Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Cassette Review //
Orca, Attack!
"C.M.S.O. (Learning by Listening Vol. 1)"
(Strategic Tape Reserve)


Sold Out // https://elizabethjoankelly.bandcamp.com/album/c-m-s-o-learning-by-listening-vol-1 // https://strategictapereserve.bandcamp.com/album/c-m-s-o-learning-by-listening-vol-1 //

When listening to Orca, Attack! you will hear two distinct sounds combined, though in some ways it can feel as if there are three.  On one hand, the first sound you pick up on might be that of electronic folk swirl.   There are vocals in here, though not within a traditional way as it feels as if they are being run through a filter, but there still does exist that layer of melody where you can hear what sounds like an acoustic guitar strumming along with more electronic vibes, something which perhaps Flaming Lips might do.

At the same time as this, spoken word vocals can come through which talk about C.M.S.O. and the words can be easily manipulated.  They happen to start off and carry on throughout the second track as if through a robotic filter.   Then the other aspect of these songs comes through with a little bit of glitch, some beats and an overall feeling of space.  This has that quality where it could be an instructional tape but at the same time it feels like a horror story set in space.   The two elements combined definitely make it worth taking a listen.

On the flip side the beats and robotics begin with a sound such as that of an old television theme song, along the lines of Doogie Howser but not quite.  Vocals come through and as they are manipulated it is difficult to tell whether or not there are lyrics.   We are now told that the best way to support CMSO is through TCB, which I believe is taking care of business.  This has a strong technology and business way about it, which is quite interesting when combined with music but also just to think about this coming about because of an old found cassette seems to make it that much more special as well.

The sound grows quieter, very minimal and it feels as if it is almost at a whisper with the spoken word.   Organ tones come in now as it feels like a cross between a scary movie and church.  It definitely has that vibe of being part of a choir and it also wishes to give us that "Ethical Approval", as the title states.  It's kind of fun how this cassette begins with that wild electro-folk sound and then ends on something along the same lines though not completely the same.  It just keeps that instructional aspect sandwiched in between and that just feels fitting.

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