Psychic Driving Tapes, first released in 2010 as a cassette on the Medusa label, has been plucked out of the gorgeous mass of Aaron Dilloway’s back catalogue for special treatment by Trilogy Tapes, who are pressing it to vinyl. The former Wolf Eyes member carves wonder out of treated and cracked tape loops over two side-long pieces.
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- Psychic Driving Tapes by Aaron Dilloway
7/10 Laurie Staff review, 04 November 2015
The press release is pretty harrowing… It describes the procedure of psychic driving, which involves subjecting a patient to thousands of repetitions of the same tape loop while giving them a touch of ECT, LSD and muscle paralysis over the course of treatment. Just. Imagine.
It’s impossible to, but I’m sure that this is how the likes of AFX were born. Aaron Dilloway has discovered that his old tapes from 2009 would make the perfect soundtrack to such a torturous exercise, throwing definition to the wind by proclaiming ‘play at any speed’. It sounds as menacing at both 33 and 45. There’s almost no difference. It’s an onslaught of looped synths that coalesce into a screeching melee, multilayered and constantly moving, arcing into each other and gradually turning you mad. Not that you feel any worse than the poor folks who had to psychic drive back in the day.
But that’s just the A side. One continuous piece of mindfuck. On the B, you are then prescribed pitched and chopped vocals and guitars, barely recognisable but much less intense. Oh wait that’s a lie, a rock riff stuck in assault mode just killed that in an instant, suddenly taking a very Muslimgauze turn, if Muslimgauze ever decided to hack up an AC/DC song. The second B side track is some 70s prog thing being played with on a turntable or something, skipping about and reversing without warning. Eventually, it settles into a chill loop, but then snarls at you once more when you’re all settled in. To sum up: this is the opposite of ‘settled in’.
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