Tuesday, August 16, 2016

CD Review: BABEL "MIND THIEF" (the complete Grid Series recordings) (Arachnidiscs)

[$10 CAD // https://arachnidiscs.bandcamp.com/album/mind-thief-the-complete-grid-series-recordings]

Recently, I received an email from Bandcamp informing me that two new Babel CDs were available through the Arachnidiscs Bandcamp page.   Now, as someone who loves cassettes I need it to be noted that I love good music more than cassettes so seeing these as compact discs didn't make me go, "Oh, fuck that" and hold out for cassette releases or just be bitter that they weren't released on cassette.    I was really just excited to hear new music by Babel and so I went on over to the Arachnidiscs Bandcamp page.   While there, I found out that the two new Babel CDs were also double disc sets and- guess what- here was this other double disc set called "Mind Thief" I didn't remember seeing and so I thought, what the hell, let's get all three double disc sets at once since shipping to/from Canada can sometimes be a pain.

I also must note that a lot of what can be typed about "Mind Thief" can be done so under my mindset when listening to it.   If I was to receive what I felt to be a lot of music (And this is, in all fairness, a lot of music from Babel) at once I might feel overwhelmed.   I might listen to it and by the third or fourth release just get to the point where I feel like it's more of the same and it's not as easy to write about it.   Hell, I feel that way sometimes just listening to releases from artists when I've already heard five or more releases from them before that.  (And I'm not talking about the ones I review so much as the ones I listen to which I hope will make me a fan of the artist everyone else seems to like and I just keep not hearing/feeling it)  When these CDs arrived in the mail though I was excited.   I put "Mind Thief" on right away and went into this review not feeling overwhelmed but rather like I was about to embark upon an adventure, the likes of which would leave me forever changed by the conclusion.

The first thing you need to know about "Mind Thief" is that not only is it a two disc set, but it is a HUGE two disc set.   Disc 1 has 17 tracks while Disc 2 has a whopping 18 and they both clock in just over the 70 minute mark.    I tend to use minutes for movies, but at 140 minutes is so this is like a 2 hr 20 min movie right here.   It's not just that this is a double disc set though.   Just listening to the songs on the first disc make you feel like you're getting more than other artists put together as a single album.    So if you want to assign a number to it and say that just one disc can feel like two, maybe three albums in comparisons to other artists, then you also need to factor in that has to be *doubled* here and you're just getting a whole hell of a lot of BABEL, which is not a bad thing.

While the music can be synth-based in nature, looking at the artwork for this one makes me think it's going to sound more like "Tron" than it actually does.    From ambient to flat out electronic dance party, these songs have hints of "Doctor Who" while also feeling like they primarily take place in space.    Through drum machines come feelings of "Halloween" and just a John Carpenter presence overall.    It can loop, it can sort of scream at times and it can even drone.    This is one of those essential synth based pieces of music because it just seems to push synth to new levels and really show you what can be done in not only modern times (I'm looking at you, Muse) but in the 1980's/early 1990's when you think of "Beverly Hills Cop" and that sort of thing.

There exists this eerie sense to the music as well.  I suppose that could come with the "Doctor Who" references I feel, but it also has elements of "The X-Files" in it as well.   At times you feel like you could really be getting into trouble, yet other times could leave you at the edge of your seat, biting your nails.    There is also this energy in the music, which changes levels at times but it never really seems to die down to the point where you just feel like you're endlessly floating through space-- it always maintains a steady drive; no downtime.

Much like how Queen curated a soundtrack to the movie "Flash Gordon", I suspect this of being some similar soundtrack to some lost or forgotten movie which I'm sure I would have really loved had I seen it in the 1980's or even later on in my teens.    With all of the different components there really isn't really a better way than to describe this one as a space synth odyssey, but for all of the music you'll be experiencing that seems like such a vast understatement.

