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Goldmann, Stefan – “haven’t i seen you before” – [Tapeworm, The]

First I got to get something off my eChest. I find the cassette
revival frustrating on a couple of levels, from sound quality to
just the drag of getting them into KFJC’s airstream. Hell, images of
the loose tape spewing out a car window have returned like killer
whales to my nightmares…and inserting a pencil into my mind to
rewind away the pain does not help. That being said, yes I get the
anti-piracy attack, (and thank you pirates for making vinyl more
viable). Or course counter-coolness of the underground badge factor
connects (but please let us avoid 8-tracks) and of course I can
easily come to grips with the old Mishima notion that lo-fi flaws
accentuate high-art beauty… I guess I would rather see more
artful packaging for dread CDR burns, or wearable musical memory
sticks of something…

But now turning to this release in proper…it is perhaps the
paramount example of why one should love cassettes. Goldmann has
concocted a moebius mind trip of looping, that relies upon the
inherent two-way nature of cassettes. His notes state “Press REV on
your autoreverse deck at any time to enter the loop.” So that son of
an ourobourus has got a reversible release (which is even better
than the old cassette thing of stop/rewind/replay for your sonic
addiction). The work here has an “Evening Star” kind of stillness,
clean ringing guitar, doubly amped taking cues of percussion
from the immediate interaction of player and instrument as well
as the softer soundwaves. Gotta to love the heartbeat/railroad
clicking/tapping tracks 3/8. Other sections have what I first
though were micro-sample delays, till I read more. There is a very
intimate tactile presence on this solo guitar work, but upon
checking Tapeworm out it is not necessarily immediate. Evidently
Goldmann (who is the same DJ behind beat bopping techno), fumbled
his way on guitar to generate massive material, and then took his
ear and editing expertise to hand-craft this. Thus making the
title even more genius than the nod to the love of the loopy
cassette. I do think the release stands fine as it is, and have no
qualms with the genitive splicing myself (this tops a lot of Derek
Bailey for me, even if it ain’t improv by the book…it’s improved
improv). Pretty damn classy in conception and construction.

-Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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