CHECK! "Blue Twenty-Seven" (Blue Tapes)

From this point on when I’m referencing sparse, low-fi electronica, I’ll retrieve this tape as my example. I don’t know that a group has ever made such a collection work like this bunch does
For example, the opener, “2 da RDG” is nothing more than seqencers playing off one another-yet it’s engrossing and captivating from start to finish. But does a half an hour of this hold up? Let’s see…

Track two on the first side is ”innocent lie.”Knifeblade timekeeping segues into a wash of dense swirling which calms itself to find a more straight-ahead bass, synth and drums approach. If you’re inclined toward synth-pop, you’ll find comfort in this song. I can imagine Lauren Mayberry singing a vocal over this without much effort. The track ending the side again begins with some synth funny business before settling into, well, actually never settling in at all. The track concludes, the side is over.

As the side opens with “ENTER SONG” I’ll give you a slice of history about this band. Apparently the label owners guest curated the SUPERNORMAL festival and one of the acts that came from Japan was Check!! The band broke up before the label could get an album out of them but Cherry, their producer, managed to sift through the archives and assemble a tape which, to bring the story home, is this one I’m reviewing.

Meanwhile back in my headphones, side two continues down the ramshackle low-fi trail that the first side did, but never repeating itself. The lack of repitition, for me, is the glue that holds such a sparse undertaking in place. Without it, I’d surely never have made it through the first couple entries.

Generally, this type of approach isn’t successful in winning me over, but this bunch really pull it off. Too bad they broke up….

-- Robert Richmond