Robert Turman, Olivia Block & Lou Mallozzi, Startless, Karl J. Paloucek | Enemy | Experimental | Chicago Reader

Robert Turman, Olivia Block & Lou Mallozzi, Startless, Karl J. Paloucek All Ages Soundboard

When: Fri., Feb. 18, 9 p.m. 2011

The current cassette revolution is, for the most part, a nostalgic exercise in fetishizing old crap, and as such it's worth sitting out. If you want downgraded sound that fits in your coat pocket, there's got to be some kid on your block with an outmoded MP3 player he doesn't want anymore. But Jason Zeh of Bowling Green, Ohio, has found a way to make music out of the cassette's destruction. Live, Zeh stretches tapes, runs handheld demagnetizers over them while they play, and even uses candles to melt both cassettes and players, yielding a rich variety of squelching, clicking, and scraping sounds. Startless is Zeh's project with local noise magnate Blake Edwards (best known as Vertonen), who in this context sets aside his usual electronics to work with playback media, including turntables, tapes, and shortwave radios. The 36-minute piece from their forthcoming debut CD-R, Circulation Decay (C.I.P./Eye Wish Arts), consists of sounds you might call noise, but it's never particularly harsh or noisy. Instead the duo uses remorselessly looped static and cartridge bumps to create a meditative backdrop for a leisurely conversation between shuddering tape flutters and dry, fuzzy hisses. —Bill Meyer

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