Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Kassette Kult IV" (Earth.Space Kassette Kult)


The liner notes state that the composers of this tape have “cast aside their egos and proclaimed anonymity.” Too true. Though the tape looks beautiful; comes in a nice black on black screened pouch made from old shirts and a black on black screened tape cover, (It even feels good, like its of the earth), its contents are rather disapointing. The idea sounds good, but the tape is very anonymous – and not because it’s a harsh wall of noise, but because it’s intensity falters. It has few distinguishing features or points of reference. It is tape squeal, static, distortion and pedal pounding. Only in very limited phrases does any single portion stand out. Once at the end of each side something interesting will poke its head out – once in a vague field of static where silence suddenly appears…Once in the thrall of feedback overlaid and overlaid. If I was to be particularly generous I could say that this tape’s lack of specificity or personality is because it is intended as a tribute to “the history of noise.” But let us switch genres completely: In 1999 Chemical Brothers (yeah that’s right) release the album Surrender which accomplished the same purpose for electronic music – but it was seriously good. It reproduced sounds from the past, using old gear, but they went the extra mile and brought the sounds of the past into the present. Though that record may have passages that sound dated eight years on, at the time however, that record sounded like an incandescent history lesson. If Earth.Space Noise is supposed to be a history lesson – it’s the type that puts you to sleep. Why? Because it fails to apply its lessons to the present.