Bonus Beast – Just Because You’re Paranoid… Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out To Get You (C24, Ratskin Records)

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Bonus Beast is Ryan King’s noise project; it’s an assemblage of noises, often not harsh, mostly electronic with some multiple layerings and churning tones. Just Because You’re Paranoid is a collection of 15 “tracks”, although where each one starts and stops is a matter of opinion because the tape merges everything together into two side-long ideas.

The first side finds some filterings of noises, with a repetitive beeping sound held together with what sounds like slight guitar manipulations, pulsing electronics and feedback whirs, and often bleeps and bloops that feel sourced from computer or NASA samples. Bonus Beast does a good job of feeding each of the sounds into each other, and I’m not sure where each of the tracks come in here, because the entirety of this side feels interconnected with each other, linked by the sounds Bonus Beast incorporates. In a way, the titles seem to indicate parts of a whole; when Bonus Beast switches from rhythmic noise to a psych sound sample, it feels like a movement to a new idea but not a shift from the encompassing theme.

Side B has nine “tracks”, and starts with some vocal samples looped over and over along with some shrieks and distorted synth-like samples behind it.There are bursts of noise, static, digital bubbles of sound, and outbursts of electronics. It all combines for a soundscape of sorts, very nuanced and detailed, often seeming very controlled and focused on the subtleties. I like how Just Because You’re Paranoid takes us through different variations, often crafting different moods out of similar noises, and each movement tends to simply occur. It’s best not to think about how these sounds happen, but instead allow Bonus Beast to take you along.

Two really great tracks on this cassette that I categorize as such because Bonus Beast does such a good job of blending. These are harsh noise tracks, often feeling slightly cut-up, but there’s a controlled texturing to the samples which makes the tape an easy twenty minute listen, a nicely connected affair.

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