Monte Burrows — Fantasy Living
Four parallel smokestacks protrude from a prairie of calcareous ooze, the tallest headstones in a graveyard of fallen whales. These monolithic cylinders lead downward into a submerged necropolis, where sculptures and skeletons have been rendered indistinguishable by thick layers of marine snow and rust. All the colors of entropy can be found in the nebulous fungi that spatter what little driftwood remains undigested.
Although mankind lost this vessel only a few decades ago, as far as the water nymphs are concerned, this ironclad temple has been present for centuries. It is the house of worship for their god of rust, who presides over death in the disputed territories between Earth and Sea. His priestesses perform rites of decay in the engine room, offering putrid mixtures of dolphin’s milk and petroleum to the silenced machines within.
The memories of humans and ondines alike melt together as the surrounding ecosystem slowly claims their mortal remains. Through this synthesis, we experience the strange incantations of undersea magic alongside the last words of those entombed below deck. These echoes can be rewound and replayed as part of their now-shared reality, an impossible story of fantasy living rising from the paradoxical deep.
"Monte Burrows hits some Basinski vibes as the whole of the composition seems to point itself down into that crumbling descent we call de-composition, but with the horns and woodwinds on side B, I’m also really taken back to my first encounters with Philip Jeck, and the composer’s ability to pull a sensory-stuffed drone out of romanticism and let it ride in a sad, sallow mess of sound, all without sacrificing the most important thing: the melody (of course!). Totally haunting and all-engrossing stuff, an impressive first outing and another slam dunk for Spring Break Tapes!"
— Tiny Mix Tapes
"An ancient fragile soundscape rendered and interpreted mechanically. The square peg of old movie film feed into the round hole of digital 1's and 0's. The whole thing warbles and garbles with magnificent low fidelity. Strange and mysterious, odd and beautiful."
— Guide Me Litte Tape
"Although the project is quite young, Monte Burrows’ debut Fantasy Living cassette suggests a sprawling variety of sounds and ideas in its all-too-brief duration. The tape’s opening duo of “1430 (Detritus)” and “Cretins Abound” juxtapose elusively errant broadcasts seemingly captured at random, adding to the sense of cool, embedded hysteria in the post-modern drone suite. Shards of diagetic noise fill the air, from rickety fans to creaking, antique turntables playing their dying songs. It’s a bleak examination of cinematic collage music, and refined, backpack hip hop instrumentals slowed and slurred to a ghastly pace. The B-side’s hurried triptych continues the haunted aural realms. Looped strings lifted from otherworldly waves permeate the headspace with creaking, shuffling pace. As soon as the lights turn up enough to grasp the situation, sound all but fades away, leaving ‘Fantasy Living’s final, chilling moments."
"Less a collection of traditional songs, these tracks form a surreal progression of sonic images that are hard to shake and even harder to anticipate. As these sounds play out in your ears, you feel as if you're walking through some derelict museum of broken phonographs and decaying radio waves. You'll occasionally latch onto a stray source of language, but it will prove evasive and disappear before you have time to trace it back to its origins. Like some alternate soundtrack to "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari," these songs are felt more than understood and struggle to contain entire emotional worlds within their boundless synthetic frameworks. "
"This is not a technicolor tape with fuzzy faux-VHS artifacts transformed into aural flares, although the tracks do share a certain sentiment of muffled Mid Century Modern sounds, incidental field recordings and sampled string-infused records."
— Ambient Exotica
Monte Burrows delivers his transmissions from otherworldly travels, and rewards his listeners with aged layers and pickled dimensions upon multiple playbacks.
— Cassette Gods