20140127

wet dream/liquid dinner - bedtyme stories (diatom bath, 2011)
a tape that knows how to hit the right note and hold it.  i have never heard of either performer although the tape was "mastered" by ged gengras, a dude i *do* know.  reason i use quotes for the word "mastered" is because it's pretty seriously blown out throughout, no fi in sight.  wet dream's side is more subtle of the two, a series of held tones that build into a wall of distortion; it's somewhere between drone and noise.  the vibe doesn't really have the anger of noise though; it's quite calming, and develops very slowly giving it a feel of a drone track that was completely blown out in recording, a feel supported by audience noise in the beginning--it's interesting to imagine the track without distortion, and i'm pretty sure it'd feel much less pretty to me without the bowel-churning avalanche throughout.  the trajectory and tension of the piece feels like a bit of a lead-in to the b-side, and the b-side seems like a bit of a lead-in back to the a-side, like two things that point at each other in order to point at something else, unseen.  weird thing: neither side really feels "finished" to me, but that positive absence of finality just makes me flip the tape.  the liquid dinner side is more passionate and melodic, beginning with a few rattles and churn as notes and drones emerge and develop.  the midway point offers a nice bashing low end and siren-like synth before launching into a stuttering/repeating melodic chime phrase that keeps restarting over and over until finally allowed to resolve, probably a single sample triggered again and again.  the sensation is like rewinding a music box repeatedly after a few notes.  it's anthemic and focused.  on the whole, this tape has that endearingly amateur bedroom "loop pedal and micro korg into tape deck" approach that is responsible for a helping of mediocre tapes out there, but when it works as it does here, it's diy charm learned and applied.  there's something about this tape that is both epic and personal, but vague/distant enough that i can listen to it a few times through without feeling as drained as i would with something more direct.  there's a nice "fuck it" vibe to this kind of lo-fi ambient/drone music: hey man, let's just lay a bunch of distortion on it, great.  also, it's a good example of a well-matched split that feels greater than the sum of its parts--i wonder if it's the same person on both sides?  hmm.

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