Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: LaserPalace2011

About a year ago, i had my 30th birthday. I inaugurated the occasion by attending an album release party from local stalwarts Laser Palace, a Denver based cassette label and visual arts organ, centered around husband and wife dynamic duo Ryan McRyhew and Kristi Schaefer, then settled down to a year of getting focused, hunkering down and working on my craft. The fact that i am finally getting around to putting the spotlight on the Laser Palace just goes to show how far i have yet to go along this path. But it is this care, the craftmanship and attention to detail, that really shines forth from the Palace. Stunning packaging, bordering on neurotic (such as the Hideous Men/Via split that came with hand-knitted cassette doily for only $8. Sorry 'bout yr luck if you missed out on that one!)
LP is a collective of Denver-based freaks and spazzes. This is a collection of their best and brightest, their newest and shiniest. Predominately electronic, apart from the bong-rip garage punk of Night of Joy, these 14 tracks show the diversity in the electronic underground, a million different ways to manipulate a 4/4 beat. From the atmospheric vocal washes of VIA, to the glitch krunk of Mystic Bummer, to the corroded filter fuck of Jedediah Lodgson or Candescent, there's probably something here for any fans of synths or beats or cassette weirdness. There's even a Suicide cover (phonebooks cover Cheree). Strong on melodicism, these people know how to write a SONG, making the weirdest shit listenable and catchy. You may have never heard of many of these artists before, but they stack up against the likes of Emeralds, Oneohtrix Point Never, Ghostly International, a slew of chillwave holograms. Just goes to show that Denver has shit going on, and there's a collective of talented individuals who are hanging out together, trading ideas, doing splits, making art work, and essentially, cultivating a scene, which is what this whole thing has always been about.
I was at a show a while back, and a scary noise lady told me the internet was dying, people were getting bored, and they'd rather go to a show. The line noise is getting extreme, so to find such lovingly packaged artifacts, funky and handmade, is refreshing and probably essential. Most can be had for a song, and can be had via Itunes once they're all gone.
Download this, find out what its all about, then buy all their tapes!

Laser Palace 11

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