Halloween Endurance Test: Quintron’s the Frog Tape (2004)
Quintron‘s The Frog Tape might not seem like a natural choice for Halloween music. Let’s face it, a good half of its 30 minute length consists of nothing but a field recording of frogs in a Louisiana swamp.
(For those wondering. here’s a hint, in the form of the answer: it’s “Side B,” the one titled”Frogs!”)
[Those extremely picky with details will be happy to know that the frog recording actually takes up 14:31 of the album’s 29:58 length. I timed it, and hate myself immensely for doing so.]
Normally Quintron does play a variety of organs; so his making a tape specifically for Halloween night isn’t that bad of a fit. I’m not too convinced that it’s the “werewolf music” he proclaimed on the cover, but that might just be splitting hairs.
Holiday issues aside, “Backwards” is an awesome song. It does sound as if it’s a organ being played backwards. Foreseeing this predictable event, Quintron goes so far as to assure us during the song’s intro that all backward effects heard are merely a product of his new playing technique. Only Quintron would play with an organ’s expression pedal until it sounded backwards. That’s why I love him so.
Speaking of love in appreciative terms, this is my best friend’s favorite Quintron record. Which’ll serve as a great warning when he claims my musical tastes are off. For those keeping track of tangential references, this is the same friend who once listened to Throbbing Gristle’s 24 box set in one 24-hour sitting. So there you go. there’s some more background information concerning the legitimacy of his opinions.
“Scary Office” starts with some interesting Drum Buddy sounds, then becomes decidedly un-scary. I’ve never worked in a office where rumba music played on an organ constituted “scary,” so I might just be out of touch here.
Now you can only ask the obvious question, “What’s a Drum Buddy?” The Drum Buddy is Quintron’s homemade drum machine/noise maker. A (heavily) modified turntable that uses light oscillations to construct beats. Scratch it like a record to make noise!
The Frog Tape is probably the least Quintron-esque sounding Quintron record. Falling neither in the early noise camp, nor the more recent dance incarnation. This thematic incongruity is largely the reason why my friend enjoys it so much. It’s not a homemade dance party (with a puppet show included!) celebrating shop-lifting, roller skating, and being a (swamp buggy) bad-ass. Not that such an expression is foreign to Quintron. His QElectronics: Drum Buddy Vol. 1 album serves as a advertisement for his invention.