Sold Out //
Edition of 50 //
This cassette begins with a drumbeat one and a drumbeat two, but then it kicks into a flurry of machine drumming and it feels like pop from the 1980's or 1990's like you'd find on cassette (think NKOTB) only with just the beats and this haunted air behind it. I listened to a lot of hip hop on cassette back in the day (including soundtracks to movies I forgot existed- shout out "Who's The Man?") but I don't remember there ever being instrumental beat tapes so this is not only fun but pretty unique in that way. (Though, yes, I am familiar with modern beat tapes being made)
With a steady beat but not as heavy one the next song has this harmony about it which makes me feel like we're riding around on a carousel. This makes me think about how there is a shopping mall about a half hour away from me with an indoor carousel- which this sounds like the music it would fit- and I wonder how that's doing since it likely cannot be used during the pandemic. These deep voices like heavy breathing come into the song and if Scooby-Doo ever did an episode about a haunted carousel inside of a shopping mall this could be it.
Swirling around now, it feels as if we're stuck in a loop as the rhythm slowly builds up in the background. This song definitely finds itself in a groove and it just seems to collapse and expand while creating a feeling of the ocean but in a way which you could almost dance to it. There also feels as if there are vocals at the end of this song, in a chanting sort of way, but they cannot be made out as to what they are saying and they might be a sound other than a voice which sings but they just have that hypnotic way about them.
As the next song opens with pianos it reminds me of Charlie Brown, as these type of piano sounds tend to have a way of doing. I imagine children dancing around, ice skating on a pond, perhaps even as part of an elaborate music box. This song really just opens up in that way, where it feels as if the camera is close up at first but with each interval you pull further away and reveal a little bit more of the bigger picture.
Beats come back in harder now and it feels like instrumental hip hop, somewhat like the first song. A deeper horn sound- maybe a sax- blasts along with this song though. As it all comes together it can feel quite sublime, this walking way of being a character in a Hitchcock film and yet feeling like you also visit a cool jazz club without anyone you work with at your day job knowing. I really like the way it all just jams together, like two musicians finding each other at different locations and playing together for the first time yet it just works.
A darker synth tone feel kicks things off on the flip side. Sharpness comes through like the light reflecting off of glass. This piece has a slower, ambient way about it which can help you relax. I imagine driving in cars, looking at photographs passing by in black and white. A slow beat comes in at the end, like a knocking, before it all just seems to fade away. This takes us into the next song which has this way of strings being plucked about it. It also reminds me for whatever reason of one of those musical boxes where you turn a crank until a jack in the box pops out, but for some reason every time I do it Curious George comes out instead.
Quieter now, the next sound comes through in short waves. It begins to open up like a sunrise. This can feel haunted, there is a suspense about the drone and other tones can come through but for the most part it just feels as if we are drifting through electronic space. There is also this softer sound behind all of this which feels like sand shifting around. This would feel relaxing in an ambient way but I feel the little pieces which come through sharper are what keeps me on the edge of my seat. It's more of the suspense of a horror movie- like being lost in the woods- than I think of it as being a way to keep calm.
Reading that this entire cassette was created with a pink Barbie Jam With Me keyboard is impressive to me. I feel like there would have to be several instruments used to create these songs, so the idea that they all came out of one (and what that one was) amazes me. In some ways, I think we all have that gleam in our eye of wanting to go to a thrift store, find an instrument such as this and create with it. And even though we all can if we have those means, the fact is the end result for everyone will likely not be as good as it is here with "Pink".