Neal Retke submitted a few albums to me for review, and I chose this one.
The opening tracks, "Signed, Epstein's Mother Part 1 and 2" are somehow percussive without the use of actual percussion or any drumming. There are no electronic drums either, as far as I can tell, but it has a percussive quality to it. Like when playing an electronic piano percussively. There is more than one instrument on this but they all work as a percussive electric piano in my ears. Quite an interesting feel to these two tracks. Even the vocals have a drum-like quality to them without becoming rap-vocals, which often happens in this scenario.
These are followed "Alas! The Great Horned Owl Shirked And Doddering Under Ripening Clouds", a spoken word track, which reminds me of something from Walls of Genius tapes of the 80's but in a way, not at all. A modernized version of these yelling-pieces by WOG perhaps? I don't know how else to describe it. I love it though!
"Big Black Goddamn Car" has samples of what sounds like monkeys accompanied by bass guitar arpeggios with a short delay-type effect on them. Then what sounds like vinyl record noise is introduced to give it an analog feel, and short synthesized keystrokes build up into...silence! The track is over, go home please!
"Mother Of Drugs I: The Hissing": the hissing has a lot of ambient pad synths and drums and strings coming in once in a while and cutting out again seemingly at random, but sometimes it sounds like they're played backwards for just a split second before re-introducing the pad synth.
Then "Mother Of Drugs II: The Line" starts with reading of a poem that could have been created with Burroughs' famous cutup technique. A single low key on an upright piano (either MIDI or actual) repeats through the song in the background while sounds are being played backwards in the periphery of the soundscape, until it eventually builds up into the repeating vocal mantra ”The Line” being spoken in a loop fading into...
"Mother Of Drugs III: The Doom Prophet What Is Known As Skippy"
This sounds almost like Gregorian chants and backwards turntable scratches with echoes on them delaying for a while, then a muted guitar through a delay pedal being plucked without any chords being played.
"Hallway Of Glass" starts out with breathing sounds that has been tuned to a keyboard through a sampler (at least that is what it sounds like to my ears). After a few seconds heavily reverberated reversed sounds enter to make a swirling effect almost like an old-fashioned Leslie for an organ. The breathing sounds are percussive in the same way that I heard on the first two tracks of this album. Not worrying as much about the tonality but more the percussiveness of it. I could zone out on this for hours, but unfortunately this track is only 8 minutes and 20 seconds long.
The title track starts out with scrambled voice samples ending in what sounds like "What's up?", then a low almost growling voice accompanies some high pitched notes singing lyrics, which I can't make out but they sound divine. Then the high pitched voice starts emulating a muted trumpet and saying "yes" once in a while, and then the whole symphony of voices (probably the voice of the same person) goes on to a grand finale in the next approximately 8 minutes to invoke all the spirits of the dead in the room and make sure you have nightmares for weeks. The reverberated echoes make this even more potent. I wouldn't recommend listening to this one if you're in a psychotic state; it might convince you to kill the hippy king.
The final track "Bigger Blacker Goddamnerer Car" has a lot of panning going on. It has a woman's voice saying "Big Black Goddamn Car" in different earphones; then a man's voice enters in the middle repeating these words out of sync with her creating what sounds like she is doing the delay effect. A guitar is to be heard in the distance but only a snippet of it , and it sounds like it is pitched onto a keyboard. All in all this sounds like something I'd love to do a cassette release of on Stilletid. I noticed it is 45 minutes long so I sense a split cassette is in order! Neal! Get back to me on that.
4 and a half stars out of 4 and a half stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In his post from January 22nd Ditlev requested that Ec participants send items for review.