Friday, February 15, 2008

Letters From A Tapehead has a yung'un...

Apologies for being so notably absent. My daughter decided to spring forth two months early. Evidently, the womb ain't such a fun place. Mom and baby are doing well, but I'll be on somewhat of a hiatus till everyone is healthy. Thanks for your patience; promise I'll be back.

Photobucket

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Film score for the cosmos...


Carlos y Gaby
La Voz Sabia De Los Cosmos
Alpha Pup
Released 1.22.08

Rating: 8 out of 10

The switch goes up, the light goes on. The switch falls down: complete absence of light. Such is logic; such is the electricity that courses through that switch, giving it purpose, meaning; a usefulness that makes it difficult to live without. Where’s the mystery? Spirituality? What’s so divine about flicking the switch, even if it does change your environment and help you see things more clearly?

Listening to La Voz Sabia De Los Cosmos, collaboration between producer Carlos Niño and keyboardist Gaby Hernandez, you can hear a soul pulsing in the electricity that flows throughout this album, masquerading as pulsating quivers or delicately shorn fringes of an odyssey out the front door. The “switch,” in this case, does a little more than supply the juice.

“Space Hammock (Awoken At Dawn By The Birds Of Andromeda),” the album’s opening track, has a mysticism and warmth to it that conveys “nature” more than “cosmos.” Ringing with waves of cymbals and chimes, the sound of a woman, (probably Gaby), exhales pleasurably like she’s at the 7th inning stretch of the longest ball game in history. “Hot Heavy Heat (A Chase Theme)” drifts into rhumba beats while samples of Beatles dissonance and distortion is collaged into a new piece of music. My ears perked up at the closing whispers and whistles of “Flying” and the precursor orchestral warm up of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”

Flirting with electroscapes of sonic bleeps and dialogue, combining natural elements with mechanical ones, the ears are more or less treated to pleasantry more than anything else, spared the sometimes over abundance of mechanism and unimaginative “add and subtract” that gets employed over consistent dance beats. “Happy Summer Solstice (I Love You, I Laugh You)” and “Lunar Eclipse (So Close, I Feel I Could Touch It)” manage to emote well with reverberating shards of melancholy sound that dress up the keyboard strokes. “June Flowers (Bright Dancing Hearlight)” uses shaker percussion while flurries of electric chimes fly over a Spanish soliloquy.

There are times though where Carlos and Gaby rely too much on sound-waves induced by synthesizer keys and whatever knobs you twist to create sonic fields of audio fog. Its momentary mixtures of instrumentation and collaged Spanish dialogue generate the album’s most interesting attributes and are somewhat underused in comparison to the generally hypnotic keyboard-only instrumentals.

Supposedly a film score to a movie that’s in the works, La Voz Sabia De Los Cosmos is more or less a gorgeous array of sounds that are nicely arranged to create mood. It does its job in the score category, but makes a few leaps at becoming something deeper, gesturing at a little more than a filmgoer could hope to understand in the context of a storyline. I wonder if the album would’ve been more interesting if it had been meant as something other than background noise.

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Lack of thoughts while painting...

Been keeping very busy of late. I haven't meant to be as considerably absent with the updates as I have been, but when you have a wife on bed rest, groceries to buy, a house to clean and a nursery to paint, things sometimes fall by the wayside. As I now wait for the ceiling paint and spackle to dry, I'm offered a small opportunity to allow the outpourings of hours of consolidated thought to hit this page. But, I unfortunately don't remember what I wanted to write about, possibly the results of occupying myself with very little in terms of mental stimulation. But, music has thankfully been there to accompany me as I scrape, roll, tape and prep.

Be back soon.

Sincerely,
Letters From A Tapehead

Notes from the Record Room: Bring on the Kill Taker

I was in Ocean City, New Jersey with a friend, sitting outside on a deck with a boombox resting between us. It was 1993. On this particu...