CD Review: Jack Hardy "For The Sake Of Finding Your Clothes" (Custom Made Music)

[$10 // http://custommademusicva.com/release/for-the-skae-of-finding-your-clothes-cdcassette/]

The first time that I heard Jack Hardy was on cassette and I will admit that hearing him for the second time on compact disc does make a difference.   Granted, I have the same set up for my cassettes and compact discs (and records for that matter) so they all come out of the same speakers, even though I can listen to CDs through my laptop but the speakers aren't as good that way.   The thing that makes the CDs different from cassettes- as much as it pains me to admit it- is that I can listen to CDs in my car and I cannot listen to cassettes there.    This is just better for that overall surround sound feel.

Listening to "For The Sake Of Finding Your Clothes" in the car can demonstrate how truly loud it is.    You never have to wonder about whether or not people outside of your car can hear the music because you know that with levels like this they obviously can.   It's got that distorted quality to it but it also just makes me think of an artist cranking their guitar amp up and letting it blare.

From combinations of the Flaming Lips only faster paced, Wheatus, High Pop / Buddy Holly, Weezer / the Angus soundtrack to Alexei Shishken, this is just one of those infectious albums I simply cannot get enough of whenever I put it on.   It could be called fuzzy psych pop, sure, but what it comes down to really is that I know it goes under some "pop" genre just not "pop punk" or "pop rock", so the best way to describe it is noise pop and, well, it doesn't really get much better than this.

Cassette Review: Nicole Kidman "Project Sadness" (Kerchow! Records)

[$5 // Edition of 100 // https://kerchowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/project-sadness]

Nicole Kidman has been around for a while and I feel like there are cassettes (and even records!) out there in a lot of places which make it hard to keep up unless you're this true die-hard fan and want to perhaps murder someone in their sleep to get that out of print cassette from years and years ago.   But this cassette is actually a tribute of sorts to Nicole Kidman, though it appears as if it is less than a "We're making this cassette for you" and more of a "We're making this cassette *with* you" type of deal.

Morgue Toad, Math, Casey Chisholm and Restaurnaut all appear on here in some capacity and, I mean, this just seems to have a very specific niche of people it will cater to but isn't that what you should like best about it?   Obviously if you're a huge fan of Nicole Kidman you will listen to this because there is still some of that Nicole Kidman involvement in it rather than it just being a straight out covers cassette.   But then if you are also a fan of any of these other artists who take part (or more than one of them) then you should be listening to this as well.

It's kind of fun that both File Island and Suzy's Dead cover the song "Obsess".    Do you think we could get twenty different artists to cover that song and create a cassette called "Obsessed With Nicole Kidman"?   I'd actually be down to listen to that, if the artists each gave it their own sort of take, and both File Island and Suzy's Dead did that here.    I also will likely never grow tired of hearing people sing about how life really sucks and so if you have that same shared apathy to life in general then this cassette is definitely for you.   I think this cassette would do fans of Nicole Kidman justice while at the same time perhaps winning over fans who hadn't yet heard of Nicole Kidman but were fans of another artist on here.   It just functions on so many levels, yet is so specific, that is becomes hard to avoid.

Cassette Review: Fir Cone Children "Firconium" (Blackjack Illuminist Records)

[€5 // Edition of 15 // https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/firconium]

From "Everything Is Easy" to "The Age Of Blastbeatles", this is my third time hearing Fir Cone Children on cassette and so it only seems appropriate it would be titled "Firconium".   Of course I can only see the title as a combination of "Fir Cone" and "pandemonium", much like how others before them have added -mania to the end of their name, which brings back thoughts of The Beatles (Beatlemania) and even Hulk Hogan (Hulkamania)-- and don't laugh because I have a Hulk Hogan cassette I might review one day.

At this point I can only imagine you have also heard Fir Cone Children by now and are familiar enough with their music for me to not have to go into too great of detail about it.   I like to think- and not just because of their album title references- that I'm living back in a time when someone like The Beatles hit.   You know, there was a time when bands could release albums and not really be known (like how Nirvana didn't really get widely reviewed until their third album), but I feel for some reason like in the time of The Beatles every album they put out from day one was reviewed by everyone.

