Permanent Record & Architectures I-IV
VF (self released)
I was quite excited to check out Vague Fears based on the name alone. Something about that name along with the artwork just struck a chord with me. The two cassettes that I received to review are both a bit different in sound but both equally interesting. The first tape, Permanent Record, is mainly in the noise/drone genre of things. Subtle and minimal soundscapes that sound completely bleak and a little sad. The use of textures to move the audio is well executed and the bit of melody that may appear sounds almost like a ghost. The second cassette, Architectures I-IV, is much more of a dark wave, electronic, lo fi no wave type of thing. Simple drum machines, strained guitars and synths, creepy sung vocals all buried beneath a wall of fuzz. It's pretty awesome. It reminds me of a what Cold Cave was doing on their early cassette releases before they got all polished and accessible. It's pretty killer.
The artwork and design for both cassettes are excellent. Simple and effective typography along with some iconic artwork. The poly cases aren't my favorite packaging but it is done well. My only real issue is that the tapes are much longer than the music so you get a ton of blank space after the music has come and gone. Otherwise it's solid.
Would I buy these? Yeah. (DJ)