Thursday, July 16, 2020

Cassette Review //
Modal Zork
"KLUG BORP"
(Pecan Crazy Records)



$7 //

This cassette can come at you pretty fast.   There are sounds like aliens would make if aliens made rock music.   It has that weird Oingo Boingo/Devo way about it but there are also some video game sounds within here as well.  At one point, there is a pure piano breakdown.   It's somewhat pop, like Hellogoodbye or a similar artist, but that of course is all still within the same ideas of this maybe not being from this planet.  It is an overload of sound though, in the best possible way of course.

You feel like that virtual ball is bouncing, like in Pong but faster.   Then these tones or horns come through like a cab in a different country.   Yes, it does somehow have that Gogol Bordello way about it underneath all of the other layers.    It is fast paced as well though- somewhere between punk and techno- and you must never forget that.    There isn't really a lot to compare this with, as it truly an example of taking existing sounds and manipulating them to create a sound which has never been heard before.

On the flip side we open with a lot of electronic bleeps and bloops before the vocals come in.   The vocals- which sometimes feel like singing and other times feel spoken- blend in with the music to the point where they sometimes even seem to be taking a backseat to the louder sounds of, say, the synth bass crashes.   If you think of music as typically having the vocals at the front or on the top of the overall sound, Modal Zork has them buried behind other sounds which makes the overall experience that much more interesting.

But there isn't really anything normal about this cassette.  At times it can remind me of a polka somehow, which makes me think it is the soundtrack to a party which I want to attend.   Other times it can sound like a ringtone before kicking in with this big, triumphant sound that makes me feel like we're going to be wiped out of existence.   And then it just feels like a carnival ride and I'm here for that as well.

One of the aspects of this which just fascinates me as well is that the lyrics are in English and though I should be able to understood them, I just don't.   It gives it more of that overall alien vibe, thinking that these words are not from this planet.

The frequencies change and grow, we go up octaves, as this one seems to drift off into the nothing now.    The tones come through now like "X-Files" or "Stranger Things" (for the kids) and it just feels like a full on alien abduction.    It sounds like we're in water and then a bass line kicks in fast like Beastie Boys.    Somehow, this one ends just as fast and with as much going on as it started and that is not an easy feat for any cassette to say but this is definitely out of this world.  












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