Review – “Lasso” – Wellington Sanipe

a0576310108_16reviewed by Laura Stanley 

Ottawa’s Wellington Sanipe makes music for ghosts. Not really for actual revenants but for the living who feel invisible and hollow. But Sanipe’s music is not for those willing to stay unseen. Lasso is about the persistent search for something, anything, that grabs hold of you and gives you life. In Sanipe’s description of Lasso this search is revealed as he writes, “something died within me, everyday I get closer and closer to the subdued artist inside me. Someday I will become full.”

Lasso, in a word, is haunting. It’s creepy and mysterious drone music that gets under your skin and raises your arm hair one strand at a time. Like Sanipe’s quest to become whole again, Lasso sometimes sounds very much of the body but at others, completely weightless; Heavy at times, like a whisper at others.

On the corporeal side, Sanipe tries to understand how “Everything Happened” by recreating it through a very brief gathering of frenzied and unclear voices and stray strokes of a piano. The EP is bookended by a look into the polarizing human traits of introversion and extroversion. In the opener “Introvert,” we hear the draining of energy which gets more intense as the synth gets louder. The muffled backing bass constantly thumping in the track is reminiscent of a bass thumping through the walls of a house; a house which you were just at enduring a party but are now standing outside, free, breathing in the fresh night air. The more brash “Extrovert” centres on the unchecked and discordant sounds of a keyboard while the backing swirls, as if charged by the keyboard, gets louder before falling off completely.

On the ghostly side, the static of “Only A Ghost” chitters like the snowy static of a Ghost Stories VHS tape. In its first half, “Can’t You See I’m Dead” drifts back and forth like a specter floating along the corridor of its former home but by the second half, the same specter is now causing a ruckus, knocking things over, and demanding to be seen. Finally, “Somewhere Between Life and Death” Sanipe is torn between deathly howls, the eeriest part of Lasso, of the first half of the song and the thrums of a piano, life, of the second half.

He knows he will eventually have to pick a side but for now, floating, he is at peace.

Top Track: “Somewhere Between Life and Death”

Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)

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