Friday, June 28, 2019

Cassette Review //
Dave Clarkson
"A Pocket Guide to Subterrania - Mysterious Caves of the British Isles"


£6.50 //
Edition of 50 //

This one starts off quietly, as if we're just in the middle of the woods listening to birds.   It's somewhere between that place where birds and small animals live in the zoo, where you can go through and view them through the glass or these bird sound CDs my dad gave me so you can tell which bird sounds like which call.    It's definitely relaxing as it feels like it is bringing us closer to nature.  

It gets quiet and then comes back with this huge gunshot type explosion.    Notes come through like an electronic music box and there are still these sounds of nature behind it all.   Another giant gong shot.   A whoosh slowly forms as it begins to feel like the suspense is building.   Another shot fired.    Those little electronic tings persist and this has the makings of a film such as "Land of the Lost" but directed by Hitchcock.

When you consider the title, it does feel like we are moving around in a cave somehow.   Giant beats now come in and create a pounding rhythm.    This culminates in some screeching and then the return of the birds.  It's much louder now and there is a banging along with that background noise of being out in a crowd.    The banging somehow turns into percussion and we have a great rhythm going now, where you would expect a steel drum dance to form in the middle of the sidewalk.   A static mist is behind this as well.  

Quieter now, we get to a minimal place where there is chanting at first and then a ringing of chimes.    Everything comes echoing through like footsteps in the hallway now.   Words can be heard.    We go into a mechanical rhythm now with beeping.    Laser shots are fired now.   This chopped up / distorted sound comes in next and this is electronic in all of the ways which you don't think of electronic music being made.   It's like they have the recipe and are using different ingredients but it somehow still works.   

On the flip side we start with what sounds like bouncing words being repeated on a loop.   An ohm drone comes in behind it to build.    As this loop continues, the ambient drone which comes with it changes into different phases of suspense.   It can begin to get a little bit sharper as well, somewhat screechy here behind this hypnotic loop.    We eventually drop off into this glowing distortion which feels sharp like knives.

A primal chanting comes through now with ambient waves and it feels like we could just be floating through space.    It can also feel like we're drifting out to sea as this ringing comes in, much like you would find out in the ocean.    Darker lasers now begin the next song and there are some higher pitched parts which make me think we're going off the rails on the crazy train and this is just electro-psychedelic now.

Cymbal crashes enlarge the picture.   It takes on this vibe like being hit with a raygun in a sci-fi film and then gets quieter, more to the dramatic side of things.    A slow rumble builds.   This really just becomes about those cymbals and then a slipping whirr comes through until it shifts to the flow of water.   We're back in nature now, at a stream perhaps, but there is also a sound which wishes for us to beware of what trouble might be on the horizon.

It begins to sound as if we're in the water now, some type of fight might be happening with an alien creature, but it is within the water as this can also take on this X-Files tone.    As it reaches the end- all of these space, electronic sounds coming together in the water- it just sort of cuts off and I think that it's far better, based on what was heard prior to this on the cassette, for it to have done that than to have a long, drawn out ending.   This will conjure up a lot of visuals in your mind so it is a trip worth taking.










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