Noise Tape Self represents Strategy’s turn towards favouring tape music over more digital means of creating sound, and the tactility of physical tape loops slipping over capstans is an important part of this release, even as the results are swathed with effects. Ah, the wonderful world of cassettes… LP on Further Records.
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- Noise Tape Self by Strategy
8/10 Jim Staff review, 08 December 2015
Portland based electronic music producer Paul Dickow has been releasing music as Strategy for 12 years now on labels like Kranky, Idle Hands, 100% Silk, Endless Flight, and Entr'acte; a list that gives some clues as to the kind of ground he’s covered up to now. This is his first on Further and as its title ‘Noise Tape Self’ suggests, it marks another departure in that Dickow abandoned the digital world in favour of lofi analogue recording and production techniques; using the humble DIY (found) cassette loop through an effects-laden four-track to generate the richly textured, blissful soundscapes on this record.
It opens with ‘Awesome Piano’s’ sweet saturated raga drones and drifting filtered note clusters that immediately bring to mind Harmonia or some such other sunset-drenched komische outfit, perhaps remixed by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. ‘Cassette Loop’ is equally evocative with a muffled mechanical rattle adding traintrack percussion to the mysteriously hazy melody. The next few tracks move into a kind of deconstructed dub-techno, kind of like Chain Reaction era Fluxion mixed with synthy primitivism of Colin Potter. The album’s closer ‘Rhen’s Loop’ piles up some modulating, phase-shifting drones until they’re speaking in tongues for a full-on New Age onslaught.
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