So you just imagine being someone writing and/or reading a review for a third album by a widely known artist that everyone loves and respects.    That's how I feel about this Fir Cone Children cassette although obviously Fir Cone Children doesn't have the same household name value as, say, Neon Trees or some other radio artist right now, but hey, the musical universe is upside down at this point in time and I'm working as hard as I can to change that.   (Why is it that the most popular artists have the least talent and the ones with the most talent are seemingly scraping by?  Let's fix it now!)

Fuzzy, loud and melodic are three solid words to describe the sounds of Fir Cone Children.   They have that feel where they could be on the "Angus" soundtrack, as they are contemporaries with artists such as Weezer and Smoking Popes but don't share enough of the same qualities for me to make a statement such as "This sounds like Weezer".    There are elements of Grouplove in here, who I fell in love with some time ago and enjoy even more now since they sing the song for "Bojack Horseman" in the end credits and, you know, if we're straight-shooting the song "Family (First Encounter)" reminds me a bit of George Michael's "Faith" in the lighter parts.

From Blur to that Beverly Hills 90210 smooth rock, this can also take on a sound which is somewhat twee in its roots.    It's not that Fir Cone Children is all over the place-- it's that there is this genre of music which could be stoner pop rock (or distorted instead of stoner) which Arthur Yoria tends to favor, and within it exist all of these sub-genres.   Fir Cone Children explore some of those sub-genres through this cassette but it just flows so fluidly that it doesn't sound like they're really even leaving one genre, which is what I would say the sound is overall.

There is also a distorted, energetic anthem "(We Are) Fir Cone Children" and it just captures everything I love about this music so well.    I'm not saying by any means that every artist out there should have their own theme song but the fact that Fir Cone Children have created one here just goes to show you not only how good this music is but also how far onto that next level it is as well.     This is truly the type of music people will look back on years from now- decades even- and say was ahead of its time.

Loose Cannon Fodder #32 [08.12.16]

This week we started with Raw, which was delayed for us since we went to a baseball game on Tuesday night.   I keep thinking about whether or not I'll continue doing Loose Cannon Fodder every week after the first year and I feel like once I make it to the year mark then I'll stop because it's just too time consuming and I'd rather just stick with the PPV reviews.    Episodes of Raw- such as this week- don't really help matters any.   Enzo & Cass were out first, then Chris Jericho came out and said he found someone to have his back, which was Kevin Owens.   There was a lot of talking then the predictable Chris Jericho vs. Enzo Amore match with the other two guys at ringside to set up the tag match for Summerslam.

Braun Strowman defeated another jobber while Darren Young defeated Titus O'Neil but those matches were both kept off of the Hulu replay so we could instead hear a Seth Rollins in ring promo about Finn Balor.

Cesaro defeated Sheamus in a hard-hitting match (like last week) that ended with a roll up.   I feel like we need a more decisive victory though and these two may meet at Summerslam so we can see Sheamus swinging around the ring.

Neville and Sin Cara defeated The Dudley Boyz but it was left off of th Hulu replay, as Neville has been lately.   But we did see a long and boring wedding segment with Rusev and Lana that was crashed by Roman Reigns, setting up their match for Summerslam.   Wow was this boring.

Sasha Banks defeated Dana Brooke which means that at Summerslam Dana Brooke will be banned from ringside.   The way the commentators said that it meant Charlotte would have to go it alone at Summerslam makes me feel like Charlotte is going to be doing some recruiting, which I really think she should.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson had this weird doctor promo about how they crotched Big E and then when Gallows faced Kofi Kingston one on one they tried to do the same thing only this time Xavier Woods stopped them with a chair.   There was also this backstage segment with P-Diddy and New Day, minus Big E.    This show was such a mess, watching Luke Gallows read from a cue card kind of made me feel badly for him, like, he doesn't need to do this shit he just needs to go out there and kick ass.

