KID SHIRT

Friday, June 08, 2007

CASSETTE CULTURE #11: PUIK 27



I'm sat in the garden on a rubber-ring. The sun perches on the fence opposite me like a rotten fruit or the yolk of an egg.

Bar-noise. Voices in Flemish. Tape-wobble. Flanged Casio-piano. The whirring of a motor. I'm on an aeroplane. Or inside a miniature power-plant.

The cassette jams and auto-rewinds.

Bar-noise. Voices in Flemish. Tape-wobble. Flanged Casio-piano. The whirring of a motor. I'm on an aeroplane. Or a miniature power-plant.

The cassette jams and auto-rewinds.

Bar-noise. Voices in Flemish. Tape-wobble. Flanged Casio-piano. The whirring of a motor. I'm on an aeroplane. Or a miniature power-plant.

The cassette jams and...I finger-spool the tape past the obstruction.

Dissolve into a Hall of Mirrors. Casio-piano becomes increasingly fractured. Engine noise more prominent now. I'm lost. There's a cocktail party going on somewhere else in the maze. I can't get to it.

Sounds like I'm in a small power-boat now. I'm asleep in a room, Someone's talking. Is this a dream or a review?

I open my eyes. Sun is perched on washing-line now. I'm cold.

I close my eyes.

Someone breaks something. Blasa-wood, I think. The 'piano' sounds like a bird-house now. An aviary. A fruit-machine pays out. The music stops and the crowd cheers. I wake up.

There's an enormous children's toy there now, in the shape of a bird. An alien bird. Slow flashing lights: yellow and orange, like a child's drawing of the sun. Pulsing chimes. 'Real' birdsong dissolves into alien birdsong. Is this Lieven, or Carlo and Eva? It's lovely. I close my eyes, sit on the rubber-ring and pretend I don't exist.

The music stops, the crowd cheers and I wake up.

Flip over the tape and it's Furious Pig with loud-hailers, violins and a gang of drunken sailors. Deconstructed sea-shanties and cats-whisker lullabies. Mumbled regrets and spilled milk.

Applause. Audience noise. Someone belches. Someone else says "Fuckin hell" in English. A cover version of Ralph McTell's "Streets of London" sung in accented English. A record, I think. It's strangely touching on some level I can't quite quantify. Touching in a way that the original isn't. Someone singing about a London they've never seen; a London that doesn't exist. Hiss and crackle. A strange fog descends on me; an emotion I have no name for.

More car-boot fodder: an MOR version of "Somewhere my Love" sung in French. It sounds beautiful, exotic, banal. It stops suddenly and is replaced by tape-noise.

I wake up and write this.