Saturday, November 15, 2008

VAPOR GOURDS "Dagger Magic" c30 (Yeay! Tapes)

This tape has been a constant companion in my tape deck since i picked it up from local record store, Mystery Train here in western mass. It was put out, mysteriously, by Neil Young over at Yeay! Tapes, who refused to let it be known who the sorcerer was behind this exceptional tape.

When Jay Dilla died almost two years ago he had just completed my favorite record of his "Donuts" which is essentially a jacked up beat tape, some of the songs have since or were at the time, being recorded over by mc's from all across the map and since his death there has been a non-stop stream of posthumous music (as there usually is when someone dies way too young) and to my surprise, most of it is still AMAZING. i bring it up because this tape, despite having a keen ear for the subtlety of sound that usually accompanies (one would hope!) a noise artist, seems more in line with the left of center, disorienting and beautiful beats that you'd find in the vaults of a jay dilla library.

Albeit, these are a bit more dusty and hang on to, say, swooping washed out synth loops a lot longer than Dilla would, it still has that feel, to me, of someone constructing, building, adding on, taking tiny pieces and coming up with the most amazing pastiche of weird ass soul strings, cheap keyboards, and buried under there somewhere is a beat. There are anomalous moments and that's what keeps this tape worth coming back to; absolutely hypnotizing, reverb soaked guitars, siren/bombs, crazy blasts of keyboard beauty stuck right on top of a beat in a manner that is so jarring it can only be intentional and as it repeats, forming a phrase of "drumbeat, guitar loop, drumbeat, KEYBOARD and then back" the voice of the artist only becomes more apparent and you become more appreciative of the strength of compositions and realize it's definitely a lot more than just "a beat tape".

comes i color copy w/ silk screen covers on white stamped tapes,
still available from the label, check it out FOR SURE.

http://yeay.suchfun.net/catalog.html