The oddest part is that Mick Foley came out to close the show with Daniel Bryan and I thought, "Oh great, we're watching this talking segment so how much of Raw did we miss that were actual matches??"   The funny thing is, we only missed three matches, one of which was a Braun Strowman squash so I'm not complaining about that.   We saw a Jericho-Enzo DQ finish, Cesaro-Sheamus rematch from last week with a quick finish and, um, Sasha Banks-Dana Brooke.  So, really we saw three matches and missed three as well, and yet of the three we saw only one of them really felt like a match, which was Sasha Banks vs. Dana Brooke.   Raw really needs to step it up and it can be done with the United States Title picture.

Why does Roman Reigns want the United States Championship?  That is to say, why did he start this feud with Rusev when he just lost to Finn Balor?   Why wouldn't he still try and pursue Balor and Rollins?   When the winner comes after Summerslam for the WWE Universal Championship, will Roman Reigns go after them then?   If this is kind of a throw away feud in that sense, then why is Roman Reigns having it with the United States Champion, the only actual male champion on Raw??

More importantly, why doesn't someone else want to challenge Rusev for the US Championship??   Where is Big Show?  Where is Bo Dallas?  I feel like Bo Dallas should have got some sort of makeover and been on Raw by now in a stronger role, unless he and Curtis Axel are just going to be a tag team since Heath Slater is not on Raw.   Jinder Mahal got a Raw contract last week (Which was edited out on Hulu) but where was he this week??   I'm just really beginning to feel like we're barely into this brand split and already the rosters feel too thin.

After seeing Cesaro face of with Rusev to end Raw in a rather pointless match we decided to skip over Smack Down! for a later time and head straight into NXT.    Unfortunately, a lot of NXT this week featured jobbers in squash matches and little booking logic.    Bayley and Asuka kicked things off with their contract signing and I'm still not convinced Bayley can win the title back.

In the first match of the show the Authors of Pain defeated Rob Ryzin (who WWE.com still likes to call Rob Kimball despite what is actually said on the show) and Adrian Nails.   I don't ever see Ryzin and Nails becoming a tag team that can be taken seriously, unfortunately, and the AOP just destroyed them leading to a post match save from TM-61.   While I like the idea of an AOP-TM-61 match on paper I still feel as if both of these two teams are still too new to NXT to come out of it with a loss.    At least it gives TM-61 something to do though since they're not in the title hunt yet.  (Gargano/Ciampa vs. TM-61 would be excellent though, if given the time on a live Take Over)

Andrade "Cien" Almas defeated Angelo Dawkins in the next match and while Dawkins isn't exactly a jobber because we've seen him quite a bit before, I still can't remember a time when he was winning and you kind of had to know that Andrade "Cien" Almas was going over here.   After the match, Bobby Roode came out and challenged ACA to a match at Take Over and this could be bad as well.   ACA can't really afford to suffer a loss right now, but this will also be Bobby Roode's first televised match in NXT, so... Yeah, an interesting idea so let's see how it plays out since my interest level in both of these wrestlers right now is at a lull.

We had a jobber vs. jobber match next as Billie Kay defeated Liv Morgan.   I actually kind of like Billie Kay at least over Liv Morgan because Liv Morgan is from New Jersey.   Though, to be fair, hearing Corey Graves constantly trash NJ on commentary during Liv Morgan matches kind of makes it all worthwhile.

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa will get a tag team title shot at Take Over and tonight they defeated the team of Tucker Knight and Patrick Clark.   This was a poor choice in booking as it felt like someone said "Get me two guys who are TV ready for Gargano and Ciampa to defeat".    This is not how the former Tough Enough contestant Patrick Clark should be introduced to NXT.   Also, while on Tough Enough (and after being eliminated) Mick Foley seemed to be a big fan of Patrick Clark.  I wonder if that will come into effect now that he is the GM over on Smack Down! with former Tough Enough judge Daniel Bryan.   (Okay, maybe only *some* of that is accurate, but does it even matter at this point??)

