Important Records’ sub-label Cassauna continues to impress with two more releases from Ryan Gregory Tallman and Deceh. Tallman’s Haunted Tapes sees the Californian composer explore timbre and space using finely focused beams of sound. "Aching Dusk" slowly builds into a steady central column, composed of what sounds like the decay of piano notes and cymbal strikes. "Husked and Shucked" follows a similar trajectory but feels more solid with the piece seeming to hover low across the floor of the room like low-lying cloud.
--John Kealy, "Killing the Music Industry (One Tape at a Time)," brainwashed.com
Sitting in the dark with a glass of red wine is a prerequisite for playing Cassauna’s 4th entry. I’ve never heard or even heard of Ryan Gregory Tallman before ordering this cassette. I tend to trust John at Important Records’ judgement when making an order.
Onto the hauntingly beautiful murmurs that keep tingling my ears…this tape slides in with a series of heavy drone tones, slowly changing, but always with an underlying ambient texture. Over the course of side a, this ambiance takes over the track, until the dreamier, lighter drone track fades down. Eventually, some resonance driven patterns take over while deep bass bubbles under the track.
What amazes me so much about these new Cassauna tapes is how wonderful they sound. The Tapeworm does a great job here, too. I’ve heard a lot of tapes that sound like rubbish, so getting crispness out of a “dead” format warms my heart.
Side b is fundamentally the same, although at times is more of an example of composition. I can imagine an average individual taking the time to listen to this track, and enjoying the feeling more. It’s very much like a classic surrealist film soundtrack in my mind.
In all, I would venture to say this is the best Cassauna release yet, and I look forward to more down the road.
-- Kevin Franklin