Saturday, April 7, 2018

D. COELACANTH
"In the Midlands everyone jerks on the private towpath"




I'm not exactly sure what this is nor if I've correctly identified the artist and title. This tape is recycled out a copy of Neil Young’s “Freedom,” but the artwork has been pasted over with a page torn from a novel. The cassette also has a sticker which reads "juicy bulbs and the scheduled tombs,” but internet searches for these phrases are fruitless. The audio contained is just as cryptic—the tape begins with a male voice with an English accent which croaks out “...its a good morning for rubbish.” The voice comprises most of the tape, but samples of other audio-snippets of music or news broadcasts-are sprinkled throughout.

I cannot discern any sort of narrative that links together the phrases, but I suspect that this tape was created from another tape of recorded voice, as some portions of audio are repeated but with different context given. Vampires appear several times, and the phrase “glorious nipple” is one which appears more than once, at one point said to “always seem bigger on the radio.” At one point I think I hear him say something about the “juicy bulbs” but I can’t be sure. This collage is pasted across both sides of the tape from end to end and is at once intriguing and grating. The voice is not pleasant nor easy to understand. It sounds as if recorded upon a hand-held tape recorder in various states of fidelity and sizes of room. Many fragments sound muffled as if recorded inside a pocket and through layers of fabric, or on a busy street. Towards the middle of the tape some of the audio seems to be affected with primitive tape-machine skills and blasts of static and noise.

I would compare the work here to that of Shane Edge or Aki Onda, but without further context I’m unsure of the purpose here. If you want to hear this, I’m not sure how you can find one nor how to contact the person(s) responsible. They sent it in for review however, so it’s intended to be experienced in some fashion. I’ll sum up this review with a quote from the tape itself: ”I’m a safe bet, not a nightmare chicken.”

--Ben Myers