Speaking of not mattering at this point, Samoa Joe defeated Mojo Rawley in the main event because APPARENTLY THE DRAFT MEANT NOTHING.    Mojo was drafted to Smack Down! so why am I still seeing him on NXT?  Finn Balor was drafted to Raw and I haven't seen him since.   But the real problem- and this was just the icing on the cake- was that this week had a lot of jobber matches and none of them really felt particularly good.   It was an easy episode of NXT to miss.    If you remember a time when Shinsuke Nakamura fought one half of BAMF, even though you could say it was a given Nakamura would win the match still felt more special somehow.    These matches just all fell flat with me and with the announced match of No Way Jose vs. Austin Aries this is shaping up to be one of the most interesting Take Overs, which I will likely write up a preview for soon enough.  

After NXT we began Smack Down! which we sort of watched while waking up Saturday morning.    The show opened with The Wyatt Family, Dolph Ziggler and then Dean Ambrose and we got a tag team main event as Bray Wyatt at least still has Erick Rowan by his side.   Wouldn't it be weird if Luke Harper returned on Smack Down! and thus Braun Strowman was just left alone on Raw?  Though if Luke Harper returned to be re-branded in NXT I'd kind of be excited about that.

American Alpha defeated some jobbers in the first match and Mauro did a great job of saying what a huge opportunity this was for the jobbers.   This also, for whatever reason, brought out all of the tag teams on Smack Down!, which was certainly interesting to see.

Becky Lynch vs. Eva Marie ended in a no contest when Eva had a "wardrobe malfunction" and couldn't compete.   Is there someone out there in a bizarro world type scenario typing about how much they love this Eva Marie angle?   Every time she's introduced as being "all red everything" it makes me wonder why she's not on Raw.   Also, this whole "I'm not fighting tonight" deal worked out so well for Fandango, right?

Alexa Bliss came out to face Becky Lynch because Becky still wanted a fight and so when Eva Marie's music hit again to distract Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss got the win.   Alexa Bliss does have red in her hair, so could her and Eva Marie be working together?   It's also funny how Becky Lynch seemingly lost twice in the same night and seemingly can't sink any further down the ladder.   Soon she'll be a local competitor losing to Nia Jax.

Randy Orton defeated Alberto Del Rio via DQ in a match which would have otherwise felt like a throwaway deal but once again Mauro made it feel important.   Does anyone else appreciate the work of Mauro Ranallo as much as I do?  And yet someone is likely out there complaining that he's only on Smack Down! because WWE had to pay him so much to get him away from MMA.  Ugh.   And if Randy Orton can't defeat Alberto Del Rio cleanly then... Sorry, Randy, you're losing to Brock Lesnar at Summerslam.

Rhyno defeated Heath Slater so Slater wasn't awarded a contract.   David Otunga actually stated on commentary that he and Daniel Bryan were in Nexus with Heath Slater so they kind of have a soft spot for him, which I thought was a nice touch.  After the match Heath Slater stormed off and Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon appeared as if they were going to offer him a contract anyway.
Carmella defeated Natalya to move up the ladder a bit, while Becky Lynch continues to fall further down it.   I'm expecting Eva Marie and Becky Lynch to have a "PPV" match at some point, but could they just add these two women in as well and make it a tag match?

Baron Corbin attacked Kalisto in the locker room for costing him his IC Title shot, which Apollo Crews earned and we had to watch a bunch of ridiculous Miz segments about including one where Scooby Doo locked The Miz in the Mystery Machine and messed with The Miz's car.   Because we all know that cars- especially the Mystery Machine- lock from the outside.   Go home, WWE booking-- you're drunk.    Looks like it'll be Corbin-Kalisto on the Summerslam pre-show.

Smack Down! ended with Ambrose & Ziggler picking up the win over Bray Wyatt & Erick Rowan (which makes me think Luke Harper should go to NXT and come back as not a Wyatt Family member) and I'd be surprised if Dolph Ziggler doesn't end up in a feud with Bray Wyatt after Summerslam (or joining him somehow).    Still, this was a somewhat forgettable episode of Smack Down!- though slightly better than Raw- and I don't think there was a mention as to why Shelton Benjamin didn't return as the vignettes said he would (not on the show itself at least) but Smack Down! needs to do something drastic because it feels like it did back when it was taped and that's not a good thing.  

