(Personal Archives)

Here's a curveball wackadoo winner! BEAN SNACK delivers! This cassette displays a vast education on the subject of "subversive radical easy rider anti-establishment acid trip dance beach bong hits”. There is an incredible variety of noises represented on this spectacular cassette from the harmonic to the rhythmic to the dissonant. Some songs feel improvised while others are coming more from a singer songwriter area. Other songs are deeply entrenched in dancehall low sub-warfer beats. Rhythmic instructional-aerobic synth twang loops mixed with deep space alien transmissions and fuzzzzzzed out bullshit guitars, or are they keyboards?! I don’t have a clue dude!

Some songs are minor in scale like the cassette’s opener. It’s got bass growls, harmonizing organ fruit loops, — twinkly deep sleep dream sequence, SMASH beats from far out slasher rage, piles and piles of piercing droned out casio keyboard fury, nonsensical mutilated tape loops almost random in poetry, calculated feedback hiss and an overall blissed out positive vibe. Think stoned happy hardcore at half the speed but with a same philosophical approach, and then a gnarly guitar solo over the top that’s tone is constantly fluxing about and little kids playing on the ceiling and gleefully laughing. You really have to listen to the whole cassette in this case because each song has a theme or personality, even though the cassette does not break in full length unity.

A high light is “The Umth Power”, which mixes poetry, pre recorded ragtime jazz from a victrola and fierce fuzz distortion guitar in the background. It’s liberating to hear multiple beats in one composition! Three separate sources at once, magically painting an abstract portrait of isolated significance, a technique assumed to only be attempted by the intoxicated or lethargic, but in the case of Bean Snacks these dissenting contradictions connect with interesting results.

This cassette I give five out of five stars and five bags of popcorn. It’s very brave, forward thinking and jazzy without loosing it’s improvisational vibe. A little heavy on the looping for me, but hey, that’s how rock and roll works. This is right up there on my list of best of 2014.

-- Jack Turnbull