Review: Vanessa Rossetto – Fashion Tape (No Rent Records, Feb 6)

Despite the apparent transparency and directness of spoken word samples, music that makes use of them is usually anything but. It is often true that the combination of a multitude of snippets – that on their own would hardly be significant – results in creations that are cryptic, mysterious, and even disorienting. I hope I’m getting my point across, but if not, you need not look farther than Vanessa Rossetto’s Fashion Tape for an example. In contrast to last year’s Rocinante, an hour long piece completely absent of field recordings, the new tape largely consists of a wide variety of collected vocal samples; anywhere from whispered numerical calculations to the description of a certain color. The resulting diversity makes Fashion Tape‘s collages as colorful and fascinating as its bold cover art. When coupled with Rossetto’s well-tuned sense of dynamics, as well as an almost playful atmosphere, it makes the album something really unique. I feel like I will have to listen many more times to make sense of it all, so it’s a good thing that the package No Rent has put together is one of the best-looking tapes I’ve ever bought.

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