Here we have a welcome reissue courtesy of Buffalo’s House of Alchemy imprint. Previously available for a fraction of a second as a tour-only cassette on Grasshopper member Jesse DeRosa’s Baked Tapes label, “Miles in the Sky” (nice nod to / send-up of Miles Davis, by the way) is an uncanny vortex of electronics and trumpet. DeRosa and bandmate Josh Millrod have siphoned sonic gold from their lungs, and have conjured forth electronic demons with their fingertips.
“With Diamonds” encompasses the A-side of this cassette, and begins with trumpet calls that morph into clouds of distorted drone. Subtle beat patterns emerge from the sonic soup that is eventually topped off with waves of crackling static. A dense, textured wall of sound is built up and then carefully disassembled, the only remnant being the lonely cry of a trumpet from within a sandstorm. On the flip, “I Sang a Sad Song Today” starts off with a rather whimsical passage from James and the Giant Peach, in which the grasshopper explains to James that “music should be the voice of the soul.” DeRosa and Millrod pick up where the grasshopper leaves off with a chorus of echoed alien caterwauls and abstract, drifting melody. These are playful tones for tenderizing your eardrums.