Tape Of The Month: December 2013
12.23.13 by Mike Haley
TITLE: The Construct
LABEL: Hausu Mountain
This is the final Tape Of The Month feature for 2013 and without a doubt the most bonkers one I’ve done. The reason being that this cassette shouldn’t exist. At least not in the world that I currently occupy. It’s not that I don’t WANT it to exist, because I do. Oh sweet infant Jesus, I do more than most things. But from the opening note on Farthest Reaches, the sound of fairies clinking their tiny glasses of zingleberry nectar, to the pink/purple spandex workout anthem Orion Beach, the fact that “The Construct” exists in 2013 on a label that’s released the likes of Moth Cock does not compute. It’s a bridge too far for my puny human brain. It does though. Exist. Big time.
Every genre dabbles in nostalgia, usually installing the automatic updates when they do. Some longhairs may name their band Sorcerer’s Breakfast and wear Uriah Heep shirts, but they aren’t literally playing The Wizard, even if they think they are. Noise, or at least the broader experimental spectrum, has it’s alcoves of flashback romance. Folks explore their synthesizers and sequencers and drum machines and start heading down the highway on the way to Erasureville, but they run out of gas about four exits early. Zach Robinson, the fella behind the D/A/D name, must have one of those new fangled electric cars or something. Because he had enough to juice to make it. The music on “The Construct” is total 80’s/90’s dancey, triumphant synth pop with no modern posturing. This isn’t an attempt to give a 2013 nod to the nameless 1980’s soundtrack cuts. These straight up are those cuts. The song writing and instrumentation is boisterous as fuck. The synths are crisp, intense, and pretty much bubbling over with zeal. D/A/D’s hyped up hymns are miles away from the shipments of arpeggios you’ve gotten used to, and filled with hot-damn moments. There is a part about 44 seconds into the second track, Backbone Of The Night, that melted all of the butter in my house. All of it. Just straight melted it, and it was in the fridge! This isn’t a grievance (I’m making cookies and needed it melted anyway), just laying out the facts on how searingly sexy these tracks are. There’s ten of em in all by the way, each of which should be listened to while driving a Ferrari, at night, with sunglasses on. Perhaps with a mannequin that recently came to life riding shotgun, amazed at everything the world has to offer. I personally have not done that yet. Have I listened to it while doing some intense interpretative dancing? That’s between me, my now emotional scarred children, and the new neighbors that I keep forgetting moved in next door. Shout out to Letetia & Greg. Sorry you had to see that.
The one song that really get’s my bits boiling, just grabs my eyelids and yanks em wide open, is Love Will Make You Stay. Featuring USA Gold and Sharaya Mikael, this cut is the only one on the Construct with vocals. And they are some god damn Tiffany-performing-I-Think-We’re-Alone-Now-at-the-mall vocals. If this fucker was around 25 years ago, and you were a girl that didn’t do a pantomime routine with friends at the talent show, forget about it. You’re not going out with the everyone to see Robocop this weekend and don’t even think about getting invited to Heather Bruster’s pool party. You may as well switch schools unless you feel like eating lunch with the kid obsessed with the Vietnam War and the boy who finally got detached from his twin (RIP Ricky). “From my arms there’s no escape. I got you where I want you now. My Love’s gonna make you stay”. Damn, girl.
The artwork is also heavily 80’s inspired, created by Buffalo graphic designer Jarred Hageman, who’s no stranger to lasers and beveled gradients. A giant translucent planet (moon?) fills an orange sky that fades to purple. Under it is a grid of sparse lights and mountains way way way in the distance with D/A/D, The Construct at the very bottom. It’s super stunning and would be nice to see on an LP cover. The music is also totally LP worthy (hint, hint). The only aspect that is sort of a boner with the total package is the clear green shells. Would have been tight to go with a classic clear with silver liner or just something black and white. It would have went better with the artwork and completed the throw back style. But whatever. I don’t want to get all negative right now. I feel too good.
Hausu Mountain made up 100 copies of these little buggers and they are still available direct from the label. They will set ya back $7 (for US heads), $10 (for Canadians), and $12 (those living across the world). Be sure to dig into their catalog while you are gripping this because there are tons of goodies still available.