RICHARD GARET – 60’ Cassette

The Helen Scarsdale Agency

Supposedly, no one ever among us audio-lunatics has managed to escape the mix of mute sorrow and impotence subsequent to the act of playing a tape after a long period and instantly realizing that something is not working as it should. AWOL frequencies, tenebrous definition, pigpen heads, you name it: a treasured bootleg recording of a fondly remembered concert or the rare release by a favorite underground artist get forever scarred by father time. Except for William Basinski – who literally created a genre from the unlucky occurrence – and the never enough lauded Asher Tuil, no one to date had exploited the phenomena linked to the fragility of tape-lodged content (or lack thereof) better than Richard Garet in this distinguished work, hosted – had the deadpan title not been noticed – by the same kind of medium.

Straight away, let’s place the item where it must reside. Namely, within the same aptitude of individuals who scrutinize the outermost fringes of the acoustic cosmos by dissecting the spectra of sources varying from shortwave radio to malfunctioning equipment, perhaps with a temporary transit across the realm of no-input feedback. In this case, everything having to do with the intrinsic quivering of a tape in a deck was magnified. Tones and noises were modified and stretched; mechanical imperfections got subjected to equivalent processes. A diligent equalization attributes a sense of lyrical dignity to most sections, including the hypothetically portentous ones. Garet sequenced the events according to a precise compositional vision; the result comes out as the picture of a very gradual aleatoric process developing inside a humongous maternal womb (the mommy in question might or might not be listening to :zoviet*france: on occasion, but that’s another story).

Sure, you want names for comparison as in every “official” review. But I am too intransigent to write “Dockstader”, “Arcane Device” and “Duncan”. Jokes aside, look into my eyes now: go get this tape. This is imposing music.

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