Friday, January 18, 2019

Music Review //
Tim Feeney / Aaron Michael Butler
"Things I said I'd never be"
(Full Spectrum Records) //

The first thing you need to know about this one is it starts off rather quietly.   You'll hear this drum part that makes you realize you're not just listening to dead air, but you really should have this one on through earbuds and the volume up.     The percussion feels like scratching but also maybe detaching and it comes through in bursts.    One of the things I feel like I'm hearing too are marbles being shifted around, but it's not like they're rolling or being dropped into a metal pan, but they're doing something in there I just can't figure out what.   When these sounds come through in intervals they are not easy to decipher but you will be struck by them.

You can hear this slight amount of static though, just this very minimal pressure of wind, so that if you press pause or turn it off you can tell that there was some sound there in between the percussion it's just about as minimal as it gets.    Closing in on the eleven minute mark things shift into a slightly louder gear and it even feels like there are birds chirping behind it all (Though it might just be the clacking of drumsticks)   The best way to describe how this goes from one level of near silence to another is like when you pop on your ears and everything suddenly gets louder.   Even the percussion sounds louder now.    Drum rolls and those sounds of marbles, but almost like it's raining pebbles, create a certain feeling here.

I feel much more definite about hearing birds as we close in on the fifteen minute mark.   The percussion somehow rolls into the background, like the whole direction of where this music was headed has shifted.   This, again, is something which you might not experience as well through speakers.   Though I have tape decks and a record player (even a stereo with a CD player in it) I don't really have a good way to listen to digital files other than my laptop and phone.  So, for me, since my laptop is what it is, I don't dare trying and let this play out of the speakers.   It would make for an interesting experience (and I might one day) but for now I prefer it as close to my ears as possible.

The sounds can come through like a rain stick as they whoosh in and out, the drums banging away once again.   There is also, near the 21 minute mark or so, this loud wind that blows through and it almost sounds like thunder.    It almost begins to feel like you can hear someone speaking behind this all as well, in a somewhat muted way.    As we hit the twenty four minute mark it feels like a storm and then it all just fades out.    The drums return here and there and the background has a louder hiss, kind of like rain.    The crackling and popping get louder as they begin to expand.    Once again I feel like I can hear those muted words in the background and the static, ever slight, persists. 

Everything comes to a head at once, as the rain stick sounds swirl around like a storm.     It goes back and forth now, the pattern of a siren but without the same sound.      The second track has the same minimal static sound but for some reason when it starts it reminds me of an airport.    The drums roll once again and a much bigger sound comes from it this time.     It quiets now, like a stalled car.    The drum begins a powerful roll now.     There's such a big sound to this, like the percussion in some grand orchestra, and then it just fades out.   Drum rolls return and it feels somewhat like a march now.     This percussion can have a machine gun fire to it but it comes and goes.

It begins to feel like we're in the jungle or somewhere similar as the rain stick enters with the sounds of crickets and other such organic sounds which make me feel like we're out in nature.   There are also these pops which will come into your ear strongly.     There are more sounds of crickets as things begin to feel like they're settling.    Water whooshes through, as when a car drives through a puddle and creates that splash.    You can still feel that minimal static.    A lot of what was heard in terms of sounds on the first track can also be found on the second one they are just executed in different ways. 

Sometimes it can feel like we're just floating in the ocean, the waves tossing and turning the boat back and forth and all we can do is wait to find shore.    Then it has this power to sound like either a rain storm or the crackle of a heavy fire but I'm leaning more towards the rain for some reason.    A drum roll now seems to take us away from the rain and into something else.    This can feel loud and abrasive at times with the percussion but it's mostly softer and minimal.   Many of the sounds are open to interpretation and that is one of the best reasons to listen to it.  

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