Album Review

Zerocrop – “On Tape” – [Tapeworm, The]

Thurston Hunger   12/6/2012   A Library, Cassette

2010 cassette fed to/by Britain’s ever intriguiing Tapeworm label.
Zerocrop is a London-based, one assumes closely shorn, gent
who goes by the name Parker. As with other Tapeworm releases,
the cassette medium serves as an inspiring touchstone besides
holding the songs. On the opener “Dear Jim” a found recording
(answering machine cassette?) works better than a seance at
bringing a deceased loved one back to mind and ear. Jim’s first
sample, “Hi guess who…” is simple and bittersweet. Parker’s lush
rhapsodizing about finding a tape of “your voice, your voice, your voice”
set’s up Jim’s few but cherished words. The synth pop may be a bit
treacly, but the?? sentiment here is just beautiful. Next up sounds like
somekind of cassette sample that Bob Ostertag might have found, is
the person being tortured, confessing. Or perhaps both, if that person
is indeed German? All over a stark sweep of synth half-chords. Next up,
a track that starts with the sound of a cassette bunching up over a head,
clever fun but the lyrics after a while “Rewind to a time when you’ll
feel fine, Fast Forward to a place where you feel safe” over a simple
metro synth beat blurs out a bit. On the flip side, a lengthy female
preacher fits in the pantheon of beats + the sermonizing rhythms.
She’s no Elizabeth Clare Prophet. Lap steel hovers by like a fallen angel.
Amen, but the story of a man (“Jim”) was more compelling.
-Thurston Hunger


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