Tabs Out | The Gate – House of Snuzz

The Gate – House of Snuzz

1.16.20 by Ryan Masteller

I had a friend in college who played the tuba, and it made me question everything: my life, my choices, my direction. See, had I known how cool the tuba ACTUALLY was, instead of thinking that it was just for fat kids in marching band, I may have tried to pick that thing up instead of – BORING – guitar or piano. Now, I have no idea how popular Dan Peck, tuba extraordinaire in The Gate, was in high school or college (or is now), but he’s reminding me with this here tape “House of Snuzz” that tuba is, indeed, a wickedly cool instrument. Now, who’s picking up a bassoon?

The Gate, a trio also featuring Tom Blancarte on upright electric bass and Brian Osborne on drums, has two tracks, “Dark Echoes” and “Psychedelic Rays,” and both are pitch-black rainbows of delusion-inducing free-skronk. Obviously, with tuba and bass, The Gate registers on the murky low end of the timbral spectrum, but you may be surprised to learn that you don’t wallow in a swampy morass with this crew. Rather, the rumble and churn is deliberately agile, anchored by Osborne, and tuba/bass interplay hits enough mid-range frequencies to keep you focused. In fact, Peck often distorts his tuba, so it doesn’t even sound like a brass instrument. It sounds like an additional frazzled bass, really – one that’s often used for hideously atmospheric effect. 

OK, maybe it does get a little morassy sometimes, but that’s all part of the fun!

“House of Snuzz” is a din of black magic boiling in some sort of cauldron hung over some sort of infernal flame at some sort of sadistic ritual. It toys with you, batting you around like a cat with a stuffed mouse or a terrified beetle. It’s at once sinister and playful. How have we not all discovered the secret joys of the tuba before now? 

Well, I guess if we had, stuff like “House of Snuzz” wouldn’t be so enthralling. It would be “just another tuba record.” No one wants that.

This “high-bias yellow tint sonic cassette with direct shell imprint” is available in an edition of 100 from Tubapede Records. (Awesome label name, you guys!)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.