Ed Pinsent finds content, meaning, and expression in the C30 by Midori and Kris. He enters a world of sounds and describes what he picks up or hears in the distance, beyond the horizon of what might be his last day on earth.
This one arrives in a melted plastic bottle, and the tape is wrapped up in smoked cellophane. The packaging is already warning us that the last day on earth has already happened, leaving a charred globe behind. Evidently this is one of the artefacts that survived. It might have been a nuclear blast, or a meteorite. If the former, this package reminds us of the sad remnants of the survivors of the Hiroshima atom bomb (melted milk bottles, for instance; these can be seen in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum). -Ed Pinsent
Read full review.
It takes time. It takes so much time that the tape has sold out. But that is the beauty of it. Understanding arrives always later. First there was intuition. You missed the tape, or you have it, or you don’t care. All is good with me.
You might want to care for these words:
The tape is presented to us as “combinations that produce meanings above and beyond anything the individual parts may have had.” I think this is highly significant; it might indicate something about how we shape our culture, assigning meanings to individual fragments of experience. Maybe nothing really happens to us at all, unless we can turn it into stories or fictions of some kind. After all, every sociologist and his wife are always telling us we need narratives to “make sense of the world”, as they so patronisingly put it. What interests me about this tape by Ben Roberts is how we stand a chance of seeing that very same process in action. If he has done this, it’s a remarkable achievement.
Read the complete review here.
Ed Pinsent writes:
“The first one I played is The Truth About Cassius Clay, recorded and realised by a Parisian musician called :such:. The cassette has a hand-made collage cover, layers from glossy magazines pasted together almost like papier-mache. I suppose the first observation would be that it’s simply gorgeous, beautiful music. It’s so approachable and accessible that I can recommend this without hesitation..”
and he writes:
“This fascinating document may not persuade you to follow the music of Diktat, but it will pass on a vivid picture of travel, city life, meetings, people, and the richness of all these things rubbing shoulders in the same melting pot. Without explicitly setting out to capture the “truth” about Washington DC or NYC, this fragmentary-collaged approach (sourced from the tape recorders of all three dictaphone performers) in fact reveals more about direct experiences of places than would be possible with a more considered or formal field-recording / phonography approach.”
You can find the complete review here.
Why the review/half essay is called Eat the Document, you can find out here.
The tapes by :such: and Diktat are available here.
Thanks Ed for Cabinessence, and thus for the great documentary Beautiful Dreamer, Brian Wilson and the story of ‘Smile,’ and now for the BobDoc.