IXTAB: Voice-Hand tape (Tymbal Tapes, 2015)

February 27, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

IXTAB: Voice-Hand tape

IXTAB: Voice-Hand tape

You know those signs that say “This is a good sign”? Maybe there should be a roll of tape that says “This is a good tape” for when I review cassettes like this. OK, maybe that’s a dumb idea, but this is still really good. Recorded between Austin, Seattle, and Dartmoor, UK, this is nearly a full hour of steely industrial techno made with an old guitar, a reel-to-reel tape recorder, a circuit bent Casio SK-1, found sounds, and nature recordings. Very kinetic machine music which sometimes feels a bit airy and thin (“Hask”) and other times has fat throbbing beats and distortion (“Ysel”). Still feels more like lo-fi techno than industrial, but there’s undoubtedly an industrial element/construction to it, and it flares up into spark-emitting noise and gets warped and noisy at times. After some more straightforward 4/4 tracks, “Inducer II” is more of a hollowed-out ticking mid-’90s Autechre thing, then “Brink” goes back to the hazy industrial pounding. “Down” is a brief beatless respite before the crackling ’80s electro-techno of “Flatland”. The tape-ending “Modulous” features the album’s most splintered, scattered beats; speed it up 50 BPM or so and it’s basically breakcore. Tape’s sold out, and you can’t have mine, but you can hear it on Bandcamp.

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