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Seattle’s Kenneth M. Piekarski is Slashed Tires, who has compiled this fascinating and fun EP.
Musical Content: Side A is dominated by songs rooted in the tempo-perfect grooves of a drum machine and bass guitar. From song to song, we are treated to sonic blasts of either guitar, trumpet (beautifully minimal and melodic) or vocals, all submerged in reverb and delay. Seductive, kinetic energy propels each track, and the saturated effects form a striking contrast.
Side B offers more variety, but perhaps less consistency. Real drums are here, and while some tracks threaten to breakdown at any moment, they reach their conclusion without dissolving into chaos. But the later tracks on this side, specifically the synth arpeggios of “Mirror” and drone of “Exhibit” are the standouts, drawing the listener into the music unlike anything else on the tape.
One gets the impression that this EP represents a little bit of everything in Piekarski’s catalog. It’s worth digging deeper to hear where he’s been and where he’s going.
Sound Quality and Package: Holy Page has done a nice job on the packaging. A clear blue tape shell with a sticker on Side A only (minimal artwork, no credits) is offset by a full color J-Card with full track credits, housed in a white-backed case. The sound quality is saturated, probably during tracking mixing and/or mastering (4-track?) but it seems to be a high quality tape stock and good transfer from the master.
Available from Holy Page Records. Limited to 50 copies.