Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kroykah - Holy Turns Homely (HF01)

Guide Me Little Tape! Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)  

Moments such as this are a reason to smile. Over the last few years, there have been several instances of excellent music writers/experimental music sites extending their passion into the realm of the tape label. A few of those include my good friends Crawf (Planted Tapes - Tome To The Weather Machine, Decoder, TMT); Carl (Space Slave Editions - The Radiant Now); and Steve (Jehu and Chinaman - Decoder). Each of the aforementioned has blossomed due to their inherent passion for tapes and experimental music. Carl's label, Space Slave, is one of my favorites. Space Slave's last batch, cumulatively, is one of the best of the year.

Now, one of the most informative experimental music sites, Guide Me Little Tape, has created the in-house label, Horror Fiction Tapes. Instantly, one can perceive the love and dedication put into these tapes. This is the advent of something exciting for those who enjoy experimental cassettes. Horror Fiction releases are meticulously hand-crafted and feature innovative inserts in the form of pages from mass market novels - I couldn't help but read the engaging writing of David J. Skal while listening to Kroykah's latest release. However, the most impressive thing about Horror Fiction Tapes are the sonic vibrations on offer. The first two releases on Horror Fiction - tape bundles already sold out - involve sprawling guitar burners and experimental jams marked by disquiet and poignancy.
A few tracks in, the listener is consumed by poignant, fateful and foreboding vibrations that manifest in myriad ways. Sometimes downright chilling or morose; at other times the tape assumes the form of a sullen figure whose contour pulsates with the faint glow of hope. Holy Turns Homely, the initial release on Horror Fiction Tapes from Vancouver-based sound artist, Tanner Lobey (Kroykah), has a tremendous amount of sonic depth that moves ephemerally. For me, that's my favorite aspect of Holy Turns Homely: the manner in which the artist explores ideas using a vibrant sonic palette. No track sounds alike. As the tape commences, bleak reverberations fray as they ascend. Shortly, somewhat uplifting and hopeful layers modulate in the listener's head-space. In the next track, copious signals swell and flicker with their dimensions palpable in varying shades of light. Hold on though, because the sonic vacuum awaits in the next track. As we float towards the void, fateful palpitations become increasingly visceral - one of my favorite tracks. Hazy clouds comprised of blinding ambiance slowly expand, occasionally burrowing into opaque regions as side A comes to a close. Signals vacillate wildly as the flip begins. Shortly, melancholy vibrations abut percussive echos. Moving towards the latter part of side B, disquiet consumes the listener as a deluge of chimes and notes create a flurry of brisk currents. Hazy frequencies and noise - similar to a spinning radio dial - lead into the last track. The fourth track on side B is lovely. Haunting ambiance swirls in clouds of trembling apprehension that cloak the navy blue night sky. Ominous and mournful, it's icy figure arrives in the form of woozy, bleak waves.

Both HF01 and HF02 have me excited about the next batch! Holy Turns Homely is released in an edition of 35 hand-stamped copies. Professionally dubbed on chrome tapes, the inserts were duplicated on pages of the 1980's novel, Scavengers, by David J. Skal. One remaining copy is available directly from Horror Fiction.
peace and love, friends :)