Cassette Reviews

Muura – Tape

August 13, 2012

Organized Music from Thessaloniki

I worked twelve hours today, and fell asleep soon after arriving home, only to be awakened again by the phone fifteen minutes later, so its with a heavy head and a grumpy outlook, not helped at all by the revolting disgrace that is the Olympics closing ceremony being blasted out elsewhere in the house by my brother that I attempt tonight’s review. Another tape tonight, primarily because I couldn’t be bothered to get up and plug the CD player back in after playing tapes yesterday. I’ve had this one a little while though so its about time I wrote about it. ¬†Muura is one of many names used by Matt Earle, the Australian musician probably best known in these circles at least as one half of Stasis Duo alongside Adam Sussmann, though he has appeared on rock records, released a fair amount of solo work and runs the crazily prolific / minuscule tape and CDr label Breakdance the Dawn. This new tape though, under the Muura name is a solo work named, well, Tape, and is released on the Organised Music from Thessaloniki label, which, for the sake of clarity I should point out is run by a friend of mine, Kostis Kilymis. Today’s tape is lime green.

In the past, via the Document label that either he or Sussmann ran (I forget things when I’m tired and grumpy!) Earle released some really harsh, brutally singular pieces of music that included discs full of viciously penetrating feedback that were as difficult to actually listen to as they were impressively and uncompromisingly unusual. The two longish sides to this tape sit in relatively similar territory. The sounds here were all originally sourced from an electric guitar, but only in one or two places is that evident when strings are tapped or the heavy analogue tape processing that the sounds seem to have undergone lets the original sounds through a little. The music is essentially a drone, but is made up various sections, each of them full of small detail, if submerged under layers of dirty grunge and harsh, almost electronic sounding feedback. There is something quite anarchic, punkish in this music, but not in an anachronistic way, rather a kind of brutal disdain for such issues as recording quality and listener comfort, though its not through volume that this music necessarily assaults you. Its just quite a grating, nagging listen, but one that constantly lets little bits of abstract detail creep out just enough to make you listen a little closer, only to find yourself recoiling away again a few minutes later. I can’t say that I enjoyed listening to Tape all that much, but then I felt the same way about Earle’s earlier solo work and yet kept going back to it. There is definitely something of value in Earle’s work, something vibrant and vaguely dangerous, but it doesn’t make for easy listening. Still, as this one droned and groaned incessantly this evening it provided a suitable retort to the bloated strains of Queen closing the Olympics, so its not all bad. Organised Music from Thessaloniki.

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