♫♪  black thread - like shining blood

Another day, another black thread tears loose from the tattered flag, catches on the head of a nail poking out of the doorframe, and spindles out in a unifying tendril across the dirt floor, draping the hut in the colors of mourning. I never grow weary of popping open the Bandcamp page of Bay Area-based imprint Turmeric Magnitudes and finding another missive from impresario Greg Gorlen waiting for me, labeled with glyphs denoting one of his many monikers, inviting me to lose myself for X more minutes of the C(X) tape’s X-long duration. I try for a few minutes to gather up the thread but I just tangle it worse than before. I let it sit.

The hardest part of constructing a home-made cassette loop arrives after you’ve busted open the shell, slotted in the makeshift spool, and measured out the right length of magnetic tape to fit only once around the shell’s interior: the moment when you have to tape or glue the two ends of the strip together in a parallel fashion that replicates the natural trajectory of the un-cut tape. Do this “wrong” and you’re left with a loud grumbling hiccup sound when you play it back, if it plays back at all. I personally enjoy that hiccup, but I always try to minimize it, just to see if I can.

X in this case equals ten. Gorlen’s catalog spans static, hiss, warped rhythms, tape loops, corrupted samples, moments of revery. I play Like Shining Blood, five minutes of the tape’s ten, and wonder whether the program repeats on both sides or whether there are five minutes of this tape not available for preview on Bandcamp. If the B side of this tape also features the track “Like Shining Blood,” I would listen to it again. To listen to it once is already to listen to it again. Let Gorlen’s solitary piano loop sink into you. As it changes, wonder how it is changing. When it replicates itself over itself, wonder what’s next. When the tape ends, flip it over and find out.

• Turmeric Magnitudes: http://turmericmagnitudes.bandcamp.com/album/like-shining-blood

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Most Read