12.31.20 by Ryan Masteller
When is a yawn TOO contagious? That’s a great question – I guess you can really only answer it if there have been instances of people yawning themselves to death. Too much oxygen in the lungs maybe? Too violent an exhale? Mouth opens so far the top of your head snaps backward? Any of these sound like bad news, some more than others. For the artist actually KNOWN as Contagious Yawns, they better hope none of these things are actually possible, or else we might have to take them in for questioning.
On “Dream of Consciousness,” I dare you to yawn even ONCE. You won’t. Because “Dream of Consciousness,” despite being titled after something you do while asleep, will hold your attention quite intensely throughout the whole tape. See, Contagious Yawns is a sampling master, a plunderphonic upper-pantheon saint or something who can coax the wooziest of the woozy downtempo jams out of a stack of wax or tower of tapes or, uh, mound of MP3 files. Who’s to say! But somebody’s spiked the punch, because all of this is experienced from behind a watery veil of perception, and everything warps as it emanates from your speaker. Even your speaker warps!
“I just love every minute of it” is the sample that really captures the vibe of this tape for me. It comes from “Keep Yourself Together” and is followed by the same voice intoning “the beats of the heart.” The track slowly builds from the sample and evolves into a crescendo worthy of an actual rock band while reverberating at the resting pace of my own heart. I’m further reminded that the whole thing has hypnotized me into a weird state of wonder, so when stuff like this happens, I’m incredibly suggestible. This sounds nothing like a rock band, but next to everything else, I’m like, “whoa!”
Totally for chilling, this “Dream of Consciousness,” not for yawning. Even coming from the entity Contagious Yawns itself. Tapey tape from Specious Arts in an edition of 50.