Thursday, June 30, 2011
Roe Enney - Damnatio Memoriae - Phaserprone
As a person who spends a large amount of my time listening closely, I sometimes think about what my philosophy of listening is; Why do I like the records I do and dislike the ones I don't? Among the many vague answers floating around my mind, there seems to be one principle that holds up. I like to be surprised. Every record, from the way it's produced to the format in which it's presented, contains within it the subtle clues that tell the listener how they should be listening. And when a record gently pushes against the conventions it defines for itself, my interest in usually piqued. This is particularly true in today's tape and limited-run LP scene where so many young artists are striving for immaculate imitation of whatever is trendy at the moment, subverting any personality or personal vision in the process. Initiation into the subculture, I guess. (Seriously, though, if you're a young person making music, make it weird, man. Make it your own. You have nothing to lose.) Which is why this Roe Enney tape is a treat. The art exudes darkness and the setup of female vocals and drum machine points towards some gothy-whatever. But from that starting point, this tape goes sideways, and scuttles into some very strange crevices. The drum machine fires in unsettling semi-rhythm or in rhythm that feel more like texture, and the vocals float in from some corner of Enney's mind that I'll be glad never to visit. Tapes like this one and Matt Carlson's recent release on Gift are a nice reminder that people are still using the tape format to pursue some very personal visions, trends be damned. Sleeves printed on nice thick paper with subtle letter-press work. Very nice! $8
For further reading, check out this nice Q & A with Enney on the Root Strata Blog here.
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