Tabs Out | Color Television – Kaleidotropia

Color Television – Kaleidotropia

1.29.21 by Ryan Masteller

I’m not so sure about this one. I mean, here we are, and it’s 2021 already! It’s not even 2020 anymore, yet we’re still open to elevating something as banal as the color television to the level of “conscious interest.” Preceding “television” with “color” isn’t necessary anymore – all televisions are “in color,” and most of them are even on our phones, so “television” itself is sort of an outdated concept. See, I’m a forward-thinking kind of guy, so when I’m confronted by something that forces me to recall, with fondness, I guess, a distant part of my past (and yes, I’m old enough to remember when “color television” meant something) that I no longer have any use for, I get a little agitated about the whole thing. I only have so much time at my disposal, you know.

Color Television immediately jabs a chill pill into my mouth and sends me into a state of near-instant relaxation. Hi. Let me reintroduce myself and my attitude before proceeding. I feel like I’ve been thrust in the middle of an aquarium that surrounds me on all sides, above and below. I am beset by languid beats and melting samples. I am syrup incarnate. Color Television is Hayden Beck, and Color Television the musical artist might have actually hit me with a nostalgia trip pleasant enough to make me consider color television the object important again. How’s that for irony! Through a soupy beat tape chock full of vintage samples, all wriggling together before drifting apart to the seafloor and settling there to gradually disintegrate in the salt, Color Television recalls the outmoded sets adorning Formica counters across America’s kitchens. Coral sold separately.

And then on the television sets, the aquarium that I’m in … that we’re ALL in broadcasts the bubbled transmissions of forgotten studios on repeat, all until, through the magic of evolution, it’s revealed that we’re all just underwater creatures now on this melting planet, and the programming we’re still somehow receiving is the only record of life on the surface. Remember that Kevin Costner movie, “Waterworld”? It’s sort of not like that at all, but they somehow lost the surface of the planet and had to live on floating islands, and I kind of only react to recent things that happen a sentence or two ago, such is my attention span. In MY story we’re underwater fish people now. 

“Kaleidotropia” is a 2018 album that FINALLY sees release on the hallowed format of cassette, only on Orb Tapes.

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