Pillowdiver / Cassette Recordings
01 10th of August 2011 / 02 15th of August 2011 / 03 27th of August 2011 / 04 6th of November 2011 / 05 23rd of November 2011 / 06 26th of November 2011
All Music by René Margraff
$10 / ANALOGPATH006 / photo inlay printed on traditional Japanese rice paper is included / cdr Limited 100
Last copy! Only 1!
Cassette Recordings was recorded with little planning or fuss, the process involving Margraff making use of a Fender Jazzmaster and a selection of effects pedals which were then directed into a 4 track cassette recorder. Cassette Recordings seems to benefit from the unique texture which only lo-fi magnetic cassette tape can accurately reproduce and this approach, added to the unfussy naming of tracks by the date in which they were created and the simple packaging courtesy of Analogpath, all serves to create the impression of an unpretentious musician confident in his ability to produce music which stands on its own merit.
The album’s six tracks are dated between 10th August – 26th November 2011 and from the opening number there are echo’s of Margraff’s work in Two People In A Room, with a more overtly bleak and distortion-heavy feel to the music when compared to the relatively cleaner tones of Sleeping Pills. Despite the similar style and tempo of the material within Cassette Recordings and the way in which each track seems to blend into the next, the effect is not at all dulling and this author would be happy to listen to endless hours of the same slow exploration of Margraff’s fretboard without ever growing tired of it.
Cassette Recordings is a fine example of what a talented artist can produce when limited to barebones recording techniques in order to highlight that which matters most of all, the music itself. – Adam Williams for Fluid Radio
René Margraff, under the moniker of Pillowdiver, releases music that takes feelings of both intimacy and the oblivion of a listener’s identity to musical heights that have previously been reserved for the likes of Celer and Chubby Wolf. Titled simply as Cassette Recordings and released on Japanese label Analogpath, with the label’s trademark stark, minimal aesthetic suiting the music to the nth-degree, beautifully setting aside a portion of blank canvas in the listener’s mind that the music inhabits, Margraff has surpassed past efforts such as 2011‘s Twisted Tree Line release Elliott, Lou & Bill.
Indeed, the album sleeve gives nothing away about the musical content, making it a record wherein everything is stripped away aside from the listener’s experience of the music itself. This ‘stripping away’ is indeed an apt notion to keep in mind when listening to the album, as the individual tracks – titled merely as the date of their recording – slowly seem to be taking different routes within the same overall musical location: shimmering, veiled guitar, gently peaking and clipping bass waves, and multifaceted drones that startle one with their elegance.
Yet whilst there are undoubtably many hidden depths to each track that are only revealed with multiple listens, the beauty of Cassette Recordings is that one isn’t made to work unnecessarily hard to gain a glimpse at what Pillowdiver is all about. With the longest of the six tracks coming in at only just over nine minutes, and the release overall being a mere thirty eight minutes long, Margraff offers up slices of the crème de la crème of ambient drone in this release, suitable for both the sound-art virgins and those individuals who will happily absorb the wild, monolithic drones of early Windy and Carl releases for hours on end. A remarkable release. Futuresequence