Tabs Out | ((Cave))’s June Batch

((Cave))’s June Batch
7.10.14 by Jamie Orlando

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Charles Barabé has been on my radar for a bit after listening to some albums on his label La Cohu and hearing his fantastic solo work on episode 44 of some cassette podcast.  All of his La Cohu tapes are sold out, and assumably they sell out fast, so I was thrilled when he announced that he was releasing a new tape on ((Cave)) Recordings.  As I usually do when checking out a label that is new to me, I try to grab their newest batch:

Charles Barabé – Adieu Fantôme C30
Charles is masterful at creating strange soundscapes and doesn’t fail to deliver here.  Amidst a tapestry of tortured oscillators and overall cacophony, there are tastefully interspersed samples of orchestras, opera singers, strange middle-eastern-sounding guitars, organs, french spoken word, gregorian chants, buzzing bees, bells and some butt-scratching.  Well, I think it’s someone scratching their butt, butt I could be wrong.  One of the most impressive things about this tape is that the transitions are so seamless.  As you listen you get lost, and can’t remember how you ended up where you are.  There is also quite a bit of variety in dynamics, so the fact that he can make you not notice things are changing is, well … noteworthy.  Are you taking notes?  Glad I picked up this tape, and you should pick one up too if it’s still available.

Brian Beaudry & Gianluca Favaron – s/t C36
This is an album of interesting textures.  You’re not going to find many musical notes on this album, and may even have a hard time finding guitar tabs on the internet for it…. Hold on, let me check …. *three years later* …. nope … nothing.  On the A Side, Gianluca does field recordings and Brian does electronics.  On the B Side they switch roles.  It’s an interesting concept.   Furtherly, to tickle your musical earbuds, both sides are quite different.

The A Side, to me, represents the land.  Lots of deep sub bass drones with power electronics type sounds overtop, such as drills, hair clippers and overall rustling.  Yes, a lot of rustling to be found here, which may or may not be aforementioned butt-scratching.   As a contrast, there is also the pleasant blowing of leaves and birds chirping in some of the more relaxing and serene moments.

Flip the tape over and you get a full-on underwater adventure.  You start off in a submarine deep under the sea, exiting the submarine in your metallic diving suit.  Suddenly, something goes awry.  Clanking and crashing.  You feel very claustrophobic.  But don’t worry.  Your partner exits the sub and is able to repair your suit.  That was a relief!  Finally you do some exploring and come across a fleet of robot fish from the future.  This musical journey is pretty special and unique, so if minimal soundscape stuff is your cup of tea, grip this tape and listen to it while drinking a cup of tea.

Ala Vjiior – Detours & Details C20

Usually when I see tapes that are jet-black and short, my assumption is that it’s going to be über-harsh.  Ala holds it back a bit kicking off the A Side with subtle loops, undulating drones, and pleasant sax and vibes, climaxing into a heavy bass grind.  The B Side is jazzy in some parts, spacey in others, but overall never really becomes too harsh.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it.  EVERYONE loves harsh noise, and everything on the internet is true?  The tape is short enough to leave you wanting more.  I’ll be interested in checking out some more of this guy’s stuff, and his bandcamp page has plenty.

All three tapes are pro-dubbed, editions of 50 copies, and currently available from the label (along with more samples). Definitely check out this new batch on ((Cave)) Recordings, and also check out Charles’s very own label La Cohu, which has a ton… err metric ton (*Canadian measurement) of great recordings.

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