Perceiving Perspective is a short cassette made by composers Bartosz Dziadosz and Mikel Lauki, who come from the very technical world of drone and glitch. It sets out like an essay, with an “Introduction”, two long tracks, and then “The Last Letters” to finish the statement. Nevertheless, PP feels, for this listener at least, less like a structured argument and more like a word game, putting sounds into play and creating a sort of web where everything is related. The cassette is perhaps the perfect medium for this: not only is it easily divided into two parts, it also has a playful mechanical potential that has no parallel in the digital world. Press stop –click– open the lid –click– pull the thing out, watch its reels loosen up, turn it around, push it back in –click– close the lid –click– press play –click– and listen not only to the music, but the machine buzzing with sounds.
Maybe this is the nature of ‘perceiving perspective’, to listen to the cassette not as a simple container of music worthy only of being ignored but as part of the process itself, as part of the soft drones and piano chords of the “Introduction” or the experimental-and-yet-pleasingly-harmonious electronic bits of “The Last Letters”, producing them as well as its own kind of ambient. The earthiness of touching the thing, of listening to the very subtle distortions of an aging mechanism (which could be brand new, but still plays differently than your average computer and so on) becomes a sort of exercise in consciousness, of perceiving how things are being perceived. The slow, quiet tone of the album aids in establishing a meditative mood of letting your mind flow along the sounds it finds, tranquilly playing with them while retaining the harmless tension of knowing you’ll need to walk to the player to ‘interrupt’ the music eventually. All those clicks, maybe annoying at first, end up being the way in which you participate in the production of these often minimal, ambient-like drones.
The collaboration expands, and what could be more uncanny in this age of shuffling and endless adventures in playlists than realizing you’re completely in control and in a way deciding how the music develops? It is easier, after all, to play things backwards in a cassette, and not only in terms of playing side B first. By setting up the terms of a game, Pleq and Lauki invite the listener to play, to modify the way the music is listened to, to realize we’re in this together, creating all kinds of meanings with every move we decide to make, from pressing Fast Forward with a very audible, noisy result, to just sitting down and listening to the music like a linear narrative. Don’t worry, though, almost every way you decide to play will sound really great – these two composers have already taken care of that for us. It’s just a matter of going with it and enjoying these turns of consciousness. (David Murrieta)
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