Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Cassette Review //
TAKAHIRO MUKAI
"Helplessness"
(Degenerate Trifecta)


$5 //
Edition of 50 //
https://degeneratetrifecta.bandcamp.com/album/helplessness //

As distortion rips the very fabric of space and time it creates a rhythm which leads to percussion- a beat- which makes this come through like a dance number.   A sharpness is manipulated in slow outbursts to sound almost like the quick changing of a channel.    The beeping comes through to continue this pattern which will make you want to get up and move.

There is this static behind this beat which feels like a drone but in front of it is where you'll find the groove and it just feels like such a contrast in the moving and standing still, but it somehow works- Takahiro Mukai makes it work- and this should inspire you to get active.   Frequencies come through during the next song now as the percussion drops the beat in a 1-2 pattern.   This feels almost tribal, aside from that static interference, and it should make you want to move even if it is slowed down from before.

Squealing now a sound somewhat like a modem has come into the song.    For what it feels like, I suppose that is the story of this cassette: it's that idea of an electronic sound as the roots- which makes you want to move- but then there are sounds of glitching added into it and rather than feeling out of place or sounding like two different songs, they somehow blend together and form one unique sound.

A ringing now, almost like an alarm, starts the next song and then the beats come in like ping pong but also just with this funky Miami Vice type of thing going on.    Electronics switch back and forth now, somewhat like a droid.   You can hear the drums behind it all but there are also these tones which have that 1-2 punch the drums were forming before.    There are quite a few different sounds at once but they all play off one another so well.

Beats and beeps come in like a video game now and then as the bass goes deeper it also distorts a bit more, such as if we were playing a video game and something was being stomped upon.   This picks up the pace and it makes it feel like time is running out in the level but it just has this fun way about it where you want to try and move as fast and as sporadically as you possibly can, like a cut scene in a cartoon. 

On the flip side the beats come in to start things off.   They build with the sounds around them and it also grows in speed as you can feel some of that Pole Position bass.    There is a little bit of this static crackling and then there is also this ringing and the tones come through in whirrs, up and down and back and forth.   Yes, there is a lot happening here and it's all happening so fast.    Sharper frequencies drop back and forth and it reminds me of  a video game, like Sonic collecting coins.

A back and forth now, almost like a ball bouncing, starts the next song as there are these hyper clicks as well which can feel like a chirping.    It grows like a march and I can begin to feel how you can take this to a fictional place and just have fun with it (like Fragglerock)   Screeches like modems come in with this as well and this might just be one of my favorite songs ever created because I'm just in awe imagining the various video games and cartoons this could be related with.

Slowly we build now into the rise of space.   Heartbeats and an ambient drone.    There are these sounds which feel like they're making vocals, as if someone is trying to speak, but they aren't.   It's a slow march, plodding and thoughtful.    Frequencies come through now like a distress signal.   Back and forth now, the distress signal takes on those sounds of a voice without a voice, as it sounds like someone is trying to speak but cannot.  A loud, distorted synth takes over everything.  That buzzing, that glitching, just quietly fades out to end it all.









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