Looks Realistic
Where Does It Come From? [VHS + CS; Constellation Tatsu]

So I waited around to write about Looks Realistic’s incredible package because I didn’t have a VHS player. I know, I know. Insane, right? But look, ours was broken. And believe me, this has been of major concern from some time now — we’ve been really wanting to watch our copy of Overboard again. That wasn’t a joke. Anyway, our friend Karen gave us a loaner and this package was all the more enjoyable for it. The audio + video + booklet combo of Where Does it Come From? even comes with a multi-color display of floppy discs (I shit you not). Unfortunately, I can’t play whatever awesomeness is locked inside those bad boys (although I like to imagine that a copy of Cosmic Osmo is on them), so the cassette tape + VHS tape + art book is going to have to do for now, and I assure you that it does very, very well. Looks Realistic is one of many one-off projects of Bastian Void / Moss Archive analog synth mastermind Joseph Bastardo, who is here paired with Ryan Mulhall. Together, the two slow down and stretch out jumps through hyperspace, making time travel seem like a scenic tour rather than some kind of bizarre instantaneous thing. It’s hard to come away with anything tangible in terms of actual memories to be taken from the journey, other than the fact that you just went with it and it was sheer bliss. Clearly that’s not an insult here — this music, despite its possession of beautiful, sensual melodic material, is defined more by the way those melodies and concrete musical elements contribute to aural atmosphere and texture. It’s those pretty, twinkling things and how they swirl about the various vortexes the synths exist within. The style points to an early computer age future-hipness, from the font and layout to the IBM-instructional-montage soundtrack, and then all those crazy neon colors in Broken Machine Films’ flat-out brilliant visual accompaniments. Stunning collaborative work that is fully-engrossing, mesmerizing and beautiful. And that’s the best part, really, the grand scale of it all; how everything that went into Where Does it Come From? feels so exclusive and personal for all of the artists involved. The care with which this was pieced together isn’t just apparent, but instrumental in the music’s utter success. We should all love what we do this much.


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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