Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tracey Trance - Learning To Your Stuff

How does one begin to describe Tracey Trance? It is a project which is deceptively childish, yet complex and enigmatic. It is the kind of recording that is off the cuff but also bound together by powerful concepts that are undeniably coherent, regardless of how cluttered and jumbled they may be. And it is also a tape that forces me to sit down and seriously consider the question: is chipmunk the new Auto-Tune?

Tracey Trance has put out a smattering of releases recently, including four in this past year alone--most recorded by himself with the help of a few friends in Vancouver, Washington and Brooklyn, New York. (The group performs as a duo when playing live). This latest release is more keyboard-focused than most of his catalog, and features more of his signature heavily-distorted childish vocals than ever. (Think: 12" records on 45 RPM, or your little cousin messing with the pitch knob.) I really appreciated this release for its never-ending grab bag of short blips and experimentation. Spanning a dizzying 16 tracks, "Learning To Your Stuff" covers ground like no other: from 20-second blitzes of reverb-soaked keyboard
to spiraling 10-minute whirlwinds of carousel house jams.

This is the kind of tape that can make music fun again.

This release comes to us courtesy of Eggy Records,
a Portland label run by Raf Spielman which is a KZSU favorite. Cassettes are crystal clear and come packaged with lovely hand silkscreened j-cards, ensuring that no two are alike. An early contender for Cassette of the Year.

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