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From the Spaghetti Box #3 (Tape Reviews)

Tape Reviews


Ylayali – yy (Lily Tapes & Discs – Rochester, NY)

Like a scratchier Phil Elvrum (think Glow Pt. 2) or Natural Snow Buildings (think The Dance of the Moon and the Sun) with slow lash-outs and tube-y, tremelo’d feedbacks. Some of the mixed and tossed fidelities have a similar pseudo-pop-plunderphonic quality as well. Mossy melodies are lethargic, sprawling and moving like they’ve precipitated from some lost fume of Popol Vuh or Flying Saucer Attack. Listening to yy is like finding some old thing in your garage that’s aged differently due to neglect. Somehow, it’s discoloration or deterioration makes more sense than if you tried to preserve it. If you’re looking for some gloomy syrup, this might do the trick. And apparently you can trade snowmobile parts or gas grill tools for the tape, so check your priorities.

12 14 16 18 20 22 = 2 (Sofia Records – Ireland)

Sofia Records’ Natalia Beylis had the idea to have 24 people each record a two-minute field recording on December 14th 2016 at 6:20pm (so 18:20 military time)—in whatever time-zone they’re in—and ending at 6:22pm. A pretty simple idea that essentially writes itself upon conception. Not so much picky about the sounds or concerned with editing, and more about planning and corralling a host of recorders and putting their recordings side-by-side. Just thinking about the idea can start to make daily moments seem noisy, or at least less obvious and more open, inverted, or somehow important. It’s soothing listening to these 24 two-minute recordings: bus whirrings next to dog feet on hardwood floors, kids playing next to someone doing dishes or the clamor of a crowd. There’s a Boston participant in this project, and it’s pretty easy to spot their recording: half a minute in you hear “The next Oak Grove train arrives in, five minutes,” which provides a little grounding for this plumage of daily sounds.

Gmackrr – La Dépendance Électrique (Spring Break Tapes – Los Angeles, CA)

Eloping hand-made electronics, developing in short and tampered loops that somehow both cling and drift. Fragile and infantile vocals feel like they’re leaving a shifting tin can and sound like they could’ve come from an early Ween, but their manner feels more akin to the cute, creepy Moomins music. “Electricity Is A Woman Travelling For Love” sounds like a chamber ensemble of tempered, whistling kettles, with a morose conductor sauntering over to each with the urgency of a gardener, one-by-one, adjusting their heats to change their temperaments. Almost like a wobbly Juana Molina, Emilie Mouchous (aka Gmackrr) creates a carefully disorganized tiny world of fried electronics, make-shift ghost beats, massaged vowels, tender consonants, and possessed melodies.

Pablo Picco – The Bombastic and Repetitive Sound of Tashi Ling Buddhas in Pokara, Nepal (more mars – Greece)

A sound mix of field recordings from Pablo Picco (of folk experimentalists Ø+yn) and María Victoria Arener’s 2012 India trip, the cassette specifically composed of recordings taken in Pokhara, Nepal on February 6th of that year. A film, titled Kalinga Utkal, documents a larger portion of this trip, and sees them go through Indian cities like Varanasi, Bhubaneswar, Darjeeling, and Kathmandu, to name a few. Side A, for the most part, documents a Buddhist ceremony, the main excursion of that day. Apparently, it was a bit treacherous to get there—dark, foggy, and ambiguous roads were navigated by motorbike—, but the recording captures a “Happy Holy” day and is full of temple-filling glottal drones, hemmed by a subtle syntax and adjacent bells and gongs. The B side captures the rest of the day with horns and percussion from a wedding band and other ambiences and distant voices around the Pewa Tai Lake. The drifting ambiguity as to what is a field recording and what is a ceremony documentation makes the whole thing float on its own, a pleasure even without context. Something for fans of similar slightly ambiguous field recording mixes from the Discrepant label.

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