OVER – OVER (C15, NoVisible Scars)

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Reviewed from a digital copy.

I’m not familiar with OVER, and neither is NoVisible Scars besides the submission they received from the artist. This is self-described as something of “confession” noise, one 15 minute track of a minimal pulsing electronic loop with spoken-word stories  from OVER about the past. This is psychotherapy in a new form; in essence, releasing this cassette is like telling the story to every shrink who ever hears it, meaning as listeners we will undoubtedly form opinions, biases, and judge whoever is telling this story. And what better way to share your tormenting inner secrets than anonymously broadcasting it for anyone who wishes to hear it?

As a noise track, there’s not much to offer from OVER’s use of looping dark synth. It’s only use is a gloomy layering beneath the words of the artist, and it’s entirely persistent over the entire track. But it’s not even really the focal point at all, because the listener will be attempting to make out the confessions of the man layered atop the sound rather than listening to the noise itself. In a way, it does create a drone, but it almost feels like a way to mask the stories the confessor tells rather than engage the listener. It’s difficult to argue with the choice, though; OVER wouldn’t want to take away from the emotion of his confessions by crafting too much of a sonic soundscape, but there’s also that feeling that perhaps no one would listen if it was just spoken word.

As a confession, it’s deeply interesting from both the point of view of one who’s interested in the seedy side of life (that’s not to say that OVER’s story is seedy, but that humans themselves can harbor some immensely dreadful feelings) and those that have interests in psychology. OVER is mostly concerned with his brother, a person whom he hated, although at one point participated in incestuous activities. In a way, the untitled track is a means of confessing the facts about what happened to the artist in his childhood, but it also gives OVER the ability to work out “blame” or “fault” in the matter – and the obvious conclusion is that there’s no person to blame, that everything happened because it happened and it’s time to move on.

After listening to OVER’s narrative, I’m not quite sure he is ready to move on, or that he truly understands his own emotions yet. But what’s really the most interesting aspect of this tape is how faulty memories can be. OVER repeatedly forgets or changes his narrative to account for forgotten details; it’s not exaggeration, but a true absence of certain memories that cause OVER to recount his experience. Clearly memories are cloudy, and part of the problem of getting over a situation stems from not remembering exactly why you did what you did.

So as a noise tape, this is not something you listen to again and again, or even if you’re not feeling in the mood to hear a dreary tale. This is something to contemplate, to learn from – to not repeat. And I get the feeling that if OVER is truly over this, he doesn’t really give a shit what some reviewer thinks of his homemade confessions. I hope this is the case.

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