Cassette Review //
Max Jaffe
"Giant Beat"
(Ramp Local)

Drums start this as there appear to be electronics in here as well.   It transmits like a morse code along with these echoing claps which make it feel like something out of a horror movie.   This gives me a strong John Carpenter vibe, though it could be that delicate balance of a film between horror and sci-fi.   Synth expands and everything gets wild, all at once, and we're on this crazy carousel ride into space.    We fade out in a virtual game of ping pong.

Bass-bass-bass-snare starts the next song.   I think.  I don't know, I'm not a drummer.   But this isn't about me!  The beat increases and this begins to get a rhythm like you can dance to it even though there is this haunted air behind it, coming up under the cracks in the door.   It's getting frantic now.   Can percussion skramz because I think this might be it.    There are cymbal crashes in here- maybe it's the ride- and this is fast paced electronics but unlike anything I've heard before.

As the pace increases in what sound like skip beats there is also this sense of a ping pong paddle going on and it just feels like it's some kind of dance number because at the very least it is putting me into a trance.   I hear what sound like vocals behind this now- both haunted and a baby- and then it feels more like vocal samples, like how you can press the note on a keyboard and it sings for you.   Still, the pace pushes forward-- drives.   This does pick up to where it feels like something from the movie "Go", yet it is still not quite the same.   

The door slowly creaks open and behind it we find the steady to start the next song.  Some sharp electronics in here, crashes and then it all goes quiet.    The beat returns and as a funny side story to this, the apartment next to me is empty now- whoever was living there moved out- and there are workers in there fixing it up for the next person who moves in.   I had this one playing out of my speakers the other day and the pulsating of the beats was going along with their hammering and it kind of sounded cool.     We kick back into some distortion and it sounds like squeaks of sneakers on a high school gym floor.   Rapid fire now, drum machine gun.  Everything culminates with this nuclear blast before settling down into these sharp ticks.  

On the flip side we start with this drumming which feels like we're banging on one of those upside buckets and then these ominous ohms come into the background, putting us somewhere between space and magic.    This takes us into these tones which feel like a video game but they seemingly leave as quickly as they found their way into this one.   That fast paced drumming on the bucket sound persists, tones in the background behind it all.    A brief roll and we fade out with these tones.

The next set of drums feels more like a drum machine from the 1980's.   I'm reminded of an arcade game or New Order.    This section reminds me of Seth Graham.    It takes on deep, Darth Vader-like synth and feels like we're running out of time.   The urgency is in the fact that this is just speeding up at times, as if it's going to just boil over until there is nothing left.    It increases in pace as it feels like it is about to blow and then it turns into a more unce unce beat feel as sounds which I cannot place erupt in the background.   Perhaps it is the popping of pots and pans.

There is definitely some singing in here now but it feels like it is being played backwards- like if I chopped it and played it backwards it would be words I could understand.  As it loops I feel like we're falling down a simulated rabbit hole.   At times it can feel like the words are saying goodbye but I'm not entirely certain and the music just takes us to this other level where I become more focused on that than on the singing anyway.  More of these drumrolls where we started and ambient tones fading in and out now.   The singing has subsided and it feels like I'm stranded on a desert island now.  

A little singing returns and I'm clapping along to the rhythm now.   There is a mechanical aspect to how this keeps up the rhythm and it sounds like a horse making sounds in here as well so do with that knowledge what you must.   It fades out, as any good drum circle eventually does, and if we're going to have albums of only guitar sounds, why not ones where it's percussion based?  If you haven't seen ten people playing only percussion on stage then you have not truly lived.    Be part of the percussion revolution.   Anything involving Max Jaffe is a great place to start.   


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