A lone cassette tape is in a room in a derelict. A spectral hand, with an ungodly blue aura, picks the tape and puts it in a boombox. The tape starts and suddenly, the once derelict shines golden and becomes a luscious room, where an unknown person feverishly twiddles the knobs of sequencers and synthesisers.
There is an audience looking at the person. A banner above the contraptions reads Dissolved and several rows of tapes are stacked together, forming the words The Amber Surrealizations. A steady beat, like a late 90s dance track with ambient noises (from field recordings) is blasting. One of the tapes is out of the boxes, but the name is unreadable, as it has a ‘scratched out cassette label’.
A LED display shines and the mood in the room changes. Still looking luscious, the sounds now bend and glitch. The audience stands in unison and sways in a tribal manner. The LED display reads ‘Shroud of maps’. Is it a movement? It’s unnerving and from time to time, it all goes dark and a disembodied voice narrates as the church organ sounds sound but distort into a glitchy oblivion.
The room turns upside down and a rather posh voice starts to ramble. The audience is now hanging upside down and all wearing Gothic clothes. It has suddenly turned into a very industrial affair and the genre-less tune is discomforting but pleasing. The aura around the spectre is now turning golden, a chiaroscuro contrast to the dark atmosphere. The room returns to its abnormal normality and conversations about ‘The dark tourists’ that once disappeared in front of a ‘Menagerie of Empaths’ is the intertwined conversation that makes the spectre glow the brightest.
Empathy. A word long forgotten and sometimes misused. It brought a feeling of catharsis. It brought happiness, even if now the sounds were more akin to the unnerving sense of dread in an unknown cave than a walk through a park in Spring.
The spectacle continues. There are several glitches in the machine, some brutal like arachnids dancing in formation in a USB, others abstract like the sounds of a television being degaussed. All the sounds, bizarre and strange, have transfixed the emotions of a spectre that no longer felt any. The voices lead to exploding sounds. The person manning the synths is now going wild, shining like a star going Supernova, losing one digital particle at a time, unravelling in an arpeggiated manner until the last particles go out like the last bits of a silver sparkler.
What was this spectacle? Field recordings, ambient music, dance sequences. It was a strange performance. A hissing sound starts to increase. The tape runs out. The entire place falls into ruins again and the spectral hands fades into oblivion.
Words: Sam J. Valdes Lopez