Friday, May 25, 2018

Music Review:
"The Hole in The Landscape"
(NNA Tapes) //
🎧 //

We begin with this dark ringing with a back and forth glass tone vibe.  It definitely starts off right away as if we're fallen into a hole in the landscape.    Louder, somewhat upbeat tones come through now with these whirrs behind them.    There is some trill as well here.    A strong feeling of space suspense fills this first song.   What happens next has the distorted ringing mixed with that whirrs which begins to sound more like an electronic slug to me and this just paints the picture of an electronic symphony. 

I feel like I have heard similar sounds to these before, but never together and not in such a way as these present themselves when combined.   Behind these sounds, as they fade, comes what sounds like groans and then this soft piano part with the destruction and drift into a void filled with other damned souls.   This is heavy, but not like heavy metal.    It sounds like doors are closing and there is just this overall feel to the first song of being trapped on a planet which is not your own and yet it isn't like my normal references of "Lost In Space" or even "Land of the Lost"-- this has a much more serious vibe to it such as "The Thing" or one of the "Alien" movies.

Hitting that tom drum starts the next song.   What sounds like horns but feels like some sort of alien creature ripples through.  There are other rattling sounds and this feels like that cantina band in Star Wars to me.    What sound to me like an accordian but might just be some electronic strings breathe into this musical life before everything turns into this full on jungle beat.    As everything slows down, it picks right back up with this climbing vibe and then turns into a slower electronic rhythm but still carries itself in a rather electronic jungle vibe.   These sounds-- there is a lot going on here, but when combined they just create something so magical.

What feels most like wooden wind chimes comes out in this flurry here.   Louder strings open up the next song.    It has a sitar feel to it.   Other sounds which join in give it that sound from China perhaps.    Bouncy strings come in as tones drop like bombs in some sort of wonderful video game.   I will note that this third track is a shining example as to why you should listen to this with earbuds as well, because you can truly hear the sounds jump from ear to ear, which is not as easily captured through speakers.

The title track comes through with these skips where it sounds like a heartbeat.  I'm pretty sure there are some ah's in here, even if only computer generated, and then this thing just goes crazy with the frequencies shifting as well.    Strings come through and then what can only be described as darkness follows.    This all came in so fast and heavy and leaves me feeling naked when it is gone.  "Instant Granite" comes in with what sound most like bells to me but could be some wooden wind instruments and I'm thinking of Sarah Hennies.  It also appears to have this synth coming through which kind of resembles a saxophone to me.  Beats join in now as well.

Whirrs go flying through like a robot and this takes on a calm, video game in a sense as well.   It feels like something set in space still, sure, but there is less of a feeling of terror and more like we're just joyriding.   Scratching like a metal detector comes through as well.    This leads to some creaking.    The whirrs intensify like Tron.    "False Awakening" has these bubbles in it with what sounds like harmonica drone.     Scratching, like inside a lightbulb, comes out now as well.   There is this tension, this pulling within this song.    It grows fairly eerie now, as electronics come through like insects.   This really deep synth comes through with this sharp ringing to end out this track and it all makes me feel like I'm finally returning to the abyss.

Sharpness like horns mixed with the trill of ringing- some sort of ringtone perhaps, but also it could just as easily be some sort of alarm- and this is joined by other ohms, rattles and shakes.   There is a rhythm to this again, though it feels like one of those songs that sounds like it has a lot of percussion in it but is being made with other elements-- non-traditional instruments.   Singing is sampled in here now, but it is somewhat hidden in the background.   

The last song begins with these horns which come through at different times but only slightly overlap and it gives you a trippy vibe.   There is a sound behind them as well which sounds like a voice but I'm pretty sure is not.   It's like someone took an electronic song- something from Psycho Disco perhaps- chopped it up and played it back at a different pace so it's not just that traditional oonce oonce beat coming through.   Yet, this whole thing makes me feel kind of funny, like I'm taking in too much at once, you know?  I feel like these sounds are more traditionally spread out and here they all come out at once and it can feel overwhelming. 

That is a good way to describe this album though.   It can feel overwhelming at first, but the more you listen to it, the more your mind can adjust to it.   The best way I can describe this is that sometimes when I'm listening to music on my laptop through Windows Media Player, for example, a link will open to YouTube and that video will start playing so I'll have those two different songs going at once.   And then an ad on Photobucket will create a third layer.   And so on.    So it's like these songs on top of songs, but Tsembla has managed to do it in such a way that it feels only natural.

No comments:

Post a Comment