Tabs Out | Reid Karris – Cynical Nihilist

Reid Karris – Cynical Nihilist

9.22.20 by Ryan Masteller

We all know how exhausting being a nihilist is. But add cynicism on top of that? You’re likely to fall into a coma! Then you’d have to at least believe in the paramedics or you’d be dead before you knew it. Although with all this COVID, going to a hospital might not be the greatest thing in the world either, so there’s that.

Who knows what’s going through Reid Karris’s mind or what he believes in, but he sure isn’t exhausted or lazy or comatose. In fact, “Cynical Nihilist” is a restless percussive adventure, not content to float in a pool or drown in a bottle of liquor. Karris uses guitar, skatchboxes, and other rhythmic objects to trigger an entire tape’s worth of freeform energy, the one-man jazz/noise virtuoso coming off like a human electroacoustic performance. It is like a room filled with objects and a metal floor was somehow electrified, and the current manipulated so that everything moves and shakes and shudders against each other while Karris records it from behind a two-way mirror. You don’t want any of those objects or instruments seeing what’s going on back there.

While “Schadenfreude” and “Phantasmagoria” each play out their fifteen minutes of kinesis (program repeats on each side!), you have to wonder what other kind of Big Lebowski references we can fit into this review. How about “Nice marmot”? Sometimes Karris’s recordings mimic the restless thrashing of an animal in a bathtub. Or “Wouldn’t hold out much hope for the tape deck though”? I have a feeling that if you left this tape in too long, it would totally mess up your tape deck with all its moving around. Or maybe “I like your style, dude”? I think that one’s pretty self-explanatory, actually.

Only three left of the original run of 20! Please contact Tribe Tapes and bug them until they give you one.

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