feel like we're experiencing someone getting frustrated while playing an arcade game but from the standpoint from somewhere within the game rather than outside of it, in a human sense.   This ringing sort of drone feels like the dust settling and that takes us off into the sunset as this all comes to a close, the enemies all defeated and life can continue on though it will never be the same as it was before.

On the flip side there is sharpness to be found in the static.   It's this distorted field where it feels like tires are screeching to a crash.  Ka-boom.    Wind tunnels.    Sounds like water add to this effect and it feels like a tornado, as things could be blowing away.   What happens when a tornado hits a body of water?  Could it sound like this in the eye of the storm?   Static is coming through choppy now.    A louder screech comes through and then it all stops.   Distortion and the sharpness return right where they left off.   This feels like quite the storm.

Somehow it sounds like a hamster running in its wheel before this drop tone laser comes through.   More static, still in that windstorm.   Screeches come through and you really have to listen to this one with earbuds in to get all of these intricate details out of what is happening within these sounds.   If you should really feel brave, I would suggest putting this into your waterproof Walkman and going out in a storm and listening to it.  Hey, I was in a tornado warning last night and people were still using the drive up ATM so at least your plan would be for art, right?

Voices can faintly be heard in the background as the static whooshes in cyclical rhythm.    Chops like a helicopter, then it stops, comes back again and voices are still back there.    This feeling of an engine starts and stops, the voice coming through with it and not.   An airplane buzzing now.   The music all comes to a stop and only someone talking remains.    "I hope he forgives me / I didn't mean to start an argument" starts up some louder words, which feel like a computer generated voice is making them and it's something I'd like to sample to play for people who call me but it also has such fascinating placement.

Two voices seem to discuss art now with one saying "A child could paint that".   This is a conversation more people should have about art really.  I've seen things which I felt were easy enough to paint, simple in a sense, and the thing is, if it's so easy and it's so simple, why didn't *you* do it?   Ideas can often look simple and easy in retrospect, but all too often credit is not given for thinking them up.   These excerpts of English are quite interesting as well.  "As soon as I can I'm going to change jobs".    "He remembers my name but he doesn't really know me" is the last thing said and how true is that for so many of us?

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