Ossein Rind, the debut full-length cassette from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky musician Alex York, is a methodic listen, unfolding over nearly forty minutes. Described as “a well-realized walk,” the cassette carries an ambulatory feel—both somnambulant and cinematic—beginning on “Morning Hammer Shock” with gurgling white noise before funneling into dusty found sounds and modern instrumentation. The source material for Ossein Rind mirrors the famous Betty Bouthoul line, most notably appropriated by William S. Burroughs, “Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.” Applied to noise and experimental music, the diversity is especially rewarding.
Almost half of the full-length is dedicated to the final track, “Vermillion Dust Spread Over Her Corpse”—a slowly building, melancholy dirge that rocks on a steady, gently crunching percussion. The piece is a particularly effective effigy of York’s methodology: the blues done by a noise artist, caked in sadness and the never-ending rote of daily life; the tolerance of death, even an acceptance, without conforming to an overdone morbid worship. At the end of the track, reality takes over. The author’s hand comes from behind the curtain to banish the cancerous exorcism.
There’s a reason artists call their products “releases.” A cassette, a record, or a CD acts as a sigil, infused with experience, feeling, and personality. A blank cassette is a vessel; a tape with recordings is magic. The letting go of a “release” from creator to audience isn’t just symbolic—it’s a transfer of agency, of understanding, of interpretation, and, most obviously, ownership. Even if I knew the background of Ossein Rind or “Vermillion Dust Spread Over Her Corpse,” I wouldn’t feel comfortable detailing it publicly, but what I do know is this: Life is hard and often unfair, and it is easy to get caught up in the crackling hiss of an indifferent universe. Sometimes the only logical parry to static is more noise. It’s a treat when you get to hear the reckoning.
A1) Morning Hammer Shock
A2) Ossein Rind
A3) Tinsel Pig
A4) A Firm Grip Is Not Learned
B1) Lithium Overdose
B2) Mirror into Your Soul
B3) Vermillion Dust Spread Over Her Corpse