Friday, November 18, 2022

Cassette Review //
Abu Ama
"TOTEM"
(Mahorka)




https://mahorka.bandcamp.com/album/totem


This cassette begins with blasts like horns and they create this wonderful, dancing type of beat.   The rhythm here is just something out of a movie because it has that big stage feel.   This has dropped off now into these drum machine beats, sax notes coming through here and there and all with this haunted air behind it, as if we're standing outside under the moonlight with trash blowing in the street around us.   It's got that pulp noir feel to it.  

We dive deeper now into the distorted beats and feeling like we are digging our way through something in an old video game- which makes me think of Dig Dug naturally.   It slows down now, as it feels more methodic with these whistles behind it that echoes.   We switch things up now into a much more traditional sounding electronica with those laser blasts behind these electronic beats.

Back to that sound this all started with now, which very much makes me think of India.   The rhythm is quite fast paced as well, so it just feels like we're constantly moving.   Words of some sort can be heard being spoken within this now but I'm not sure what they are saying, partly because they are behind the music.  

On the flip side now we have music coming out with just a lovely rhythm and the vocals are being broken up within it.   We're in deeper beats now with those sitar sounds and it just feels so much like this constant moving throughout the entire cassette so far- we have not slowed down one bit.    Quieter now, it feels as if we are in a martial arts film with the slight ringing and the back and forth of the hollow moans.  

The quiet drifts off into the sounds of animals, such as in an ambient jungle now.    That big flute-like siren trills on in now.   Strings come through in a serious tone and it makes it feel as if something big is about to happen.   Eerie whirrs drop off now into the percussion sounding like destruction and then the singing returns and it's somewhat ominous as well.  

It seems as if the gong hits and big laser beats take this one into a dance club vibe.  Vocals are once again in here- though different than any time I've heard them before on this cassette- and the thunder is crashing down as well.   The vocals get downright scary as the song comes to a close and we get a little bit lighter with the next one.  

With clicking and haunted tones, this sounds like "Paint It Black" on some level at first but there is also just that vibe of it being a haunted house soundtrack as it seems to have some of the souls trying to break free from it.   It's a little bit like chanting within this as well.    This all changes in the next song as the pulsating beats come through with industrial sounds.   This has gone from feeling like a haunted house of sorts right into the dance club.   This also can begin to feel like an alarm is going off when it doesn't have the beats.

Through echoes in space now, beeps are spread out and feel like a classic sci-fi spaceship setting or a metal detector on the beach.   As this feels like we're in space, it also begins this steady, early NIN type of beat behind it.   The way these transmissions keep bleeping through while we're just moving with the rhythm behind it makes for quite the sound.  The sound just keeps the pacing now where it can be moved along with and it just feels like a relaxed dance party.   The rhythm just seems to be key on this cassette so far.

The percussion seems to shift into acoustics now and it is all that there is feeding this sound.   There is also this sound now of the percussion being a drum machine, like that 1990's sound of hip hop / pop / NKOTB, but it also comes through like it's breaking things.   Vocals are coming through now with those synth lasers and the vocals have been given the maximum amount of bass so they're kind of disguised.  

There is a percussion, a rhythm with a word or two being spoken here and this feels like fun.   Inside of this nice groove comes this almost alarming horn sound.   You can really begin to hear the melody form and though this song is instrumental, there is a hook in it.   This turns into a more percussion based SNES type of sound.   After some words the music continues with higher pitched sounding acoustics.   This feels like an instructional video- maybe about your life- as the beat pulsates behind it.  

After a little bit of that Pole Position synth sound we go into these tones which come out like the beginning of a Quentin Tarantino film.   Beeping and laser blasts bring about a stronger sort of synth sound which makes it feel like the 1980's.    This gets a bit more of a hollow bass sound into it and for some reason it makes me think of that Empire of the Sun song "Walking on a Dream" (which I always thought was Foster The People)  While it maintains this sound somewhat, it also gets quite heavier on the drumming.  














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