Sunday, 3 October 2010

SUPERSTAR 'Floating Weeds / Double Peace' (Totem Tapes)

It's taking me a while to really feel like I'm ready to write anything about anything just at the moment. It's long been a phenomenon with me that I would take ages getting to know things and keep having to go and sit with them again and again; and more to the point, it was also true that I got sick of things that grabbed me straight away. The more confused I am, the better it generally is, and the more I wonder if I am really enjoying something, the more I probably am. I think it's the the wondering itself, the enquiry into music that makes for the best for me – rich complexities that emerge from even the simplest arrangement of two instruments and their subtle interplay – there may not be all that much going on, but the drift back and forth and the choices made by the players – well, I want to get sucked in and a little lost, particularly by something like this cassette.

Yeah, I am reviewing a particular release here. It's a cassette by Super Star, each side an exploration of folding riffs into magic lanterns of sound.
I think I am writing about this cassette, but it's more likely I'm writing about me listening, some layer of mediation of some sort there. It's a bit difficult because it's so laden with mental imagery for me - i see pictures heaps with this one as I unpeel it's sound - it's the soundtrack for some memory of distant past, but not really. I doubt these people where even alive when I was at school.

The music is making me think of other things than itself and I feel right inside it as a result. It's very float tank – I want to be immersed in it and whilst it is quite sweet and simple, something more complex and maybe sinister has emerged over a fair period of time listening – and maybe I read far too much into these things, but possibly I don't at all, maybe they read these things into me.
It does smack of the hypnagogic worlds hinted at by David Keenan in that there essay in the The Wire, but it could also be some trendy inner city art kids with a bunch of Kraut albums and maybe some Tangerine dream – yeah that is possible. Anything's possible.

The tones intertwine like ivy up the old broken swing in the back garden. Spring is here and I really must do some weeding, cuts some things back, water those little corns that got planted. Each movement of Super Star takes me to a new place around my home. Sometimes it's jarring stuff, slightly grating, sometimes it's a ripple that come together. It's a very small universe that one might find in one's pocket by accident.

I do come back to this cassette. It goes better with wine than it does beer, and just fine with herbal tea and a joint. Except I didn't need one and it's morning.

I have to go to work. I don't want to. I just want to turn the tape over and over and over, getting lost in the island of sound. The forward stepping synth riff on the second side – almost jaunty, certainly lively and celebratory – taps my toe. The little stabs of sound turn into awkward memory and all the pictures of segments of plants – with arrows labelling the inner and outer structures are evoked. Yes, it's music from a film I watched at school way back when. Primitive and excited. A bit like that Raymond Scott stuff maybe.

Maybe. I'm not sure as the images cascade past me; perhaps it's not anything more than the sensation evoked and that shall be that.

I really need to do something about my life and my motivational skills. Things like this, that evoke wet swamp worlds made of blue light and winking mould, do not help me hang onto anything like reality. I think this is a good thing but it may not be, but I can really hardly blame Super Star, can I?

Ltd run of 100 cassettes from Totem Tapes.

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