Alright, so this cassette was supposed to be part of the Alberorovesciato review, but that became its own beast and I figured it'd be better to split 'em up. Anyhow, the tape collects Stunned Records's two main interests, Portland acts (Edibles) and international acts (Duck Dive). Edibles is the home-made dub alter-ego of Dewey Mahood (Plankton Wat, Eternal Tapestry) while Duck Dive is a project from Indonesia totally unknown to me 'til now.
Duck Dive takes the first side with the cut "Equatopia" which was made with a synth, a handful effects and a multi-tracker. It seems like there's a few influences at work here, there's a bit of the vibe of Sean McCann's kaleidoscopic electronic experiments and older Skaters stuff if you can imagine it without all the vocal fuzz plus whatever synth-centric influences there are. The dude behind this goes by the name of Gonzo, whether he's a Hunter Thompson or Muppets fan is your guess. Anyhow, those influences are around but what this guy really wants to do is just jam. He creates a thick bed of sounds, with a number of intertwining synth parts and then just riffs over them. Other than some loops of bird calls this side is Gonzo being a synth traveler, traversing the landscape of his own design, marching along, playing ditties for himself as he crosses the next hill. He's credited here for composing and improvising which makes sense as each movement of the piece has a framework but within that framework he just lets himself go to it, feeling his way through until satisfied. It creates a nice vibe as this music sounds very electronic but it really doesn't feel rigid at all, it's very warm and organic sounding despite being made 100% from machines. In the final movement Gonzo whips out some stellar chops and he flies all over the keyboard, jammin' hard and heavy with some virtuoso action. I dig this stuff, real lively and fun to throw on in any occasion.
Mahood kicks his overdubbed dub into gear on the b-side with "Hangin' Out." I feel like there's a touch of a tongue-in-cheek vibe here. I do not mean that this is a joke or anything, Mahood seems really into this. I just mean that he really goes for it, everything is filtered and phased half to hell and the grooves are generally pretty thick and relentless. Like Mahood is saying to the listener "now I'm really gonna get your head a-nodding!" The tracks are only semi-distinguishable from each other, which kinda just the case with dub but it's a fun side. I like "Dubtrip" a lot as the groove is especially cutting and focused, "Invader" which follows is looser and has its charm but for me the more tightly coiled the Edibles the better. "Tracers" probably sounds most "vintage" of the six tracks to my ears. A classic bassline, echoing vox and plenty of guitar stabs. "Chill Wave" isn't really chillwave, but it is one of the more lethargic pieces on here. "Synthscape" is actually a fairly relevant title for the finale as it matches a minimal echoing dub rhythm section with glistening synthesizer streaking across on the sky. I'm sort of missing the point picking out track from track as this is really about chilling out the whole side through. I hear there's supposed to be an LP on DNT sometime next year, I'll be curious to see how Mahood develops the Edibles sound for that.
Long sold-out now, so hit up the distros I suppose as it's a darn cool tape.