The Curatorial Club (Run DMT, Alex Bleeker, Twin Sister) Review
Alex Bleeker 44/100 Run DMT 81/100 Twin Sister 76/100
Although I was on the fence about the recent resurgence of cassette tapes as the new hipster medium, I took a swing towards favoring it when both my ipod and car CD player bit the dust recently. I can’t get Radio K everywhere, and other, unnamed stations seem to be heading in the wrong direction, so when I saw the Curatorial Club had some tapes by rising artists I liked, I decided to hop on the bandwagon and get some new tunes for my drives around town.
The Chocolate Bobka curated The Curatorial Club debuted earlier this year with three tapes, one each from Alex Bleeker, Twin Sister and Run DMT. The tape I was most excited about was Mad Dogby Alex Bleeker, and it ended up being the tape that let me down most. Bleeker is the bass player for Real Estate and frontman of classic rock kingpins Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, but this tape is Bleeker doing solo bedroom recordings. I would actually call them more like sketches, as they are skeletal frameworks of songs that sound like they are about 5 steps from being an actual song. In the release that accompanied the album, Bleeker mentions that this was the first time he played some of the song, and it showed. While no one was expecting King Crimson, the tape had a distinct feel of something that was haphazardly thrown together.
The opposite of these overtly homespun tracks is the found sound collage of Run DMT’s tape. Combining the group’s two releases, Bon Voyage and Get Ripped or Die Trying, the record is a sonic, tripped out journey. Fans of druggy electronic interludes coalescing with old phone conversations will love this tape, which somehow is engaging despite the bands scattered approach.
The third release falls right in the middle. The tape, the aptly titled Alternates,from rising neo-funk band is a collection of demos from their Vampires with Dreaming Kids and Color Your Life EPs. While they aren’t as sparse as the Bleeker tapes, they are cool in a way that shows the development of the band. While I wouldn’t recommend them over the more highly produced final products, they are a nice insight into how the band creates their enticing sound.
This first wave of tapes are sold out (except for at shows for the particular bands), but there are promises of more. One can only hope they fall in line closer with the more refined products of Run DMT and Twin Sister release and not as much like the scrambled mess of the Alex Bleeker one.
Twin Sister- Lady Daydream (Cassette Version)