Cassette Review //
Pay Dirt
"Error Theft Disco"


Edition of 50 // //

There is a constant hum when this cassette begins- like a motor.  It has some windy static feeling going on with it, but then it increases, louder and louder until it's just full blown sharpness and the levels of the distortion plus sharpness are enough to make someone upset when they are not expecting it.  It calms down a little bit but still feels like we're just fumbling through radio stations, trying to find one playing our song.   As the electronics come through again, it sounds like the beeping is trying to say "Wall-E" but cannot.  It's a little sad.   Sharp frequencies and distorted blasts have this one not being for the faint of heart.

A quieter rattling now, like we're circling the drain, and then as everything seemingly fades down you can still hear the engine drone.   The way the next set of tones come through distorted makes me feel like we're listening to some sort of glitching electronics, possibly a vacuum cleaner sucking up a robot and, hey, that might be the key to us surviving the "Terminator" when the time comes.   It definitely sounds as if we're going around a racetrack now at top speeds as the beeps and bloops come into the field.    Beeping and screeching, this one gets tired now, as if the car is running out of gas.

Bass distorted beats bring in the songs of birds.  An acoustic drum makes way for an audio sample now, as you can hear someone speaking.   Twists and turns as the birds fly.    Loud sharpness and it feels as if that driving drone from earlier is not hitting an error.   As it gets quiet, it bursts right back into loud sharpness and so at times you'll feel like you're getting comfortable and relaxing, but then are almost instantly ripped right out of that lull and made to be awake and at full attention.   Even as it calms near the end you can still hear the harshness trying to come through, never really letting you sleep.

What I think of as the bird sounds are growing increasingly loud now and have this sort of abrasive way about them where they've somehow managed to become harsh.   I'm not sure how birds sound when they're aggressive but this feels like that.   "The Birds" is one of my favorite movies but I don't remember anything quite like this.   I feel like if you played this for birds they would be outraged and I just would not recommend that.    As it dips down into a slight sense of quiet, it comes right back up, louder and with all of the feelings of a broken pinball machine.  The screeches and squeals return as this one is just right back to being harsh on the ears.  A deep bass also exists behind this all, like "Jaws".

A quieter static starts off the flip side.  We have what sounds like a steady engine behind this one as well, as it just feels like we're about to blast off into space.  The frequencies twist and turn, sharper and sharper, and then audio clips are brought in to where sometimes you can hear words but they don't always seem to form sentences and seem more pieced together like patchwork.  The banging of a drum now.  I feel like I heard the audio clip say "finch" and "wings" and so I do believe this audio clip is about birds.  As it repeats it might be saying "calming bird" or "humming bird" but I am not sure.

There is a beeping glitch now, as if a game of Pong has gone wrong.  Still some electronics coming through sharply, a soft drum and whistle.   It sounds as if a guitar is being softly strum now as insects fly around it.   Back and forth notes, this could be a country song where someone uses a washboard and a bucket.   Static of the bugs increases louder and louder as the picking of strings becomes less heard.   This feels more like the insects are taking over than the birds but imagine both birds and bugs (which can fly) taking over human life and that might be something we should be concerned about one day.

The beeps of a pinball game with choppy wind behind it.   This feels like it could break out into an electronic song like The Prodigy at any moment now.   Audio clips return as do some more sharp cuts.  It's the bouncing of a ball and feeling like everything around you is falling to pieces.  Echoing through that trippy outerspace it feels as if we're trying to speak but this one is just lost in the void.  A strumming or perhaps banging of a drum as the words return behind all of this electronic scrambles.   A steady beat like a bouncing ball.  Distorted whooshes.   There is a video game way about this now, but something from an arcade.  The engine creates a rapid fire sound as the frequency changes.

Words come through like a distorted informational video.  We're stuck in a bit of a loop here and I think it's saying "four tones" before we get into this distorted drive which seems to wipe us off the map.  It feels as if we're taking turns between those distorted landmines and frequency lasers.  Words still try to form and I feel like we're in a pinball game which is erroring right before we have all the distortion and electronics of a modem.   I'm still not certain what the words are trying to tell us, but with some blasts we reach the end and as much as I hope that the humans have survived I'm even more concerned about the birds.  This just felt like a war on flight.