The ?Glass Baudelaire? cassette is my first exposure to Foxy Digitalis favorite Terracid. With three 8s and two 9s in the Foxy archives, my expectations were rather high. Being a cassette release limited to 77 copies, I wasn?t sure if ?Glass Baudelaire? would be a tossed-off favor for an up-and-coming label or a quality recording just given a very limited release. Thankfully, it was the latter.
Terracid is the solo project of Australian Michael Donnelly, who is also known as the label head of Music Your Mind Will Love You and a member of Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood. This tape hits on numerous different sounds on its six tracks, but all are tied together by fascinating guitar work and rhythms that pull equally from tribal traditions and industrial rhythms.
It opens with post-industrial noise and the rhythmic clattering of echoey drums. Distorted electric guitar and synthesizer mix with a psychedelic collage of sounds and quiet vocals that sound far away rather than just low in the mix The second track switches it up with melodic fingerpicked acoustic guitar and high pitched wordless vocals (courtesy of Pacific Soma) before free drumming and the noisy guitar and sounds of the previous track seep back in. On the third track, Pacific Soma returns and I realize that she is a baby. Her (his?) free-association vocalizations are backed by tape hiss and chiming electronics. It?s less annoying than most uses of baby vocals, but it?s still the least effective track on the album.
The B-side recycles and reinforces many of the ideas on the A (excluding the vocals), but does an even better job with them. ?Distant Cousins? builds a might wall of psychedelic drone out of electric and acoustic guitar and may or may not be electric sitar before moving into Spanish inflected acoustic guitar solo. ?Six Pyres of Ecology? begins with what sounds like heavily distorted oscillators providing a rhythm for noisy, minimal guitar work that somehow ends up having a cinematic feel. The Spanish tinged acoustic guitar work returns, but is blended with distorted psych-rock electric guitar.
?Glass Baudelaire? is a keeper of a cassette and one that deserves to be heard by more than 77 people. Terracid has developed a fan base, so I hope that this music will make its way into the hands of those who need to hear it. Maybe by a CD or CDR reissue, but if not, there?s a reason tape decks have high speed dubbing. 8/10 -- Ed Corcoran (31 July, 2006)