On Impact, Lashley won all of the titles in the main event while Gail Kim and Maria continued to have drama, EC3 and Eddie Edwards took on Moose and Mike Bennett, The Hardyz (sort of) defeated Al Snow's NXT jobbers while Brother Nero became Broken himself and Damien Sandow made his debut by cutting a mediocre promo.    Sandow is now known as Aron Rex- which makes me wonder if WWE owns Aaron "Idol" Stevens or not- and I'm not sure how I feel about him in TNA yet.    I do feel like it was odd that WWE released Damien Sandow and then decided to have the brand split and start hiring all these guys.   They could have kept Sandow and not brought Jinder Mahal back.   Or now, without Shelton Benjamin returning, it'd be nice to have him on the roster still.    I'm just not sure how well he is going to fit within TNA given that TNA doesn't seem to have the same talent pool for him to be with and then it's just weird because they could put him into the title mix and make him TNA Champion eventually but it's still not as meaningful somehow as being WWE Champion because even Eric Young held that TNA title.    I would kind of rather have just seen him in ROH or New Japan, but what can you do.   We'll see how this deal with TNA plays out, especially since guys like AJ Styles, Austin Aries, Samoa Joe, Bobby Roode and Eric Young left TNA after being there for so long.

Overall, I feel like this week in professional wrestling was a bit underwhelming.    We watched ROH TV last week and didn't quite have a new episode yet for this week (It'll be for next week's review) and so all we really had was WWE and TNA, neither of which really did anything worth writing much about.     If you spent the last week sleeping on your weekly wrestling shows, yeah, you'll be all right.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Baseball Blog ::: Barnstormers 7, Bees 6 [08.06.16]

Official Barnstormers recap here: http://www.lancasterbarnstormers.com/halton-slugs-winning-homer-in-ninth/

Photos on main site as slide show and then ultimately Baseball sub-site.

As part of our quest to see every Atlantic League team in New Britain this season we went with my father and Uncle Willie on this Saturday to see the Bees take on the Lancaster Barnstormers.    The Bees had lost the night before with a score of 9-2 so they weren't all in the best of moods.   We got there right as the gates were opening and it was free pin night so we got the 5th of six pins.    It is worth noting that we now have three of the pins as the first and third are too similar for me to justify buying the first one and then we missed the fourth one but it was in the gift shop we just weren't sure whether or not to buy it at this point.   The pins (and pennant) are available to the point where I could buy them and put them all together nicely, but since I didn't attend all the games it doesn't make sense to me.  I have two of the Bees pins of my bag right now and our third one- which we paid for- is still unsure of where it will go.

They didn't have players signing at the table this game so Quentin and I went near the dugout to try and get our cards signed.   Since last Friday I had gone through the cards and pulled out the players who were no longer with the team.   Then, on Saturday morning before the game, I checked to see if we were going to see that same pitcher again as the last two games and I found out he was released.    I also had to move around three other cards based upon transactions so the number of cards which we could get signed went down.   Oh well.   We ended up getting a total of twelve cards signed (Some players seemed rather bothered when we asked them, but I won't name any names) and we were only left with the two coaches and then three other players-- two pitchers and Greg Golsen.   I don't know where Greg Golsen was for this game.  He was on their roster.   I've seen him play before so I would have recognized him if he was wearing a jacket over his number 7.   But I just don't know where he was.   (On the other hand, the two pitchers we didn't get to sign, I'm not sure I could have picked them out without seeing their number so they might have been right in front of us only in jackets)

The game was a good back and forth game and the Barnstormers really gave the Bees every opportunity they needed.    There were passed balls by the pitcher, second baseman, first baseman, catcher-- just about everyone missed a ball which helped runners to advance for the Bees.   It was tied 3-3 at one point and I thought we'd be going to extra innings.   Then the Bees went up 6-3 and I was hoping for no bottom of the ninth.   Then it was tied 6-6 and we were back to the idea of extra innings.   Top of the ninth though, a Barnstormers player blasted a solo home run which proved to be the end of the game.

