Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Aerial

Aerial (AM7 - Recorded July, August, 2005), Kate Bush's first album in 12 years, is best listened to during the night alone. It's difficult, brooding at times, filled with sticky melancholy; the question is, was it worth the wait? Obviously, the wait was for Bertie (her son), but had Kate whittled her way out of mad genius, and all that motherhood left behind was genius of the garden variety? 

On a night when no one was home, listening to and studying the lyrics for "Mrs. Bartolozzi" (
Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy/
Get that dirty shirty clean/ Slooshy sloshy slooshy sloshy/ Make those cuffs and collars gleam)I stumbled upon something about the cover. As we'd all done, I assumed the photograph was Mono Lake or some odd outcropping in the north of England, but it so obviously wasn't. These were sound waves! I should have known better. Had 12 years left me no insight into an artist I had idolized? I scurried to the computer and isolated the image, removing the reflection in the lake:





Yet, loading it into Bitmaps and Waves, I cringed to hear this (close Wikplayer player below, then hit play):



Why? That wasn't what I'd expected. Some crazy code? Some type of cryptic Easter Egg? Noise? I played it over and over again. What was I missing? I took the clothes out of the dryer. I was thinking about backmasking and it suddenly dawned on me that the album cover graphic was a manipulation of only the volume of the soundwave. Listen again below to the original soundwave. It's followed immediately by the same mp3, speeded up nearly ten times.  Mystery solved. Kate: MAD GENIUS! As Kurt Vonnegut would say "Poo tee weet."