BRET BERRY “Environments” C30
(Obsolete Staircases)

You’re in an environment. Any environment. What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? Now the real question, cassette tape lovers: what does it sound like? That’s the question Bret Berry sets out to answer on his, uh-duh, “Environments” tape on Obsolete Staircases. (It’s not “What does the environment taste like?,” although that might not be a terrible question depending on where you are, say, for example, a cake store.)

No, no – come to think of it, that’s not the real question at all. The real question is, how can Bret Berry get all your senses firing through NOTHING BUT sound? I’m serious, all of them. It’s not a ridiculous assumption that listening to a composition can stimulate more than just your ears; all you have to do is let your imagination wander a little bit and you’ve got all sorts of possibilities opening up to you.

So these four “Environments,” titled appropriately, are meant to be immersive experiences, and they succeed at their task. “Nightlight” features electric hums before opening up and cascading into the evening air, where you’ll encounter fireflies and cicadas on a humid summer’s evening, right outside your window. “Invisible Mechanisms” click and crunch, transitioning into and embarking upon an “Investigation of Secrets.” Then the hilariously titled (I think? I don’t know) “Sukha Dukkha” meanders upon a meditative path until you’re lifted into billowing clouds, the condensed moisture gently brushing your face.

So yeah – get everything going at once inside your body, simply by listening to this tape. Take it from me – I did it!

Obsolete Staircases