Soap Library is the “holistic” tape label we told you about in December that’s out there crafting some mighty fine-looking, object-d’art cassette tapes. Big whoop, you say? Well, they also create multi-sensory experiences for their listeners by way of custom accessories that are way cooler than a kooky matching necklace that you’ll never be not-embarrassed enough to wear.
Normally, Soap Library’s name should be interpreted about as unliterally as our President’s
walking, talking pooper-scoopers staff would prefer us to read off-script Trumpisms. This time, however, Soap Library has packaged its latest tape, Jacob Becker’s Meta Flux, with something that would fit neatly alongside an actual bar of soap and, in another life, found its way into more than a few sleazy motel rooms. Enter: bath salts.
According to the label, these babies are for “ritualistic and relaxation purposes.” Even if that sounds like some coded language for “gettin’ all kinds of freaky,” you needn’t worry about a repeat of the Miami “face-eating attack.” Soap Library is really just dishing out some good old-fashioned bath-time fun. (Though, that wouldn’t stop Cat Marnell from snorting a line.)
Clearly, Soap Library is counting on the music to be the mind-alterer here: Jacob Becker’s dreamy electro-ambient sound collages are the sonic equivalent of a refreshing, hangover-free morning or just being really, really sedated (“Everything so pretty, sooo pretty…”) Meta Flux is the New York City-based producer’s first official release, though for years he’s been occupying himself with experiments in solo recording and live DJ sets. It opens with near silence and builds a soundscape with subtle additions, one after another. Unless I’m the only one whose attention span is completely shot, you too should have the experience of hitting play, and suddenly going from zero to finding yourself in the middle of a complex track that expertly balances atmospheric noise and drifty beats. And it’s almost impossible to recount how you got there exactly.
There’s something else there, too. Beyond the samples and Becker’s own vocal recordings, there are “moments captured on his subway commute” that he “manipulated until movement and melody arise.” So, this one’s for you if you love those moments of wonder unique to the MTA experience, whether it be a hungover bro vomiting into a McDonald’s bag or flatulent cops trying to pass it off on the homeless guy.
Be sure to check out Jacob Becker’s album release party and live music show, happening Friday March 24, 7 pm to 9 pm at Soap Library’s Lower East Side home base, Commend.