Thursday, January 24, 2013

John Oswald - Don't (Vessel Ripley) [Blog Post 1]

Sounds begin with instruments playing a slow, steady tempo, with a light chorus of vocals echoing in the background. The instruments sound distorted in a way, their sounds are oddly quiet and they are coming in with odd pitches and tones. Miscellaneous, metallic vibrations and other sounds overlap the sounds of the instruments. The voice of Elvis Presley soon cuts through the other sounds and plays loud and clear. His voice sounds slightly off though, as if it's being played through a filter of some sort. The sounds continue like this for a while, until a second Elvis comes into the track, voice being played at the same time as the first Elvis. Both voices have a similar range in tone, but not quite the same either; the variation in the lyrics further misaligns them. Vocal loops of Elvis begin playing under and between the two Elvises. Suddenly even more Elvises begin to come into the track and play along with the rest; the vocal loops also seem to be multiplying. The metallic sounds also sound a little louder than before, and the chorus continues playing in the background. The vocals of the Elvises become more misaligned, some falling behind others, creating a kind of echo. Suddenly the sound starts to rise as keys begin to play rapidly and erratically. The sounds of the keys are all off-key and they grind against each other and al the other sounds as they continue to bring the track to a fever pitch. The vocals of the Elvises also rise in volume and there seem to be half a dozen of them now. The sounds breaks off for a few seconds before a lone key breaks through the silence and the tune returns to a quieter volume. The keys begin to play again at an even more rapid pace as the volume rises even higher than it was before. The Elvises also rise in volume again, this time their voices becoming more and more distorted, becoming deeper. Soon they are incomprehensible, both because of the distortion and from the sounds of the keys playing overpowering them. The keys play through rapidly, each one a lower tone than the last, and they fade away into silence quickly, the track coming to an end. As the track continued along, the increasing amounts of distortion, the multiplication of the Elvises vocals, and the rising volume of the piece gave it a very disturbing and unnerving quality. One might wonder though, is the distortion and multiplication of Elvis' voice in the track meant to reflect the distortion of Elvis Presley's name in the track title? Is this track attempting to create a twisted, alternate version of Elvis, and if so, what are we meant to think of it?

No comments: