Cassette Review // Seth Andrew Davis "Highways Jammed With Broken Heroes" (Personal Archives)


Throughout this cassette, Seth Andrew Davis both explores and displays the use of electronics in music.  At first they can come out sounding scattered and the beeping leaves it feeling a bit like Droids.   An electronic splash comes through, as it then grows quieter and more minimal.  Slowly, the sound begins to creep back in before expanding.  This is delivered in layers which makes it feel complex.

A sound comes through which I cannot describe.  It's somewhere between digging, growling and a raining type of vibe.  Beeps are within it like wind chimes and as it grows it can feel as if it is also mechanical.  It really sounds like we're inside of a storm also, with beeps going off as well.  Organs and birds both come through and then a springy type sound which has a nice rhythm gets behind this electricity.  

As that fades we begin a new song of electronic noise.  There are parts of pinball glitch in here, then the electronics begin fluttering and crashing at the same time.  Quieter springs come through now before the electronic skramz comes out, bringing with it a lot of chaos, before this first side comes to an end.

On the flip side, we begin with whirrs cutting through as it also feels like waves are crashing in the ocean.   The electronics slowly begin to beep back into play.  It gets a little bit sharper, more intense, and begins to feel like something out of a horror movie now.   Some static is coming through now, rippling, as it feels like we're in water still but the electronics are here.  I feel like that idea of electricity and water don't mix, so this all feels very new to me.

We're diving deep down into a spiral now and one of the ways which my brain is making this okay is thinking of the technology involved with deep sea diving and even perhaps sending a robot with a camera down to see how far we can go before reaching the bottom of the ocean.   A steady rhythm now.   The electronics are really growing and expanding to become louder now, yet it also still feels hollow and empty.

It still feels like we're in the water but there are some electronic insects and Transformers type of sounds within here as well.  That storm-like static comes through now with the beeping.   As the beeps are grooving, it can begin to feel as if we're on this steady drive but then it ends and it feels as if all of time and space is expanding, ripping apart really.   This all feels out of control untl it reaches the end, as if we've met our demise.

Slow creaking is bringing us back into the sound now.   The beeping comes through now like Morse Code.   This can lead us into a sound very much like floating through space, like pieces of our spaceship are falling apart.   All of these beautiful electronics feel as if they're being released all at once now, like how you hear a lot of birds flying overhead at once when they are in large groups and it seems like there are too many.

The next song begins with these tones that vibrate and echo through.   Strumming those electronic strings and creating waves, there are also notes behind it falling off.   A little bit of skipping static now.  Rambling around the glass.   The ringing comes through like magic and it can also feel as if the pinball glitch sound has returned.   This bubbles and boils over and out to end the cassette.  


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