The odd thing here was the Bees had Nate Roe pitching (An article I found said he's 2-3 but I don't know if that's with the Bees or not) and this was if not his first start then one of his first starts while the Barnstormers had Joey Maher as their starter and he was listed as 0-0 so this might have also been one of his first starts.   It's just strange that the Bees keep losing pitchers (the bad ones get released, the good ones go to the majors) and then they somehow seem to replenish their starting rotation with pitchers I still want to see.  Nate Roe pitched a good enough game to get the W (he didn't take the loss) and the Bees also recently acquired Kevin Vance, who I want to see pitch live before the season is over and Jarret Leverett will hopefully be the next pitcher we see.

The Bees took a hard loss here and for all of our games so far this season I do believe we've only ever seen the Bees win once, which is a shame.   They were giving away a lot of tickets to the game next Saturday- which people may or may not actually show up for- but I know we're getting free tickets from the library, so hopefully they can pull out the win next Saturday for us.    On Friday night the Bees lost by a lot and then on Sunday they won by a lot as well, so this was kind of that in between game which I must admit I enjoyed just because it was so close.   It would have been better to have been there on Sunday to see the Bees get a more definitive win, but seeing the Bees lose by a lot is worse as we've seen that before as well.   So I was just happy that this was a somewhat close game throughout and seeing all of the Barnstormers errors was a rare occurrence as well.

Cassette Review: Shapeshift "Hypercolor" (æscape sounds)

[$3 // Edition of 20 // https://aescapesounds.bandcamp.com/album/shapeshift-hypercolor-2]

Back when cassettes were considered to be the new technology there were cassingles which was basically just one song being put onto the Side A of a cassette and usually another song from the album on Side B.    If you still browse through cassettes at stores like Savers (like I do) then you will see cassingles every so often and think "But why pay a dollar for two songs when I could pay that for the entire album on cassette?"   But in the 1990's an entire cassette could cost around $13-$15 where as a cassingle went anywhere from $1 to $3.49.    Record labels, I would assume, lost a lot of money on this idea because people would then pay only for the one song they wanted and wouldn't dish out the $15 for the one song they liked and nine other less good songs.

It took them nearly until the advent of the compact disc to figure it out, but eventually cassingles came with B-sides that couldn't be found anywhere else (Pearl Jam LOVED to do this) and remixes as well, which were all tools to help you buy the cassingle and then maybe the album one day as well still they at least hoped.   I don't know.  I owned a lot of cassingles in the 1990's and of them I'd say maybe 40% I went on to purchase the entire album.  Of course, we had Columbia House and BMG back then but that's another story for another time.

Shapeshift brings us back to that time in the 1990's- via æscape sounds- and offers up the single "Hypercolor" which is then remixed on Side A once and twice on Side B.   So it's a total of four songs overall, each a little bit different than the last, but yet all really the same.   Hey, there was a time when it was okay to have an album version and radio edit so I'm just thankful no one is bringing that back yet.    Who buys a cassingle for the radio edit?

"Hypercolor" begins as a fast paced song with electronic beats and static bursts.   There is the sound of water and then it turns into this heavier chaos ala "Run Lola Run".   There are samples of singing blended in- and different people singing as well- and then it becomes some synth tone bliss.   I'm not the type of person to remix a song, but I assume that if I was this would be a lot of fun simply because it gives you so much more to work with than just the straight up verse/chorus/verse deal.

The next three remixes prove just that and this becomes one of those cassettes you need not just as a fan of Shapeshift-- and I mean, this one song did make me a fan right away-- but because of what is happening here, how it is being remixed and who is remixing it.   It's just one of those great facets of music which isn't explored enough and æscape sounds has managed to perfect it with this cassingle.

Now, I realize that this could just be my way of thinking but I imagine something happening like a Facebook post or what not which says "Send us your remixes" and then a bunch of artists send in remixes for the song "Hypercolor".   I imagine these three as being the best of the bunch and therefore making the cut to be on this cassette, but for some reason- and I may not be correct in assuming this but that's okay with me- I just imagine all these remixes of "Hypercolor" which just didn't fit on here.  I imagine a cassette compilation just of remixes of this song and it makes me rather pleased.