Odd Person – Myths of the Crystal Plateau

12.16.22 by Ryan Masteller

Imagine wandering through the archives of a college anthropology department, through row after row of meticulously documented cultural items, a vast library of every societal branch of human history, the deep knowledge crackling like electricity in every dust mote you inhale, and stumbling upon some battered, unmarked canisters of reel-to-reel tapes that look to be older than the actual history of reel-to-reel tapes … What in the gall-darn heck is on those tapes? Of course you just have to know – you just HAVE to – so you grab a stack, shove everything in your Jansport, and try to look inconspicuous as you make your way past the skeleton crew of academics cataloging and researching god-knows-what. Maybe your obvious don’t-mind-me whistling will fool them; maybe it won’t. Your lab partner stares at you in disbelief as you exit.

This is essentially – no EXACTLY what happened to August Traeger as he acquired the source material for “Myths of the Crystal Plateau.”

[Again, please refer all legal inquiries to Delaware Dan LLC. This whole thing is probably a mix of libel, slander, and copyright infringement.]

You may know August better as Odd Person (I sure do!), and what Odd Person’s done is indeed what I’ve described: mined anthropological reel-to-reel documentation and crafted it into a cool AF aural experience that melds source material with field recordings and other accoutrements and presents it as a “lost record” of a disappeared civilization. Or not! I can’t be sure of the veracity of that claim, but it sure sounds like what August ended up doing. Whatever the tale’s truthfulness (and hey, it may be the exact frickin thing that happened), it sure as heck plays like a lost field recording, gussied up and sampled and what have you until it suits the Odd Person lifestyle brand. More laid back than a German Army jawn but equally curious about life beyond the American usual, “Myths of the Crystal Plateau” generates snapshots and snippets of unbelievable (to the homebody) lifestyles and practices, both sacred and profane records of non-Western activity that demand further attention and meditation. How on earth are any of us going to connect with one another if we don’t understand where that “another” comes from?

In the end, Odd Person injects these compositions with energy and vigor, populating these created visions with clear and ritual intention. Everything is presented with an ear for the adventurous, for the unknown, for the arcane – yet everything comes to us fully formed and rightfully organized into ingestible packages, allowing us – the inexperienced, the culturally louche – to encounter something we wouldn’t have necessarily gone out of our way for. Probably sad that that’s the case. But Odd Person presents us with what should be shoved in our face in a not-shoved-in-our-face way, and I am only shoving it in my own face out of shame of not being a better and in general more respectful person – bottom line is I love this tape, and I want you to love it too, and thanks to Odd Person for having the ear to concoct something like this in the first place.

Fifty copies on Nonlocal Research! Currently sold the heck out!