The tape I received is titled “Sedna: The Movie” and begins with the Warner Bros. horns theme.
First, that is awesome. Secondly, I am made instantly curious as to how far this movie theme stretches out. More credit is due for the fact that the tape came with cover art.
It's also divided into 6 audio files with somewhat cinematic titles, some of which contain various tracks neatly mixed together (I was even provided with a file that has the whole tape on one track). Thus, the WB theme cleanly merges seamlessly into soft, dissonant, ominous piano chords, and then into a rustling noise that I suspect is loose film whirring around a movie reel. This part ends segment 1, titled Start Movie. Just over a minute long, but already I’m really fascinated and on toes for what will come next (btw the maker listed their screenname plainly as the artist for each track, but I don’t see any reason to spell it out now).
Rythmically ascending piano chords, and a warm, high chorus of almost Japanese sounding female voices. The lead voice, however is in English and (lacking patience to search for adjectives) is quite enjoyable. Glockenspiel and drums join later. Lyrics seem to describe some romantic interest, but is at the same time a bit surreal. The tempo picks up, and her voice surges and screeches (enjoyably) all over the place. I must know more about who this. Tempo resolves into thickly textured keyboard, which eventually finds outlet into soft, minor key electric keyboard arpeggios.
This new female voice is delightfully weird, strange, and childish in the same way that Joanna Newsom’s is. Perhaps it is Newsom, but I don’t know enough of her Oeuvre to guess confidently. Hmm…I can make out sounds that are harpish, so I’ll go ahead and make that my guess. I love the haunting, churning melody and percussion here.
A lo-fi crunching sound with distant bird calls (as though trodding through the woods) shoots directly into a dark, driving contemporary post-punk vibe complete with a deep voice going on about demons and devils threatening to conquer. Sort of a Horrors or Editors vibe, sans synth. Haven’t listened to a song quite like this for a while, so I feel latently nostalgic toward semi-distorted guitar timbres, particularly during the bridge. Solid fare. Thanks! The final few seconds returns to the woody forest trodding and birds from before.
Clean electric guitar arpeggios with the reverb cranked up. Enter percussion. Groovy so far. Female voice sweeps in a few notes at a time, and the chorus dissolves into more atmospheric intensity apropos to the title. I dig this. Probably most keen on figuring out who’s behind this gauzy echo box than any track so far. A return to the refrain after the second chorus, keeps running into a nice fade out of yearning vocal. Transition of more soupiness, samples, a strangely distorted keyboard effect, and a bit of the birds motif once again. I really like how this theme keeps appearing. Now a chorus of voices and keyboards falls into a mellow synth, soft drums and a reassuring, melancholic male voice. A soft bass accompaniment nicely accents with what began low, but builds into a falsetto ballad somewhat reminiscent of Justin Vernon’s pop efforts. Beautifully produced this one (choruses and vibrating keyboards return, as does the film reel sample). Thank ya kindly.
The crunching loop segs perfectly into a rhythmic acoustic rhythm and a shiny keyboard melody (occasional glissando of some instrument). Female voice that again I lack to the tools to describe (nice tho). I think I picked out the lyrics “Ghost of the forest.” I won’t cheat and look up these songs, but I think they would be telling with regard to these titles. Even without them though, the general feel has corresponded nicely. Ghostly is exactly how I would describe much of the music here. I like it. Audio of softly crashing waves marks the transition.
Steady violin swells maintain the feel of the waves while soft electronic keyboard bips and bops lead into an angelic chorus (been quite a few of those on this tape) with an only partially distinguishable lead voice. Gauzy, cloudish vibe continues through a bit of piano and a return to strings, voice, and the waves again. A short, lovely interlude reminiscent of Hammock’s music sans guitar.
Waves continue through the gap while a guitar plucks over more ghostly atmospherics. “Deep inside the silence, staring out upon the sea..” enters a young male voice with an second echoing voice. Drums enter, guitar tremolo builds. A remorseful romantic tune. Not as interested in this as previous songs. Maybe a bit soppy and snow patrolish, but still enjoyable. The repeated lyrics “drifting out…” is, again, fitting. As it fades into more guitar trills and reverbed arpeggios. There are those waves again... for a couple minutes it’s nothing but the same loop of crashing waves which is a touch I deeply enjoy. I’m reading the book, “The Sea, the Sea” by Iris Murdoch right now, and her character spends much of it contemplating this sound. Eventually crunching steps enter (the terrain feels different), more birds, but this time a male, british speaking voice. The man is unhappy, describing (as though speaking to himself) spiders, disgusting waves of dung, death rays etc. All accented by very low, dissonant piano chords. His talking overlaps with a sample of another british voice answering a phone. Then, a second of static, and the tape is done.
If one were to narrativize this tape like a film, it would be something bizarre. The more I reflect on it, the more I love that the sample motifs lying beneath a mostly consonant surface eventually emerge to form something unsettling and incomplete.
Thanks so much again for the tape! I must applaud you for the creativity, imagination and extra production effort involved in going along with the theme…theme. I truly enjoyed the music (I’m most interested in learning about the songs from Engagement and Waves), and will not forget this tape anytime soon, as it really stands out among the others I’ve received. I always listen at least 3 times before writing a review, and I didn’t grow bored at any point. There’s surely a story behind each track, so don’t skimp on details. Thanks again for everything! :D