by Olivier LaRoche
Tape 2 is the second release of Winnipeg-based artist Megumi Kimata, who goes by French Class. Upon first listen, this project is difficult to pin down. Does it make you want to dance? To dream? To laugh? After each listen, it becomes increasingly clear that the answer is D: all of the above.
This tight group of seven tracks, ranging from thirty seconds to three minutes in length is a unique experience. The diverse assortments of synths and sequenced drums make for a constantly entertaining listen, with a surprise at every corner. What may seem bizarre at first immediately becomes familiar, a truly impressive quality given the shorter length of the songs.
If you close your eyes and play this album from front to back, you will be taken on a magical, electronic twenty-minute journey through space and time. It may take a few listens, but you will be sucked into a colourful, crazy world of flying cats and castles, exactly like the album art suggests.
Another intriguing quality of Tape 2 is the freedom that emerges from the lack of context, specifically in the song titles. The absence of lyrics on the tape and song titles like “Ancient Frog” and “Manatee” do not reveal much about the music, however, this becomes one of the most beautiful qualities of the record, as it allows one to dream up all sorts of landscapes and scenarios while listening.
The song titles are but a prompt for the imagination that ensues during every listen. With the help of your mind, this album becomes the sonic equivalent to your favourite Cartoon Network show: it’s a short, sweet glimpse into a vibrant world of magic and smiles.
The versatility of Tape 2 is equally impressive. Cuts like “House Tune” make use of more traditional house-influenced drum patterns, almost like something you’d hear on an early Daft Punk record. Other tracks like “Ancient Frog” sound like they could come straight out of the mellower parts of the anime Naruto. Despite this wide range of influences and connections, the album manages to meld together seamlessly, guiding your daydream one synth at a time.