Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fricara Pacchu – Kleinstein & Co. CS [Dutch Beer]

This tape is one of many “firsts”. First of all, Kleinstein & Co. is the first of a bunch of releases I got for my birthday, courtesy of my loving mother and my ultra fine girlfriend (many thanks to them). Secondly, it is my first release from Belgium’s crazy/rad Bread & Animals/Cauliflower Dreams/Imvated label (this release is branded “Dutch Beer”, which I believe a relatively new moniker for the label). Furthermore, it is my first release by Finland’s Fricara Pacchu—though I was able to dig up his 2005 tape Waydom online. Needless to say, I was very excited when I popped it in my tape deck and I'm happy to announce that my expectations were totally surpassed.
Side A starts out with a bang, a mass of bombastic distorted drum machines piled on top of one another spitting out a relentlessly joyful noise and practically drowns out the synth/feedback loops that are also going on. It sounds pretty killer and sets the mood for the rest of the tape. One thing I really like about this tape is that despite being composed of 11 separate “songs”, they all bleed/blend real nicely into each other, though there doesn’t seem to be a purposeful effort to do so (i.e. crossfading). The first side sees Fricara in mostly “party mode”. Chugging drum machines spewing all sorts of seasick, freakfunky rhythms, hyper fuzzy synth mess, and even what sounds like live bashing of a cymbal. A totally rad headbanger’s ball and it will probably end up being the soundtrack to my summer along with the Cherry Blossoms LP.
So Side A stands for Side Awesome in my book, but on the flipside the whole shindig gets totally transcendent and even better. It begins with a short, nicely hypnotic synth loop pulsing at a moderate tempo and a very deemphasized drum machine, in comparison to the previous side. The third track on this side, “Fluffeluff / Pummeluff / Knuddeluff”, is one of my favorites and, in my mind, kinda resembles Neil Campbell’s Astral Social Club. While ASC has a classy, digital sheen, Fricara Pacchu works with a much murkier template and to be honest, I prefer the latter by a little bit. The track is surprisingly simple (just a minimal beat, and a few beautifully orchestrated/layered loops) and has excellent zone out potential, akin to a fog of sound leaking into yr eardrums. “Spoink / Groink”, the following track, ups the ante, pushing the sound towards Matthew Bower territory. It’s unclear what exactly is going on here because of how pleasantly distorted everything is, and it's all the better for it. Occasionally a electronic hi-hat will peek it’s head out until the clouds part and a bizarre sequenced beat jumps out at you and the track dissipates. Kleinstein & Co. ends on an even more bizarre note, a synth wash over a strange midtempo shuffle/march that sounds like one of those preset beats on a toy keyboard (for all I know it is).
Wowee zowee! What an excellent tape! I am certainly gonna have to track down some more Fricara Pacchu-related stuff pronto cause the sounds from this cassette rule straight down the line, from start to finish. Also, Lieven did a nice job packaging this little puppy. There is the outlandish eggman/Indian cubicle worker drawing on the front by someone named Jani Leinonen, the back part of the case is sprayed sparkly silver and the whole thing is topped off by a colorful band-aid looking sticker on the side. Nice! I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled cause it looks like Lieven has got some cool stuff brewing in the Bread & Animals cauldron. I think this tape is sold out at source but there are probably some copies floating around distros, if you can snag one, do it! Highly recommended. Try here

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