Carole Caroompas – Target Practice
Probably the most unique and unassuming record I purchased at the 2008 WFMU record fair. Housed in a plain sleeve with a screen printed bird and real feathers waxed-on to the cover, Carole Caroompas’ only record from 1981 is a sure winner for fans of minimal pop. Carole is/was an established L.A. visual artist who started performing these minimal compositions in front of her work at various galleries. Using a back-drop of Casio ‘beast’, hand-claps, and percussive inventiveness she eventually stepped into a studio and walked out with 250 copies of her music.
When I pulled the record my friend Douglas was standing next to me. His first description was hilariously memorable: “I feel like the only person in the world who likes this record. Every song starts with an arrow hitting its target and then goes into some very minimal pop.” I had no idea that his record label Yoga Records reissued it digitally (you can listen and grab it from Other Music by clicking HERE.)
I took Target Practice home and it immediately impressed itself upon me. It seemed to enter this weird space in my mind. The songs were so bare and simple and grew with each listen, yet I found myself at a complete loss when describing it. “Well, uh, it’s just, like, minimal. Very minimal. But poppy. And weird. It’s unique. Yes, very unique. And, uh, well, you just need to listen to it.” And I’d proceed to play it, almost always to positive reactions from my friends. Why? Probably because it is incredibly unique. Its personal and endearing, but not in a patronizing way. You feel affectionately towards it because from the packaging, lyrics, and sound-scapes it’s obviously a very personal artifact from a highly creative individual. In sum, Target Practice is a record without reference, precious in its simplicity, and worthy of seeking for any fan of interesting sounds.