I woke once from a dream thinking that I had heard the sound of someone suffering. Not torment or torture but the sonic echo of a forcible exorcism of the soul. I thought to myself that this might well be the sound of honesty or, perhaps, the sound that the twilight makes when a torch is shone into its deep dark heart.
Forget Cassettes are a band on the margins of the music business – as indeed many atonal and twisted artists are – but their brand of self-harming industrial electronica seems, almost obtusely, organic. Taking the album as a whole, and this is the best way of absorbing “O Cursa”, you feel the tone change as you swap those platters over as if that simple act of change has made the sun shine once more.
Don’t get me wrong. There is no apparent desire to impress here. The sound is murky overall and Beth Cameron’s voice often drowns in the mix but, and perhaps I am being overly generous here, that could well have been the plan all along. Let’s roll out a couple of examples. “Double Life” is almost incomprehensible with its driving force made up of sounds long out of fashion whilst “Scripture” seems more indicative of cinema style neo-realism than anything else.
As our journey through the album progresses, the sound becomes brighter as if to suggest that there is always hope even if that underlying bleakness and despair is never far away with no less than John Carpenter getting promoted to possible saviour on “Catie Age 20”. The elegance of the fade to piano closes off the album. “All Of Creation” finally brings Beth Cameron’s voice out of the fog for, I would suggest, the past is the future and, even in the biggest of cities, you will always find trees. It’s as simple as that.
Finally, a word of mention for the packaging that, glory be, is an object lesson on how to do it. You get two vinyl albums – one red and one blue – inside a high quality gatefold sleeve with each and every detail that you expect of a much bigger and better known band present and correct. There’s even some text in the run out groove (“The truth will set you free”) to inspire the collector that resides deep within us all. Since you get a download with the vinyl, the opportunity was also taken to compare the old ways of the spinning disc with the shiny nothingness of uncompressed FLAC audio and, even with the limitations of the lo-fi sound, the vinyl came out well ahead.