“Pipes” (Blue Tapes)

On this release, Katie Gately put three songs, but not all the songs are in the traditional format in succession on the Ep. The first song, “Pipes” is a very pleasing mixture of ambient vocal pulsing that transitions into complex rhythmic textures. The beginning sounds similar to some of the vocals on The Breeders’ “Last Splash.” Somewhere in between all of this Gately fits in a pop song sound for a short amount of time, which was a very welcome surprise. "Pipes” repeats on both sides of the tape. The second song of the release is “Acahella” and is available for download at The third song is hidden inside “Pipes” and can be heard by slowing down the track and listening closely.

One of the things I appreciate the most about this release is the places that “Pipes” goes, both in the varying moods and tones that Gately achieves with the vocals and her ability to make the song flow by combining the different parts of the song which span genres. When listening to this cassette in a traditional way, which is questioned in the format of the third hidden slowed down song, the listener is subject to listen to “Pipes” twice. This helps the listener grasp the strength of the composition of the song. Only listening to it once could leave the listener overwhelmed with its many changes throughout. When viewing the album online there is a prominent disclaimer, which states “NO INSTRUMENTS WERE USED IN THE MAKING OF THIS RECORDING.” Although I enjoy this blanket statement being applied to the release, it makes me wonder where the line is for considering something an instrument. Either way, “Pipes” is definitely worth the listen and I look forward to hearing what Katie Gately comes up with next.

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~ Seymour Polatin