Playtime: ouzkxqlzn, 'I'm Going To Protect You' | Live Culture

Playtime: ouzkxqlzn, 'I'm Going To Protect You'


Cover of 'I'm Going To Protect You' by ouzkxqlzn - COMO TAPES
  • Como Tapes
  • Cover of 'I'm Going To Protect You' by ouzkxqlzn
Hey, readers! Are you staying warm amid the deep freeze presently descending upon our state? (Remember, there is nothing wrong with wearing two parkas at once.) If winter or the holiday season in general stirs more gloom than glee in your heart, you should check out I'm Going To Protect You by Burlington's ouzkxqlzn, via Como Tapes.

On November 30, Burlington/New Jersey-based cassette tape label Como Tapes dropped a batch of local experimental releases in a new series of so-called "oppositional music" called Taft Cornerz. The label describes Cornerz as, "our small contribution to the Burlington theatre of this world's endless culture war." The artists in the series have created challenging, textural, audio collages that explore and expose the darker facets of humanity.  

I'm Going To Protect You is the second in the Taft Cornerz series. Under the ouzkxqlzn moniker, Lauren Costello utilizes a minimal and masterful manipulation of cello, voice, guitar and tape effects to compose eerie soundscapes. Dischordant notes and mournful chords couple with ethereal vocals and ambient field recordings in a style akin to the imaginative underground artist Grouper. These recordings lead the listener through a spectrum of emotional vulnerabilities including sorrow, grief and introspection. Costello creates a deeply humanizing piece of contemplative sound, balancing challenging moments with soothing ones.

For example, the track "when he needed an idea, he'd go to her space and lift one" is composed simply of what seems to be guitar chords and cello, warped with tape manipulation. The complexity of what Costello weaves with these minimal threads is fascinating and meditative. Each chord becomes an infinite variable that bends and changes, proving that tape manipulation can certainly be utilized as an instrument in itself.

I'm Going To Protect You is available in cassette format with digital download via Como Tapes.

(Disclosure: Como Tapes released Amelia Devoid's 2015 album, Wand.)