Cassette Corner: Little Spoon - "I See"

Little Spoon - I See
(Crash Symbols 2013)
"Bleak, Detached and Minimalist"

While listening to I See, the latest album by Boston's electronic solo act Little Spoon, I couldn't help but conjure up images of musical monasticism. Its hollow and eerie sound suggests that it was painstakingly recorded by a conclave of MicroKorg wielding monks, chanting and crafting beats in a cave far removed from society. Bleak, detached and minimalist, I See is a tape that requires one's full attention and can be rewarding to the patient listener. Many of its tracks span over five minutes and are quite repetitive, utilizing subtle metamorphosis to draw you into a cavernous, synthesized abyss.

Track 1, "Touch Me", sets itself into motion with high-pitched, sparkling synth tones paired with a short, cryptic vocal sample looped ad infinitum. After meandering around like this over a mid-tempo beat for about a minute, the primal howls and moans of a robotic choir burst out from nowhere in anthemic fashion. "Clouds Clear" follows, a metallic drum machine carrying sonorous whale songs. Slowly but surely, it morphs into an African rhythm, with loud and joyous vocals. The rest of the album is divided between the euphoric an the somber. The former category is where the true gems lie, like "I Was a Mermaid", which is reminiscent of Animal Collective's recent output. Some of the more downbeat tracks can be a little dull, like "Who Said?", but "Two Apparitions" is a stunner. It's quite sparse, but the scattered synth notes, which remind me of the electronic bell that chimes when you walk into convenience stores, are chill-inducing. I See is a pleasant listen, and could be a solid addition to your cassette library if you're into the more minimalist side of the electronic music spectrum. Listen to it below, and buy the cassette at crashsymbols.bandcamp.com/merch